The snow has melted (thank goodness!) and the landscape on the Isle of Man is being transformed back to the picturesque beauty that we all know and love. The grass is growing back on the banks, the trees are in blossom and hopefully your gardens are beginning to show some life at long last!
So what should you be doing now to get your garden ready for Summer? Here are a few handy tips!
- Spring Clean! Tidy up any areas of your garden that have taken a beating over the winter. Pick up any dead leaves, branches, and other rubbish to clear your beds and lawns.
- Weeding! Not the most glamorous job but essential to ensure that the plants that should be growing in your garden are not competing for food, water and sunlight with other unwanted guests. Get the right tools for the job and do this little and often and it shouldn’t seem like such a chore.
- Fertilise! Give your plants a good start to the year with some food! You can get all sorts of specialist plant food designed for different areas of the garden, but to save time and money, any decent multipurpose fertiliser is better than nothing at all. You could also cover the ground with mulch from your compost bin if available to give some extra food and protection from weeds.
- Plan! Sit and make a list of what you want to do in your garden this year. Do you want to grow vegetables or fruit to harvest later on? Or perhaps give an old tired border a new lease of life? Planning ahead will save you time in the long run and if you have everything ready, it means you can get started as soon as you get a sunny evening or weekend.
- Start mowing! If you have a lawn, you will have noticed that the recent sunny spells and rain have sent your grass into grow-mode! Keeping on top of your mowing now will ensure you have a beautiful lawn during the summer…. perfect for barbecues and entertaining!
- Divide bulbs – any clumps of daffodils and other spring bulbs will be starting to die back now, so a good idea to do now before they disappear completely until next year is to lift the bulbs, divide the clumps and spread them out through the garden. This will mean an even more stunning display next spring!
- Bedding! Brighten up any dull and empty corners of your garden with affordable summer bedding. At The Flower Studio we are always getting fresh deliveries of garden plants so there is plenty to choose from – some of my favourites this week are the Fuchsia and Verbena plants… so bright and cheerful!
- Water! While we still have rainy days to keep our gardens looking lovely and lush it is worth thinking about how to conserve some of this water should we get drier months in the Summer! Make sure your down-pipes from your gutters feed into a water-butt (or old bath!) and then use this water over the warmer months for the garden.
- Pest Control! Keep an eye out for slugs and snails as they love to munch away at any new shoots and tender stems of plants. There are many different ways to tackle these slimy pests, but one that I have had particular success with in the past is adding nematodes to your soil. This is a biological form of control which infects the slugs and to put it in a nice way, curbs their appetite. And they die of starvation. Nice huh? The best things about using nematodes are they stay in your soil all year, won’t affect any edible crops you have in your garden and they are totally safe for birds, children, cats and pretty much any other wildlife you want to attract to your garden.
- Enjoy! Take the time to enjoy your garden or outdoor space! Even if it is only a little balcony with a couple of pots on, it is a known fact that spending time outdoors is good for you. Your vitamin D levels rise, you feel happier and your concentration improves. So put the kettle on, make a cuppa and enjoy your garden.