Our Top Tips for Spring Gardening
Prepare garden beds now ready to plant straight into once soil temperatures increase. It’s best to start off with a nice clean slate and garden hygiene plays an important part. First tidy up from winter and remove any dead or old plants and weeds from your garden beds. Soil will need a boost, so evenly apply a generous layer of organic matter such as compost, use approx 40L per 2 square metersb and work it in thoroughly. This aerates and improves the organic matter, nutrient content, and microbial activity of the soil, and will give your seeds and seedlings the best start.
Seed Trays or Direct Sowing?
Get in early and start sowing your favourite spring and summer crops indoors in seed trays ready for planting out later. If you live in warmer sheltered parts of the country, in early spring you can plant out seedlings of tomatoes, and some salad greens such as the favourite mesclun mix. Leave sowing seeds directly into the garden until temperatures increase - then you can directly sow summer radishes, sweet corn, peppers, courgettes, beans etc. Remember where you live dictates when you can plant directly into the garden, and seasons can vary depending on the region. Usually Labour weekend is the time when soil temperatures have warmed enough, but it’s a good idea to check with your local garden centre for advice.
When sowing seeds, as a rule of thumb, plant the seed as deep as the size of the seed, so a 1cm size seed should be planted 1cm deep. Seedlings grown indoors need to be “hardened off” before being transplanted into the garden. It’s an important step and if not done correctly can result in wilting or death from the sudden change of conditions. To do this put seedlings trays or pots outside in a warm spot in the sun, starting with an hour a day and extending by one hour each day for 10-14 days. Always bring them inside at night.
Spring is the time roses and flowers come into their own. Feed roses regularly with rose fertiliser starting in mid-October and repeat every 4-6 weeks. Protect new buds and leaves with an application of Copper compound such as Copper Oxychloride. Plant wildflower seeds now to add a burst of colour to your garden and attract beneficial insects.
When winter flowers such as violas and pansies come to an end it’s time to plant summer annuals such as cosmos, petunias, and marigolds. Soil preparation is key so dig in lots of good quality compost and Daltons Premium Flower Bed Mix into your flower bed. Many people grow annuals in pots - for best results toss out last season’s worn-out soil and replace with fresh new container mix.
Spring is a perfect time to renew your herbs. They are relatively inexpensive to buy so start afresh in October/November and plant directly into containers or out in the garden. Alternatively grow them from seed – check the seed packet for guidance. Many herbs prefer free-draining, hot, sunny positions. If planting into containers use Daltons Container Mix, which has a good mix of nutrients and provides good drainage.
For lawn lovers spring is the classic time to get outside and fertilise the lawn as it comes into growth from Mid October onwards. The secret to lush green lawns the neighbours will envy, is fertilising it regularly and adequately with lawn fertiliser. Fertiliser lowers the PH of the soil which means the grass will grow better than the weeds! If there are bare patches or you need to make repairs, use Daltons Premium Lawn Patching Gold and give a light watering.
Trees and Shrubs
Don’t forget your trees and shrubs during this important growing season. As the soil warms dig in compost and apply Tree and Shrub fertiliser around plants at 6 weekly intervals till Christmas. If the soil has been too wet over winter to plant trees, then spring is the perfect time to do it.