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Getting Your Garden Ready This Spring

Close up of small plants in plant pots

Every year, at some point in late February, I’ll be out in the garden and it’ll happen. I’ll have that moment. The feeling that something is just ever-so-slightly different, that the season is turning a corner and Spring is beginning to happen. Here’s what I’m doing in my garden to get it prepared for the year ahead.

Close up of a garden trowel digging into loose soil with a line of string running through it

WEEDING

When weeds start to grow, it’s one positive sign that the weather, and soil, is warming up. So now is the time to get ahead and avoid the weeds running riot during the late spring and summer. I’m not always the best at taking my own advice, so from bitter experience, it’s so much easier to tackle weeds when they’re tiny and before they really take hold. For this job, I use a small handheld
weeding hoe to work between plants. I keep it super sharp to make slicing through the weeds a doddle.

Close up of small plants in plant pots

NOT ALL CUT-BACKS ARE BAD

So many of us now choose to skip the ‘big Autumn clear up’ and leave our perennial plants and ornamental grasses untouched through the winter. They provide a pleasing structure and look epic when frosted on cold mornings, not to mention how they benefit wildlife. If you’ve done the same, now is a great time to start cutting back these plants to allow this year’s fresh growth to flourish. The later you leave this task, the more care you should take to avoid accidentally snipping off any fresh shoots!

Close up of dead grasses with seed heads

GET SOWING, GET GROWING

Sowing seeds must be one of the most, if not the most, optimistic garden jobs to do. After years of gardening, I’m still in awe of the magic of seeds. Within a matter of weeks, a sprinkling of tiny dried seeds transforms into quantities of plants that make growing from seed such good value.
If you’re looking for some recommendations of easy-to-grow, quick flowering plants, try Calendula with its bright orange blooms, Cornflower ‘Black Ball’ with deep maroon flowers, or Lupins which often flower in their first year and as a perennial, will come back year after year.

Niall stood with arms folded in the middle of his garden

BUYING PLANTS

As much as growing plants from seed is a great thing to do, it does take time and young plants need TLC and attention. As Spring continues, garden centres will have ever increasing stocks of great plants to buy so that you can add instant colour, scent and interest to your garden beds and containers. Buying plants can save you a lot of time, and you’re supporting growers and the horticulture industry.

Close up of a person holding a selection of garden flower seed packets, with a background of green foliage and red flowers

START AS YOU MEAN TO GO ON

This may seem like a slightly odd Spring task, but wherever I can, I’ll store or leave items close to where I’m going to need them. Hand tools in the greenhouse where I can quickly grab them for planting or weeding; canes at one corner of the vegetable garden close to hand; hose connected and ready to go. For me, when things get busy in the garden, points of friction such as searching for my trowel or trying to un-kink the hose wastes time and sometimes even puts me off doing
the task in the first place. Getting things in place ahead of time makes a surprising difference. You’ll be more productive and each job just seems that little bit easier.

Spring is a fabulous time in the garden. So, take the opportunity to enjoy your own garden, get set for the year ahead, and allow yourself to be excited for what’s to come this year.

BIO

Niall is a gardener and creator of the channel ‘Niall Gardens’ on YouTube. He presents segments on TV and radio and is the winner of the Garden Media Guild’s Alan Titchmarsh New Talent of the Year award 2022.

 

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