Gardeners' World: Monty Don shares tips for planting seeds
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Spring is almost here and already the evenings are getting lighter, which may make many yearn for summer nights in the garden. While the weather may still be too cold or it may not be the right season for some plants, there are several things you can do to prepare your garden for the spring.
Warmer weather is on the way in the coming days so this weekend could be the perfect chance to start preparing your green space.
With more time spent at home due to the pandemic, redoing or updating your garden can be the perfect project.
Typically, a couple of weeks before you plant anything you should start to prepare for the busy spring season.
There are several things you can do in the lead up to planting, so if you’re looking at getting your garden in order, use the checklist below.
Read More: When and how to plant sweet peas – Six tips for spring gardening
How to prepare your garden for spring
1. Check and prep your tools
After a winter in the shed or tucked away in a cupboard, you may need to do a quick inventory check of your tools.
The cold and wet weather may have caused tools to rust – depending on where you have stored them – so you can choose to clean or replace them if they are too far gone.
Before using your tools this year, it is a good idea to disinfect them.
To do this, soak them in a solution of 10 percent bleach to 90 percent water for around a half-hour.
2. Hunt down any pests
The winter months and slowly warming weather may have attracted some unwanted visitors in your garden.
To do this, have a close look at any perennial plants you may have and look for pests such as slugs, snails and aphid colonies.
You may have left last year’s pots with summer bedding and this can hold onto pests – so best check for any larvae.
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3. Prepare your soil
After sitting in the elements all winter your soil may be needing some care.
In order to give any plants the best chance come spring, do a soil test and pH test to check what your beds might require.
Based on the result, add whichever nutrients are needed. To increase the pH you can add agricultural limestone, to decrease you can add aluminium sulphate and sulphur.
4. Clean out your greenhouse
If you have a greenhouse, you may have neglected it over the winter months.
Get rid of any debris, sweep out any remaining soil and clean the shelves.
You can also give the windows a clean to make sure enough light can get in for any new plants.
5. Order any spring/summer bulbs and seeds
While the weather may not be ideal for planting right now, you can order the plants you want to fill your garden with now.
You can order flowers like gladioli and lilies now ready to plant in the spring.
Flowers like pansies, hellebore and grape hyacinths bloom in early spring so are also ideal.
6. Make a plan
If you have a vision for your garden it could be good to make a plan for the year ahead.
You could draw a rough plan if you already know how you want things to look or look for some inspiration elsewhere.
The Royal Horticultural Society has a page dedicated to design and ideas, you can take a look here.
7. Get rid of weeds
To give yourself a clean slate before planting, make sure you go round your beds and remove any weeds which may have crept in.
You can either take them out by the roots or use treatment to get rid of them.
8. Trim dead branches
Have a look for any dead branches around your garden, and lop them off if you can.
Removing dead branches can prevent windy conditions from knocking them down and help the tree stay healthy.
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