It is so easy to ignore your garden in winter - not exactly the entertainment hub in the cooler months. So, it’s not surprising that the panic sets in when warmer weather is on the horizon and your ‘winter garden’ becomes a ‘spring eyesore’.
Rest assured there are a few simple tricks you can use to refresh your garden without a major overhaul, putting it in great stead for summer.
1. Weed – but strategically
The standard approach is to take a look at your garden, see only weeds, spend a couple of hours randomly weeding a spot that ‘looks achievable’ only to lose all momentum and head inside for a distraction.
In reality your garden doesn’t need to be weed free from day one – it just needs to be ‘cleverly weeded’ to begin with.
Start with your front borders, and think about where your eye travels. The first metre into a garden bed is the most visible so aim to tidy that first.
Weed and spray paths and cobbles so there is a clean line defining where the garden ends and the path begins. The difference you’ll make in a couple of hours will leave you simply ecstatic with your progress – and more likely to continue!
2. Feed that lawn some goodness
A vibrant green lawn is awesome but if you can count more weeds than blades of grass it feels like a huge project.
Rest assured, you don’t need to rip it up - the right combination of spring feeding and weed control (all packed into one product these days) will do wonders for your lawn.
Another tip – don’t be tempted to mow it down to the quick. As the weather heats up this just puts stress on the root system. Set your mower to mid height (or ask your lawn guy) and mow more frequently to encourage lush new growth that will crowd out those weeds.
Side note: the best thing about having a fabulous lawn is that it detracts from those weird parts of your garden you don’t really know what to do with.
3. Get the pots out
Want to get some spring colour into your life? Easy – pop a pot or three on your doorstep or deck.
Head down to your garden centre, have a look at the ‘seasonal potted colour’ stand (you can’t miss it this month) and then choose a wildly eclectic mass of colour (or a perfectly matching selection) – to suit your personality.
You want something that will put a smile on your face as you come and go. It’s that splash of personality that makes it your home!
Worried you’ll forget to water? Pop one of those cool water sachets into the soil when planting and that’s one more job off your list!
4. Everything is starving
I tend to liken the state of our gardens in winter to the state we can get into ourselves – a bit neglected, lacking in nutrients, overgrown in places.
Like us, the garden is ready for a healthy feed and it needs your help! But don’t worry about getting flash – a big bag of sheep pellets and some good quality mulch thrown through the beds is all you need to get that garden looking sharp for the warmer months.
You can spot treat and finesse your plants later on – just start with getting the whole crew boosted up with nutrients to start.
5. Strawberries – enough said
It’s always easy to leave your run too late on strawberry planting and be disappointed with the crop (or lack of). The time for planting is now!
The rule of thumb (so I’m told) is 4-5 plants per person living at your place – you might need a few but they are super cheap at the moment.
They can be planted anywhere that is sheltered and sunny – so nestle them in your garden borders, or let them spill over pots or hanging baskets and when the fruit arrives you’ll be thinking you’re the bees-knees. (Yes netting etc. might be needed later on to stop the birds, but first step – just get them planted!)
Perhaps most importantly remember to take some time to enjoy your spring garden – watch for the new buds, welcome the birds arriving and bees tending your crops.
Take some time to celebrate new beginnings and fall back in love with your garden. It will pay you back tenfold!