Spring gardening – top 10 tips

Spring is here, which means it’s time to get your garden ready!
Here are our top 10 tips:
1. Check Your Supplies
Before you can get your garden ready for spring, do you have the supplies you need to prepare the ground and plan? Some supplies you might find helpful to have on hand includes a rake, shovel, gardening gloves, wheelbarrow, and anything else that can help you dig around in the dirt.
2. Clean out Your Beds
Once you have all of your tools, you’re ready to start pulling weeds and anything left over from your annuals. Weed early and weed often and you will find yourself free to enjoy your garden come summer.
Annuals aren’t coming back and any self-seeders will have already done what they can, so they can all be removed.  Also check your perennials – as soon as you see new growth at ground level you are free to get rid of the brown leaves.
You will also want to prune any woody perennials and ornamental grasses you may have as this can only be done in spring.  It’s helpful to keep a logbook of which plants require this each year. Give young trees, shrubs and roses extra support from bamboo stakes.
If you have potted plants, use this time to repot them.
3. Break Up the Ground
After the cold weather, the soil in your garden is probably packed down and hard. This is not a good environment for your plants to grow in, so you’ll want to loosen it up. If possible, you can use a rototiller to loosen the soil. If you don’t have this option, then you can use a rake or a hoe to break up the ground.
4. Fertilize
Once the soil has been loosened up, you can mix fertilizer in with the soil, turning it over so that the fertilizer is deep enough to give nutrients to your plants’ roots. If you don’t want to buy fertilizer, you can start a compost pile and use this instead.
5. Divide and Transplant
Spring is the ideal time of year to divide and transplant your growing perennials.  It keeps them healthy and down to a manageable size.
6. Grass
Rake, feed and aerate the lawn and sow grass seed where necessary.
7. Mulching and Edging
By adding a layer of mulch to your beds, you can conserve water, feed the soil and smother weeds. Keep it away from the stems and crowns of your plants. Edge your garden beds for a clean and polished look. This will also prevent your lawn from crawling into your borders.
8. Fencing and Trellis
Use this time to fix fences, gates and trellis. Treat your wooden garden structures with wood preservative during a dry spell.
9. Install a Water Butt
If you haven’t already, installing a water butt is one of the most environmentally friendly things you can do for your garden. Capturing spring rainfall is great for watering your plants in warmer weather and rain water is itself great for some plant types that need a more acidic water. Position it below a downpipe to make the post of the rainfall.
10.  Hunt down pests
Take a close look at the crowns of your perennial plants and see if you can find evidence of slugs, snails and aphid colonies as they will have been sheltering there for the winter. Look for environmentally-friendly ways of getting rid of such pests. For example, ash and cinders make a good protective barrier for slugs and also act as a desiccant to dry them out. Just be careful to avoid direct contact with plants and not to use ash from a fire that has burnt household waste as this can contain toxins harmful to your garden.