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Preparing your garden for summer: Winter can take its toll on a garden. A harsh winter of rain, frost or even snow can turn a beautiful garden into a sorry state. With minimal opportunity to carry out any maintenance through the winter months, it’s important to get started as early as possible in the New Year to ensure your garden is looking its best by summer. When putting together a plan of action, there are a number of steps you can take to simplify the process and make sure you don’t miss anything out.
Consider the aesthetic features you want in your garden this year. Whilst it’s still wet and cold it’s a great idea to think about the different bulbs, furniture, water features or lighting you want in your garden. Ordering these early will allow you to take full advantage of the summer and stop you having to wait for deliveries when you could be outside enjoying your garden.
Complete a general tidy up. Clear any debris from flower beds, lawns, patios and decking areas. Use a rake or brush where appropriate to quickly clean the above areas. Mow your lawn, starting on a higher setting if necessary and going over the lawn multiple times. Starting too low can leave an uneven finish and even remove chunks of grass rather than just the tops of blades.
Consider the timings of any seeds you are planting and plant them at the suggested times. Or if possible, align the time of planting so that your flowers are in full bloom by the time you think you will first be enjoying your garden.
Complete a sweep of your outdoor space for any garden pests which might cause damage to your newly planted seeds and eventually flowers. Check those moist, damp areas which may be home to slugs and snails. Also be aware of white vine weevil larvae which can be found in the compost and will eat plant roots when they start to grow.
Complete any necessary fixes. Depending on the severity of winter, your fences or gates may need repairing. They may also need a fresh coat of stain to bring them back to their former best. This can be one of the most time-consuming and potentially costly tasks if wind has damaged fence panels but fortunately a relatively new fence will withstand most bad weather conditions for many years.
Once your garden is tidied and growing new flowers, it’s time to add finishing touches. Install any lighting ready for warm summer evenings. Place any water features or garden furniture you might have purchased. Then regularly perform quick ‘tidy-ups’ to keep maintenance to a minimal and your garden ready at all times.
That’s it! Your garden is ready for summer and for you to fully enjoy. Spending time outside has many health benefits so make the most of the time available. Reduce stress, spend time with friends and if you’re lucky, maybe even get a bit of a tan!