Many of us like the idea of being able to maintain our dream garden and have it looking spectacular all year round, but there’s a world of difference between knowing what you want to have and developing the green fingers needed to achieve it, especially when British weather is so temperamental and aspects like soil, temperature and the levels of growth of different plants (and weeds) change so often.
With this in mind, the team at Lantain has come up with a list of gardening tips for all four seasons – what works in spring might not necessarily go on to work in summer, so tread carefully.
Spring gardening tips
- Prune fruit trees in preparation for a hopefully sunny summer – they need all the light and warmth that they can get to in order to produce better fruit, so unblocking light paths is essential here.
- Add layers of mulch (bark, woodchips, etc) to flowerbeds in order to reduce weed growth and hold in moisture during the dry spells of the season.
- Don’t be tempted by warm temperatures to advance your planting schedule. Petunias, begonias and other warm-season plants will be damaged by falling temperatures during the night, though the likes of snapdragons and cauliflowers will be safe.
Summer gardening tips
- Early summer is a key time when it comes to keeping weeds in check. Pull them up while they’re small and ensure garden plants are watered and fertilised so they will spread their roots and fill in the spaces.
- Water the garden early in the morning and/or later in the evening in order to reduce the amount of evaporation that will occur and allow plants to draw in all the water they need to remain healthy.
- Late summer is the time when fruit and vegetables should just about be coming into season, so feel free to pluck those from their boughs and turn them into something delicious.
Autumn gardening tips
- If you’re planning on starting a seed-grown lawn, early autumn is the best time to begin. Give the soil a good raking or tilling before you sow and then make sure it’s kept lightly watered throughout the week to get it off to a good start.
- Temperatures during the night will begin to drop again so take steps to protect plants that are susceptible to the cold. Cover rooted plants with sheets and bring potted plants inside if possible.
- In preparation for Christmas, consider repotting hanging baskets around the front door with holly and berries to provide a more festive look for visitors over the festive period.
Winter gardening tips
- The harsh winter gives you an opportunity to ensure that your potted plants aren’t being neglected – make sure that you move them inside but place them near glass doors and windows where they can soak up as much of the season’s meagre sunlight as possible.
- The end of winter is the best time to walk around your garden and assess what you’d like to change about it for the coming spring and summer. Do you want to add a tree or some flowering bushes that will provide some colour and shade to certain spots? This is the time to make those plans.
These tips are obviously not the be-all and end-all when it comes to taking care of your garden, but they should provide you with at least some guidance. Ultimately the way you manage your garden depends on the space and the weather – with patience and experience, though, you can develop yours into a green paradise (at least during the summer!).