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Although it may seem a long way off here in the Northern Hemisphere, there are only a few months left until spring/summer weather gets officially underway. I can’t wait to spend spring, summer and fall enjoying my garden, and as a fellow green-fingered gardening enthusiast, I’m sure you can’t, either. If you want to make the most out of your garden during the upcoming BBQ season, here are some of my best tips for getting your outdoor space prepared.
Spring Clean Your Garden
If colder weather has prevented you from getting into your garden since fall, you’ll need to give it a thorough spring clean. Remove any fallen leaves and foliage that collected in your lawn and flower beds and tidy up your borders by giving the edges a good trim. Remove any old and dry branches from your bushes, give them a thorough pruning and remember to deadhead any climbing plants you have in your garden. When it gets to early spring, it’s also a good idea to cultivate your soil by turning it and give your lawn an extra bit of TLC. Weeding is another big job to start doing when the weather takes a turn for the better. Although we all hate doing it, weeding is fundamental if you want a healthy garden that thrives. Remove any that have grown in your soil and lawn and keep an eye out for any sneaky weeds that have popped up between cracks or slabs in your patio. Even if they aren’t endangering your plants directly, these patio weeds can still take out nutrients from your soil before your plants can.
You also want to use this time to thoroughly de-pest your garden, especially if you have lots of flower beds. Avoid toxic, chemical-based pesticides and use nature’s alternative instead: crushed up eggshells is one little trick to repel your garden of slugs. Eco-Friendly Measures
One thing you should start doing right away is composting. Not only can you get started on this easily (all you need is a suitable container to act as your compost bin), but compost is known for having a positive impact on the quality of garden soil. Once you’ve got your compost bin sorted out, you can fill it with all your garden waste and organic waste from the kitchen (such as veggie peelings), and in a short amount of time, you’ll be able to add the compost to your soil for a thriving garden.
Another eco-friendly thing you can implement that will also benefit your garden during the drier seasons is to collect rainwater in a water butt. As well as being much kinder to the environment, especially if you live in an area where hosepipe bans during summer months are a reality, recycled rainwater can also be more beneficial to your plants than tap water.
Now you can start to get a bit creative and do some additional planting to transform your summer garden into a colorful and aromatic paradise. Night-blooming, scented plants like honeysuckle and jasmine can add some allure to your garden while colorful species, such as iris, crocuses and lilies, can add a riot of color.
Starting an herb wall or garden is another easy thing to do that can add plenty of aromas and visual appeal to your garden come the summer. An excellent place to plant your herb garden is next to your designated BBQ spot. That means you’ll have plenty of tasty herbs on hand so that you can grill like a pro and get those flavors on the spot.
Finally, it’s time to add in those finishing touches. If you want to host social events in your outdoor space, you’re going to need your garden furniture to be in tip-top shape. If you’ve packed everything away in your shed or garage, get it out before summer and give it a thorough clean. It’s also a good time to treat your wooden furniture if you haven’t done so already or top up any existing treatments you’ve made.
Make sure you give any bird tables and feeders in your garden a thorough clean to avoid harming these avian visitors, too. Restock feeders with seeds and nuts and give any water fountains a good rinse.
During the summer months, gardens become an extension of your home, so make yours inviting and cozy by adding plenty of scatter cushions and rugs. You may even want to invest in some solar panel lighting, which is an eco-friendly way to add an atmosphere to your social events when the sun goes down.