Garden Makeover Tips To Get Ready For Spring And Summer

It will soon be May, which brings the joy of two Bank Holiday weekends, and hopefully also some warmer weather! It’s an ideal time to start sorting out the garden, which is probably looking rather bedraggled after the endless tide of winter storms. Here are some ideas and suggestions to get your garden ready for the next season.

Get on top of weeds now

Weeding is one of the most mundane gardening chores, but it’s wise to get on top of the weeds in spring, before they have a chance to develop deep roots and spread seeds. Getting rid of weeds from beds and borders also allows more sunlight, nutrients and moisture to reach the plants that you do want to flourish.

Dig the weeds up from the roots and dispose of them in the garden waste bin to prevent further spread. Clear any untidy grass that is sprouting between paving flags on patios and driveways. 

However, avoid using weed killer if you possibly can, because it can affect the plants you do want to keep, and it can be absorbed into the soil and watercourses, causing pollution and harming wildlife. This disrupts the local ecosystem and weakens the biodiversity of the area.

If you can put up with some messiness in one unmown patch of your garden, this is a great way to provide a haven for native species of plant to grow and attract pollinators and other wildlife. 

Prune back woody growth

If you notice green shoots appearing on plants with a lot of straggly or woody growth, prune them back to the new growth to help them flourish and grow in an attractive shape. 

Check your garden over for any plants that have died (not just in a winter resting phase), and consider getting rid of or relocating plants that aren’t thriving.

If you live in a northern area where winter can linger for longer, wait until the dangers of overnight frosts have passed before doing any pruning, usually by mid or late May. 

Sow flower seeds

Now is an ideal time to sow flower seeds ready for some colourful summer displays. Prep beds and borders by turning over the soil and adding a layer of mulch or compost, and ensuring it is well watered (probably not an issue given recent weather conditions…). 

Choose some annual flower seeds such as sweet pea, zinnia, calendula, and tropaeolum. As a rule of thumb, they should be planted at a depth of two to three times the size of the seed, or according to the supplier’s instructions. Perennials such as dahlias and astrantia can also be sown now. 

Refresh your garden furniture

It’s time to bring your garden furniture out of storage and dust off the cobwebs. If you have wooden furniture, consider sanding it down and applying a coat of teak oil or preservative to help prolong its lifespan. 

For a finishing touch that will provide interest and character to your garden, you may wish to add decorative features such as a custom weathervane or a hanging basket bracket.