The British Summer has started and the days are longer, one of the first things you may want to do is get out into the garden. There’s plenty to do at this time of year and, if you want this area to look great all summer long, it’s best to get a few preparations under way as soon as possible.
Here’s our list of things to do now the weather is a little warmer:
Get Out Your Garden Tools
Open up the shed, get out all your tools and give them a good clean. They’ve been sitting around all winter, so some might have a bit of rust on them or the remnants of last Summer’s gardening. Cleaning any wood with a little mineral spirit can stop them splintering once you get to work, especially for older tools. Check that equipment like lawnmowers and strimmer’s are in good working order, it’s a good idea to check electric cables are still intact before plugging them in for the first time.
Clear the Debris
The first major job is to clear up the garden. You’ll find that there’s a fair amount of debris around the place and usually a good number of weeds, including nettles and the dreaded dandelions, starting to make an appearance. Split your garden into zones and start clearing the ground. You can use this time to trim a few bushes and plants like roses before they start to really come into bloom.
Empty the Compost Heap
If you have a compost heap, now is a good time to empty it out, sift it and add to the soil around your plants and flower beds. It’s a good idea to give your soil a rake over first and turn it over before adding your compost. If you don’t have your own supply, a trip to the local garden centre will be required to pick up a couple of readymade bags.
Repair Trestles and Revitalise Pots
Trestles can get worn and damaged over the winter and spring so it’s a good idea to check these and make any repairs. Plants like clematis can get tangled and may need a little cutting back and reattaching to their base. If you have pots around the garden, you can clean these up and don’t forget to add a little compost to these too.
Cut the Grass
This time of year, the grass will be growing at a rate of knots, so now is a good time to get into your summer cutting routine. Don’t go too short for the first mow and try to leave it until the ground is fairly dry. Put any grass cuttings and debris into your compost heap for next year.
Plan Your Garden Planting
Whether you just want to maintain the existing plants or want to add some new ones, it pays to have a plan. If you’re looking to attract wildlife such as birds, bees and butterflies, for instance, you may want to plant various wildflower mixtures including poppies, marigolds and lavender. There are lots of different options available, even for those without much gardening experience. Another trip to the local garden centre is going to be in order, a place where you’ll always get plenty of good advice.
Maintaining Your Garden
While doing your initial preparation is a good idea, your garden won’t thrive unless you maintain it properly. Try to find at least a few hours a week to clear weeds, clip back overgrown bushes and generally look after your garden throughout the summer.