Spring Gardening Tips
Spruce Up Your Lawns And Borders

Every year I'm astonished at the speed with which spring arrives.

It seems that one minute I'm admiring the displays of snowdrops and winter flowering shrubs (bright points in what can be a pretty dark and bleak late winter landscape) and looking forward to the advent of spring and the new gardening year...

... and the next minute spring has well and truly arrived and the whole garden is bursting into life.

Unless you are very laid back about how your garden looks, or have extensive areas where your plants can be given free rein, you will want to impose some order on the impending chaos.

So check out the spring gardening tips below and take the opportunity to lavish a little care on your lawns and borders - you will reap the rewards later on in the season with healthier growth and less maintenance.

Spring Gardening Tips: Treat Your Lawn to a Little TLC!

Lawn grasses start to grow at the first signs of spring so check your lawn early in the season to assess its state of health. If your lawn is rather neglected, a little effort now will really pay dividends in the long run.

More detailed information about looking after your lawn can be found at lawn maintenance and, if your lawn is less than perfect, take a look at the page on lawn problems.

  • Scarify your lawn, if you didn't do it in the autumn, using either a spring-tined rake or, better still, a purpose made scarifier to remove all the thatch and other debris that has accumulated over the winter.
  • If moss is a problem, apply a mosskiller as soon as the grass begins to grow, leave it to work for two weeks, and then scarify to remove all the dead moss.
  • Apply a high nitrogen feed in late spring to give your lawn a good start to the season.
  • Re seed any bare patches using a suitable grass mixture (see the information on lawn grasses).
  • Use a half moon edger to redefine the lawn edge and give a neat crisp finish - this is one of those jobs that will make an enormous difference to the appearance of your garden.
  • For the earliest cuts, mow the grass with your lawn mower blades on the highest setting - mowing too closely this early in the season is counter productive and will damage your lawn. More advice on mowing can be found at mowing a lawn.

Spring Gardening Tips: Tidy up Your Borders

Spending a little time and effort on your borders now will get them in great shape for the rest of the season.

  • Spring is a great time to find out more about your soil by carrying out a soil pH test. Whether you are doing it for the first time, or have been using lime or other soil conditioners to amend your soil, pH testing is a very easy procedure and will enable you to garden more effectively.
  • If, like me, you prefer to leave your perennials and grasses standing throughout winter, you should now remove any dead growth before the new shoots start growing.
  • Apply a general fertiliser such as blood, fish and bone, or pelleted chicken manure.
  • Weeds are a fact of life in the garden so get on top of the problem by digging out or hoeing any early weeds...
  • ...and then give your borders a thick mulch, at least 5cm (2in) deep, while the soil is still moist. This will conserve moisture, keep down weeds and generally smarten them up. There is a list of mulches and other soil conditioners for different types of soil at improving or amending your soil.
  • Divide clumps of perennials now if you didn't do it in the autumn. If you end up with more plants than you need, consider swapping with a friend or neighbour - this is a great way to get plants for free. How to divide perennials and the best time to divide provide more information on this.

Need More Information?

You will find tips on smartening up structures and surfaces at Spring Gardening Tips: Treat Your Garden to a Spring Clean.