It may not feel like it given the temperatures up and down the UK at the moment, but we are actually approaching that time of year when gardening is at its most intensive. People love to get active in the garden in early spring because that means all the changes they put into effect will be ready in time for late spring and summer.
If you are thinking about the best time to get out in the garden and start preparing for later in the year, take a step back for the moment. There is no need for you to rush things. If you do then you might end up spending lots of money on flowers and plants that aren’t ready to face the colder climate.
For now, you should settle yourself with some of the less glamorous aspects of gardening. For instance, it’s always possible to get out there and do a little digging, perhaps etching out a new landscape for the plants and flowers you will eventually incorporate into your borders and pots.
You can also get out and do a little stock take of your pots – any that are broken can be broken up into bits and used to line the bottom of the others when you eventually fill them with soil and plant in them.
Soon enough it will also be time to treat the garden furniture. If you have a garage or a shed then you might be able to start doing this – especially if you are pressed for time and you expect it to take a number of weekends to apply the right number of coats to each item of garden furniture you expect to use.
Cleaning the garden up is always a good idea in early spring. Patios, garden paths and areas of decking naturally get filthy during the winter months when they are exposed to lots of moisture. You can get the jet wash on the patio as soon as you feel like it. In fact, this job is often a really good one for a wet weekend, because it’s a wet job and doing it now means you don’t have to sacrifice a sunny weekend later on to the job.
Finally, you can spend the rest of your time planning. Take a long hard look at the garden and decide what you’d like to see out there this spring and summer. Being prepared is half the job and it means you’ll be in and out of the garden centre very quickly when planting time begins.
Phillip Edwards went to soilonline.co.uk in order to get topsoil of the right quality for his spring garden plans.