Preparing your garden for spring
Spring is officially here, and with the weather warming and the days getting longer, now is the perfect time to get green-fingered. Partaking in some gardening, particularly at this time of year, is not only an enjoyable way to spend your time. It’s great for your health too.
According to Gardening Gone Wild, regular gardening can reduce the risk of strokes and osteoporosis, provide moderate to high-intensity exercise to improve weight management, reduce stress, control blood pressure, strengthen the immune system, and boost mood to name but a few benefits.
To help you get into the gardening spirit, we’ve compiled a handy guide to preparing your garden for spring.
Protect plants from pesky pests
Pest control is a huge part of gardening, especially during spring when most of these little, plant-eating critters come out in force to feast. But don’t reach for the pest control chemicals just yet. Understanding which garden insects are good and bad is your first step to protecting your plants and keeping pests under control.
Slugs, snails, mites, and cabbage moths are the most disruptive and actively cause damage to plants and vegetable patches. Ladybirds, spiders, ground beetles, damsel bugs, and green lacewings are helpful insects that you’ll want to keep on the side. These bugs prey on troublesome pests, so by attracting these to your garden you have yourself an all-natural, chemical-free control method. Creating an environment that attracts helpful insects is the key to success as Joy Us Garden explains:
“Each insect has its own preferences, but the good news is you don’t need to plant a bunch of plants for each individual type of insect. Dills, for example, attract braconid wasps (which feed on caterpillars, aphids, tobacco hornworm and tomato hornworms), green lacewings (which feed on whiteflies, aphids, mealybugs, and leafhoppers), and tachinid flies (which feed on Japanese beetles, gypsy moths, squash bugs and cutworms). That’s just one plant, imagine how many helpful insects you can attract by having more.”
Clear out the clutter, weeds and leaves
Your spring clean should extend to your garden space. By clearing clutter, dead leaves and weeds you can get ready to sow your first seeds or plant garden ready foliage. As you’ll discover as the season progresses however, keeping weeds under control is no easy feat, particularly if you’re keeping new plants and seeds well fed.
Herbicides can be a great help when applied correctly. We recommend using these before you plant anything new to ensure herbicide application doesn’t disrupt new plant life.
When clearing out dead weeds, plants and leaves, don’t forget to add them to your compost bin. These decomposed materials will make the perfect compost.
Give spring plants the best start with healthy soil
As the base for your garden’s plant life, your soil needs just as much care as your growing and established plants. Healthy soil means healthy plants, and there are a few steps you can take to ensure your soil is in the best possible condition prior to planting.
Add manure or compost to ensure your soil contains the nutrients plants need to thrive. The use of manure or compost has been proven to improve the water retention of soil and protect plants from disease. Watering your soil properly will create optimum soil conditions.
Apply water with a soaker hose to ensure slow and steady irrigation. Applying water with a soaker hose also protects plants by keeping leaves dry and protected from disease.
Don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated when tending to your garden this spring. Read our top tips for complete hydration.