Spring is one of the most inspiring and exciting times in the garden. From the first signs of life to fruit and flowers forming and opening in the sun. Here are our top spring gardening ideas packed full of inspiration, jobs to do, along with what fruit, veg and flowers to plant this season.
Spring Gardening Jobs
Late winter and early spring is the perfect time to start spring cleaning your garden and getting it ready for the joys of spring. By starting early you will ensure a smooth start to the planting season and a calmer and cleaner space to work with.
- Clean all interior and exterior glass in the greenhouse to ensure the maximum amount of light can penetrate.
- Empty and scrub all puts, hanging baskets and containers ready for planting outside.
- Get seedbeds ready by weeding the area and covering with organic material and new compost. If the ground is still hard or frozen then cover with fleece or plastic sheeting to warm it up ready for planting.
- Organise seeds and bulbs. Throw out any old or damaged seeds and bulbs. Label and organise the leftovers into planting times and type of crop.
- Clear away debris! Remove leaves, weeds and leftover annuals from beddings and pots. Clear patio areas of leaves and algae. Finally, clear out ponds and water features and scrub birdbaths. Keeping the garden clean and tidy can help prevent unwanted pests.
- Start chitting seed potatoes, do so in empty egg boxes and place in a cool, bright area.
- Prune fruit trees and cut back ornamental grasses ready for new spring growth.
- Divide perennials that have outgrown their space and move into borders and pots.
- Start building raised beds ready for your kitchen garden – ensuring crops don’t get damaged. They can also help prevent against back and knee pain when tending to and harvesting compared to seedbeds at ground level.
- Bring out trellises and canes now, give them a lick of paint and place by the climbers that need them.
Spring Garden Projects
1. Make a Potting Bench
Upcycle an old unwanted table, trolley or cabinet. Place it outside in a greenhouse or on the patio and use masonry paint to brighten it up, maybe even dress it up by adding jazzy knobs. If it is undercover, use it to store seeds and bulbs, pots and tools. Creating an all in one potting station for added enjoyment this spring. When you have finished potting, throw a tablecloth over it and use it to serve drinks or BBQ food when the suns shining.
2. Make Your Own Compost
What better way to recycle food and garden waste than making your own compost and creating an organic, slow-release fertiliser for all your crops and blooms. Throw on leaves, twigs and cuttings, fruit, vegetables and coffee grounds and let the microbes do the rest. There are several ways to make a compost bin. Build a bin by using chicken wire and shaping into a cylinder and securing with posts. Or drill holes into a metal or plastic lidded bin. For an even easier option, make a simple pile in the corner of your garden and turn it over once a week. A perfect spring gardening job that keeps on giving.
3. Make a Butterfly Feeder
Not only do butterflies look beautiful, they also help pollinate our flowers and crops. Try making this DIY butterfly feeder to encourage lots of butterflies into the garden these next months. It is a great project for kids to get involved with too.
1.Find a colourful ceramic or plastic plate and tie string or yarn in a square knot at the bottom of the plate, leaving 4 ends to tie around a thick metal or plastic washer or ring that can be hung on a tree.
2. Use colourful sponges like red, yellow, purple and orange and soak in sugar water. or place segments of orange, slices of banana, watermelon or kiwis on the tray. Make
See here for more info: Butterfly Feeder
What to Sow & Plant in Spring
- Sow seeds outdoors for carrots, cauliflowers, beets, leeks, spring onions and peas.
- In the greenhouse – sow courgettes, squashes, tomatoes, cucumber and salads.
- Plant out asparagus, onions, shallots and garlic.
- Chit and plant out early harvest potatoes in the first month of spring and your main-crop potatoes around mid-late April.
- Middle of spring is the perfect time to plant out potted fruit trees and bushes.
Top 5 Spring Flowering Flowers
- Azalea – from the Rhododendron family, this beautiful bloom comes in many colours and is well known for its bountiful springtime blooms. Different varieties bloom at different times with Encore Azalea blooming in spring, summer and autumn!
- Allium – With star shaped flowers that form pretty globes, Alliums are great for adding height and interest to borders and pots. They flower in late spring and get more bountiful year on year.
- Snakes Head Fritillary – with its unmissable snake skin patterning this flower is a UK native thats now protected and rarely seen in the wild. Even more of a reason to include them in your spring garden! Plant in damp soil or turf and watch as they unfold with their intricate markings.
- Tulip – a garden classic, the tulip comes in an array of bright colours and never fails to add cheer to any garden design. They are great for adding colour to the garden right from the begining of spring and throughout!
- Puschkinia – also known as russian snowdrop these are a dwarf perennial featuring intricate star shaped pale blue flowers with a darker blue veining. They are a resillient plant that loves to bake in the sunshine. Place around trees or in borders in full sun.
Fruit to Harvest in Spring
- Rhubarb – Forced rhubarb can be harvested from march time but prime harvesting time is April-June. Pick stalks that are at least as thick as your finger and 20cm long, and leave smaller ones to grow.
- Strawberries and Raspberries can be harvested in late spring once the berries are red. Pick on the warmest part of the day to ensure they are at their tastiest.
Vegetables to Harvest in Spring
- Salad Leaves – most varieties can be harvested all throughout spring,
- Spring Cabbage, Cauliflower, Broccoli – wait till cabbage heads are formed, remove cauliflower heads while they are firm and before they become discoloured and pick last years sprouting broccoli by April
- Asparagus – spears should start making their way through the ground by April, pick when they are the thickness of your index finger.
- Leeks – Aim to harvest all the leeks by the end of April to make space for new crops.
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