How to Get Your Garden Ready for Spring

After a cold, snowy start of the year, last week’s warmer weather has me thinking about spring.  I love spring, especially as it means more opportunities to get out in my garden.  I enjoy my garden and pottering around in it.  In these strange times, more so than ever, my garden has become so important to our family.  It is a place for nature, beauty and fun.  And from a professional point of view, I recognise the mutual relationship between the inside and outside of our homes.  With the current trend of large bifold doors to the rear of our houses, never has the garden taken such a centre stage in our homes.  So as the seasons change, my mind turns to the garden and how we can get it ready for spring, and hopefully, seeing our friends and family in them!

How do I tidy up my garden for Spring?

Your garden has lain unloved and unattended for most of the winter, and this year it’s even been under snow!  So unless you’ve been very conscientious throughout the winter, your garden will need some tidying up.  Before you start, I think it’s a nice idea to walk around the garden, assessing it on the whole, noting areas that need your attention.  It may also give you ideas on how you will set out the garden this year.

1. Once you’ve assessed the garden, get rid of any dead leaves and stalks on perennial plants.  This will give space for the new season’s growth and the rotting leaves can harbour diseases and allow bacteria to develop and infect your plants. 

2. Rake up any fallen leaves, especially on the lawn.  Small amounts of tree leaf fall can be dug into the soil to help mulch it, but large amounts of matted leaves will hinder your plants rather than help them. 

3. Push back into the soil any exposed roots that may have been exposed due to winter freezing.  Water and mulch them carefully.

4. Prune off any broken or damaged branches from your trees and shrubs. Tie in climbers and adjust tree ties if needed.

5. Remove any winter protection if you feel the cold weather has passed.  Remember to put it back if the frost comes again though!

Hard Landscaping

Now is a good time to give your hard landscaping some attention.  A paved patio or timber decking will look as good as new with a good scrub or powerwash.  If you use cleaning products, make sure that you protect your plants. Drier weather might even allow you to give wooden decking a lick of paint or oil.  Go around your paved areas and manually remove any weeds that may be thinking about poking through.   A weed killing treatment will finish the job if you’re happy to use them.  It’s also a good opportunity to give the ignored garden furniture a wash down too.


Once we’re into early spring, it’s a good time to look at your lawn.  Rake and scarify the ground.  This will remove winter debris, and dead grass and moss, allowing your lawn to breathe and (hopefully) not become waterlogged.  You can also level off any uneven bits and sow grass seed where needed. 

Soil Preparation

One of the main jobs needed when getting your garden ready for spring is weeding.  Remove as many of the weeds from your beds as you can – you can use weed killer, but often just a hand trowel and some time will do the job just as well without the use of chemicals. As long as your soil isn’t too wet, aerate the soil by turning it over and adding plenty of organic matter.  This could be manure, shop bought compost or compost from your home compost bin.  Find you a little more about organic matter here:

Once your soil is aerated and weed free, if you’re planning on putting on any new topsoil, now is the time.  But a light cover of mulching now will help improve the fertility of your soil now.

There is no need to feed your plants just yet.  Save your slow-release fertilisers for the warmer weather of spring, once the soil has warmed up and your plants are in their growth phase.

Plan Your Planting

It might be too early to get some new plants in the ground outside just yet, but it’s certainly a good time to plan what will go in there.  It might be a good time to edge the beds, cutting sharp edges to neaten the landscape and create a “lip” to contain the mulch that can go on the beds once the weather improves.  Mulching with home compost, manure or back chips is useful to help retain water, suppress weeds and keeps your beds looking neat and tidy.  Mulching is really a job for when the weather improves, the soil has warmed up a little and when (in theory) the drier days of summer mean the soil may need help to stay moist. 

Here’s a bit more information on mulching:

Now’s a good time to buy your seeds for the new season and you could even get some propagated on the windowsills, ready for planting out when the weather warms up. It’s also a job that can be done inside, which we might all be thankful for before spring properly spreads it’s wings.

Here’s to looking forward to spring – warmer, longer, more social days…..Things are looking up!

Posted on February 26th 2021

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