Spring formally kicked off on Sunday, 20 March, and go all the way to 21 June, when the summer sets in, this is according to the Met Office.
Rising temperatures will prompt the national average to hit a record of 18C in the month of March, with extensive rainy days providing the perfect growing environment for garden plants.
With the spring fast approaching and the need to have lawns, shrubs, and flowers ready for cultivation, below are the primary tasks you should be undertaking to get your garden ready before the spring sets in.
REFRESH GARDEN SOIL
Weeds and undesirable matter tend to build up in garden soil throughout the winter, forming an unfavourable environment for plants to flourish.
Start off by clearing beds, patios, borders and vegetable parcels of unpleasant matter.
Next, flush out weeds from patches and beds while removing any dead or undesirable matter and getting beds to their normal state.
Consider putting them into your compost bin to decompose rather than disposing of weeds and debris far from your garden.
In the long run, this will form a nutritive material that will equip your garden soil with essential nutrients critical to the growth of healthy plants.
Keep in mind not to do the following:
* Disposing of weeds in the compost as seeds are likely to germinate and spark problems with plant beds over time.
* Cultivating the entire garden, instead set aside a portion of your garden for nature and allow it to re-wild purposely for wildlife and insects.
* Fail to weed out the garden because you fear the task involved. Weeding is essential as it ensures your bulbs and plants have adequate space to thrive.
READY BEDS AND BORDERS FOR PLANTING
Once you’ve eliminated weeds and unwanted matter, use a gardening fork to break the soil into small particles and get oxygen diffused into the ground.
Split the huge clumps of soil and examine enduring plants for hibernation insects as they could cause severe damage to your crops when the summer sets in and temperatures get to rise.
We advocate digging over beds to unmask soil pests such as white-vine-weevil larvae to ice and predators.
ESTABLISH YOUR SOIL TYPE TO MODIFY YOUR SOWING METHOD
Soil is classified into four main categories: sandy, chalky, clay, and silty. It’s worth noting that each of these soils has different features from others.
DETERMINE THE PH OF YOUR SOIL
This can be done by taking multiple soil samples from different parts of your garden and then subjecting them to a PH tester to determine their PH. On a PH scale, anything that falls between zero and six is deemed acidic, seven is neutral, and any reading beyond seven is alkaline.
When weighing up what you’re going to plant in a particular part of your garden, it is always important to take note of the soil’s standard PH level so that you don’t end up planting crops in a PH that will stagnate their growth.
PLANT HARDY ANNUAL SEEDS
- Various hardy annual seeds, such as sweet peas, pot marigold, and poppies, can be planted before the spring to offer a striking display of scented blooms during the summer season.
- Make shallow rows all over your professionally prepared soil beds using a cane or a stick.
- The lines will clearly show where the seeds ought to be planted and can be carried out in an offset direction to surrounding beds to form an extremely appealing display.
- Put the seeds into the drilled holes and enclose them with the soil before intensively watering the bed.
SOWING BULBS INTO POTS/BRIGHT FLOWERS
- As the spring sets in, summer bulbs can be sowed out now in preparation for the warmer months.
- Take note of the following with cultivating your hardy annual crops
- Go through the seed packet. It’s worth noting that not all plants thrive under similar conditions, therefore follow the packed guidelines to the letter.
- Plant lots of tender seeds indoors in shallow pots and then shift them to the garden when the summer sets in.
PLANT SUMMER-FLOWERING BULBS
- The time to sow spring-flowering bulbs is here with us, and in the next two months, it will be gone; however, now is the ideal time to cultivate warmer season flowers or hardy perennials including geraniums in shallow containers.
- Pick pots with proper drainage or make additional holes to boost the flow of water throughout the soil.
* Incorporate a protective mesh or wire on your garden bed to prevent squirrels from digging up the bulbs.
* Making use of an all-round compost
* Cleaning ageing containers and coating with deepened plastic to safeguard the bulbs from any unforeseen frosts.
* Keeping bulbs roughly one bulb’s width apart while planting in layers. The largest bulb should be placed on the bottom while the smallest on top.
* Adding several pieces of damaged pot or a few stones from the bed above your drainage holes