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Spring is in the air and we’re starting to get excited about leaving the last of the short, dark days of winter behind… but to ensure we can really enjoy a garden full of colour this spring and summer, now is the time to start putting your spring planting plans into action.
Fertilise Your Flowerbeds
Healthy flowers need a healthy flowerbed to support seasonal growth, so as soon as your soil becomes workable and the frosts of winter have passed, you can begin the process of adding fresh nutrients back into your beds, to prepare them for your spring planting plans. Dig a layer of compost around 6cm thick into the soil to do this; you could also use well-rotted manure, pelleted chicken manure, or fish, blood and bone fertiliser. Whilst you are working on the beds, now is also the perfect time to move deciduous shrubs or trees, whilst they are still dormant; try to choose a calm day so the roots are not dried out by winds. When replanting, remember to place the plant at the same level it was previously in the soil, and to water in well afterwards.
Spring is a great time to sow wildflower seeds, to help provide a haven for bees and butterflies in the coming months, as well as adding eye-catching colour and beauty to your beds. These can be sown directly into raked soil, in a sunny position. You can also sow any hardy annual seeds straight into borders or pots positioned in sunny spots – sunflowers, poppies and cornflowers would all work well, as well as summer-flowering bulbs, such as lilies, gladiolus and ranunculus.
Many perennials require splitting once every few years; not only does this increase the number of plants you have to populate your beds, pots and borders, but also helps to maintain the health and vigour of the plant itself. Spring is the perfect time to divide summer-flowering plants, or the more tender. Choose a day when the soil is dry enough to work, and lift plants gently using a garden fork. Some plants produce plantlets which can be easily teased apart, and small fibrous-rooted plants can often be gently pulled to be separated, but large fibrous-rooted perennials will need to be broken apart using a garden fork, knife or axe to sever the main root mass into two fresh sections. Make sure the new divisions are replanted quickly, and watered in well.
Don’t wait for the summer to deal with an out-of-control infestation – now is the perfect time to hunt down hibernating pests and save yourself a lot of bother further down the line! Have a good look at the crowns of your perennials to spot any snails, slugs or aphids sheltering from the winter weather, and if you have any of last year’s summer pots still remaining, check the compost for white-vine-weevil larvae which feed on the plant roots. Now’s also a great time to clear out and scrub down the greenhouse, and wash out any pots and planters you plan to reuse. Planting coriander, dill, yarrow and buckwheat can also help to attract beneficial insects that will help keep pests at bay!
From Your Armchair
What to do if a rainy day strikes? Now’s the time to order annual bedding plants, ready for creating eye-catching hanging baskets, pots and containers this year. You could also make plans to divide any perennials that require it, and how and where you’ll be replanting them to fill your beds and borders for the year ahead. Why not map out your ideas on paper?
If you fancy joining the ‘grow your own’ community, now is also the perfect time to order fruit trees for planting in the spring, or vegetables for an easy start to your own vegetable garden! If garden space is limited, dwarf fruit trees offer the perfect solution.
Shop Ideal World’s full plantable range, and put our spring gardening tips to good use to transform your outside space ready for a summer of fun! Want more inspiration on transforming your home and garden? Discover more articles, ideas, and inspiration right here!