There's no doubt about it, Spring is here. This week, Steve Malsher takes us through the key jobs you need to be doing for your garden this Spring. Steve heads up the Specialist Projects team at Nicholsons, and is also an RHS horticultural tutor, consultant, and professional gardener.
This article was previously featured on nicholsonsgb.com.
Change is afoot outdoors
Metrological spring formally began on 1st March. However, horticultural spring is marked according to when certain plants like daffodils and crocuses appear in your garden. These plants take around eight weeks to travel from Land's End to John O’Groats.
What a difference a year makes! Last February was the wettest on record and three named storms arrived, making it a pretty hideous time. This February was far kinder to our gardens, although there were a few wet days and a cold snap that lasted a couple of weeks. This is all part of the process; Spring bulbs need a period of cold in order to start their annual process of re-growth. We call this process ‘Vernalisation’. The warmer few days at the end of February give them a boost. This is when the snowdrops, crocus, and Iris reticulata start to fade. Meanwhile, daffodils, tulips and herbaceous plants will come to the fore. Daphne’s and ornamental quince are also flowering, so it’s all getting rather exciting out there.
Spring gardening jobs
It is my sincere belief that gardening is good for the soul, for our mental health, and our overall fitness and wellbeing. As the days get milder and longer, I have so many calls and messages from friends and a few clients telling me how wonderful it is getting into their gardens. I may be out in gardens every day of my working life, which I am so grateful for, but actually getting out in mine at the weekend was fabulous.
Now, whilst we enjoy being in our outdoor spaces we also notice all the things we need to do. Here are some tasks to prioritise for Springtime:
- Weed. If your plants are growing then so are the weeds- and generally at a faster rate!. They compete for light, nutrients, and water as well as hosting pests and diseases.
- Service. Specifically, your gardening tools. Clean any hand tools with a light disinfectant. Run, check and test your power tools and get them to a professional if there are any issues you can’t fix. You will soon be cutting the lawn, but remember to only take off a third of its length at a time.
- Divide. Larger herbaceous plants showing signs of growth can now be divided and either moved or just tamed.
- Replant. Increase the stock of snowdrops by division, once they have finished flowering. Lift half or a quarter of a bunch replant. We call this planting ‘in the green.'
- Prune. Now is your last chance to prune apples, pears, and wisteria. Wait until spring is well underway to prune stone fruits though.
- Treat. As well as cutting lawns it’s time to consider treating them as well, ensuring a rich well-coloured lawn in time for the summer.
Happy Spring, and happy gardening! Nicholsons are always here to help with any of your gardening needs.
Nicholsons' focuses on a range of professional services, including garden design, garden construction, garden maintenance, forestry and agriculture. They are based on a 23-acre site in North Aston, and also offer retail services including Rosara Outdoor Style and their Plant Centre.
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