How to prepare your garden for spring now – 7 quick jobs you can do in ‘under two hours’

Homebase advises on garden jobs to do in March

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Spring is just around the corner, and green-thumbed Britons may be eager to get back outside and tend to their garden. The good news is, there are some tasks you could be doing now to benefit your horticultural haven once the warmer days arrive.

According to Evie Lane, a gardening expert from Primrose, most of these tasks can be done “in one afternoon”.

She said: “Warmer weather is within touching distance so putting away just one afternoon on a weekend is the perfect chance to start preparing your green space.

“Taking the time for preparation is essential for a successful year of blooming, but after following our preparation tips, gardeners will find that the smallest jobs can transform our garden the most.”

Which quick gardening jobs can you do now to prepare your garden?

Clean and sharpen gardening tools – total time: 10 minutes

The more often you clean your gardening tools the longer they will last.

However, if you have them over the winter, Ms Lane has a trick up her sleeve.

She said: “Before you start your garden preparation, soak your gardening tools in water and vinegar to remove any rust.

“By the time you’ve finished the afternoon of garden preparation, simply rinse, rub in linseed oil and hang up to dry.”

Spot-cleaning your garden for debris – total time: 20 minutes

After the severe weather conditions of recent weeks, it is likely your garden will have welcomed some new debris.

Start by cleaning these up, before tackling other gardening tasks.

Ms Lane said: “Beginning the big garden clean can be an over facing job, but doing a bit of very basic spot-cleaning can transform your whole garden.

“At the very bare minimum, collecting any dead leaves and stalks around shrubs, trees and flower beds can make your garden look a lot more put together.

“Empty containers and splash plant pots with water so clean off any dirty marks.”

Take this time to also focus on patio areas.

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Prune plants – total time: One hour

February is a great time to start annual pruning, which will ultimately help your plants to thrive.

Ms Lane explained: “Trimming plants will help keep their height and shape under control and make a big impact to the overall look of your garden, but also encourage strong growth and increase flower production.”

Some plants may also need to be repotted or moved into protected areas of the garden to help boost growth. This is especially true if further strong winds or intense weather is forecast.

Prepare your lawn for the cut – total time: 30 minutes

The first cut of the year isn’t likely until there is an extended period of dryness. This is because you should not attempt to mow your lawn while it is wet.

Ms Lane said: “That doesn’t mean you can’t show your lawn some love before mowing.

“Raking and scarifying the ground will remove debris and dead grass, also allowing the soil underneath to breathe.

“This will also highlight any sparse spots, allowing you to add new grass seed and give it the facelift it may need.”

Weeding and mulling – total time: 1.5 hours

Before spring arrives, it is a good idea to get on top of any weeds which may be plaguing your lawn.

Ms Lane explained: “Remove any by hand, apply weedkiller if needed and rake over the soil of your beds.

“It’s also a good time to mulch, in order to improve organic matter and the general structure of the soil.

“This could take you up to an hour and a half depending on the size of your beds, but it’s important to be thorough.

“Applying a layer of mulch to beds now traps in essential moisture from the wet weather, ensuring beds don’t dry out quickly as it gets warmer.”

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Clean and treat garden furniture – total time: One hour

Your garden furniture might not be out for the summer yet, but there’s no better time to clean it in preparation.

Ms Lane said: “Plastic garden furniture will be revived quite easily with the help of some soapy water.

“For anything made of wood that’s been left out over winter will need a thorough cleaning as well as some light sanding to get rid of any tougher marks.

“Lastly, treat it with the appropriate wood oil to prevent it from any further damage.”

Add plant supports to your flowerbeds: 30 minutes

Ensuring plant supports are in bed before shoots grow can help your blooms to look their best.

Ms Lane explained: “This will mean any plants will grow up through the supports and fill the vertical space above your flowerbeds.

“Supports give your plants guidance where to grow, helping keep your garden neat and tidy come spring.”

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