5 gardening jobs to tackle now in time for spring

Category: News

Spring is on the way, hopefully bringing with it a change in the weather. More sunny days and the need for a spring clean, mean that there are plenty of jobs to do around the garden, and plenty of time to do them.

From pruning roses and planting hardy vegetables to attracting wildlife into your garden and beginning a new water feature project, there’s plenty you can be getting on with as the days lengthen.

Keep reading for your rundown of five key jobs to tackle in the run-up to spring.

1. Pruning, deadheading, and weeding

In late February and March, you’ll need to think about pruning roses, but be sure to check individual rose profiles for more exact timings. Either start pruning now or finish the pruning you began last month.

To promote new growth in dogwoods and willows you’ll want to cut these back now. Also, deadhead spring flowers, picking off seed heads on spring bulbs.

Tidy up your borders, clip back hedges and remove perennial weeds by the root to get your garden in optimal shape.

2. Garden maintenance

With the sun out and the days lengthening, now is the time to get your garden spring-ready.

Keep an eye on your lawn and be ready to give it a light mow once it’s in growth. Be sure to keep the cuttings and leave them out to dry – find out why shortly!

Build, buy or repair your compost bin in preparation for the coming months’ garden waste and be sure to fertilise flowerbeds and around roses, shrubs, and hedges.

Turn your soil to expose slug eggs buried underground and help to reduce your garden’s slug population – and keep reading for other ways to keep the number of plant-munching slugs to a minimum.

3. Planting

Once you’ve pruned your roses, you might also consider planting new ones, along with other shrubs and climbing plants.

You should also plant summer-flowering plants like lilies and gladioli and move forced bulbs out into the garden for blooms next year.

If you have a garden vegetable patch or are preparing your allotment for the spring, you’ll want to ensure the largest fruit and vegetable harvest possible. Do this by:

  • Sowing tomatoes, chillies, and aubergines in indoor pots
  • Planting Jerusalem artichokes and early potatoes
  • Sowing parsnips, but only once the soil starts to warm up
  • Sowing early carrots and hardy vegetables like spinach
  • Planting strawberries in hanging baskets.

Now is also the time to prepare the soil and plant onions and shallots. Onions are a prominent feature in countless recipes and various styles of cooking, making them a great vegetable to grow yourself, ensuring they are always to hand. They are easy to grow too.

Plant the immature bulbs – known as “sets” – during March and April and they’ll be ready for harvesting from July through to September.

4. Encouraging new wildlife into your garden

Despite your own surge of garden activity, cold night-time temperatures and diminishing winter food stores can make March a difficult month for wildlife.

To help attract fauna to your garden, begin by sowing wildflower seeds in trays. Then head to your local garden centre to look for nectar- and pollen-rich plants to attract bees.

Once you’ve mowed the lawn for the first time, allow the cuttings to dry and then find a quiet corner in which to pile them up. They could encourage a queen bee to begin a colony there while providing a perfect nest for slow worms.

Encouraging wildlife into your garden also means attracting predators who should help protect your plants by keeping slug numbers at bay.

5. Install a water feature

Whether you want to attract additional water-based wildlife or you’re just looking to enhance the overall beauty of your garden, if you are thinking about installing a pond or water feature, now is a perfect time.

Be sure to avoid frosts, as they’ll make the earth hard to dig. Once your water feature is ready, add plants as soon as spring arrives. Plants like water forget-me-not are great for newts to lay eggs on, while other plants like curled pondweed will oxygenate the water and provide shelter for tadpoles.

If you already have a water feature installed, March is the time to resume feeding your fish, turn on the pond fountain, and remove pond heaters.