Now is a great time to start getting your garden in shape again after a drab winter by injecting some much-needed life and colour. That said, I know it can be daunting knowing when and how to approach it all – even the most experienced gardeners can get thrown off by the weather sometimes! So here are my top tips to get your garden in order this spring:
Get prepping now
Up where we are in Scotland, things generally develop a little later due to the colder climates, which will differ slightly to other parts of the British Isles. This means we like to use this spare time to get ahead. If things are still a little chilly where you are (and let’s be honest, most of us are still thawing out after the recent snow) it can be useful to spend your time doing essential maintenance jobs before the end of March arrives.
What are essential jobs? Well now is the time to scarify your lawn, for example and it’s also a great opportunity to gently pull out any weeds that have set in over winter. Try to imagine that you’re a painter and you’re getting your canvas in order ready for the beautiful colours to be layered over the top.
Almost time for seeds
Who doesn’t love the moment you can start sowing seeds? It’s a sign that summer is finally on its way. As easy as it is to get carried away, I recommend that you leave the feeding until later in March and wait a little longer still for the seeding of any bare patches. In fact, you should wait until April in my opinion. This makes sure the ground has warmed through and gives your seeds the best chance to flourish. If you have a vegetable patch then you should single dig some horse (or similar) manure in to feed the soil when this moment arrives.
Remember that now is a good time to get any shrubs back into shape with some gentle pruning before the onset of spring growth. Although this may not be the most exciting part of preparation for your summer plot, this is a vital step of maintaining a beautiful, blooming garden. You can leave the trimming of any of your winter colour planting until March but don’t leave it too long or you will miss your window before spring takes hold.
Prepare for winter
If you enjoy growing your plants from seed, then now is also the perfect time to get propagating seeds and soft cuttings, ready to fill any gaps later in the year. If you haven’t considered propagating plants before, why not give it a try? It’s an inexpensive and easy way to make greater use of the plants you already have – and it’s really rewarding. Make sure you keep them warm under glass against any pesky late frosts.
Still need a bit of inspiration? Then why not visit a local garden or plot to speak to some of the gardeners there – if anything like me, they will always be happy to help a fellow plant lover out and answer any questions you have.
About Chris Allan
As an RHS trained gardener, Chris knows a thing or two about creating blooming gardens. For over a decade Chris worked at the RHS Garden in Wisley where he learned all the tricks of the trade but has since moved back home to Scotland and taken up his next challenge – to tend to over 50 acres of landscaped parkland along with a historic walled garden at Auchlochan Garden Village, a beautiful retirement village set in the Lanarkshire countryside.Last modified: April 23, 2023