spring gardening tips

Spring Gardening Tips

We have had our static caravan in Thanet for over a year now and as the summer approaches, we are enjoying the outside more and more – weather permitting of course. It’s nice to have another area to enjoy. We have bought a small table and chairs which comes in very handy for quick snacks and, in this case, sowing our seeds that Tesco kindly sent us through along with a wonderful hamper of bits and pieces to help make our garden even more special.

It’s only a small patch of grass to the side and another stretch in front which was initially covered with a decking area but had to be ripped down by the new management for ‘health and safety’ reasons. Annoying as a new balcony around the caravan will cost a minimum of £7000!

So we want to make the most of the area we have without creating enormous amounts of work. Can it be done?

Tesco set up a conversation for me with Katie Rushworth and I share her top spring gardening tips on how to get the best out of your plot for the summer.

1. Plant out summer bedding, half-hardy annuals

Spring is the perfect time to dust off your trowel, get planting and give your garden some love.

When you start, try to plant and stick to a colour theme throughout your containers and baskets. Maybe a mix of hot colours and the odd chilli plant thrown in to your window box might spice things up. If you fancy something a little more ‘cottage garden’ in style then stick with pastel shades and add some herbs to the mix. Half-hardy annuals such as Cosmos, Zinnia, Cleome and Nicotiana can all be sown straight into the ground at this time of year and are fantastic colour fillers.

acer tree plant

An acer tree plant bought in Tesco

2. Pressure wash, or hose down and scrub

A great and easy way to get your garden looking its best is to get the pressure washer out and give that patio, path or deck some TLC. Just removing any dirt and moss from your seating area will instantly make your garden appear smarter. They are also great for cleaning down garden furniture and children’s play equipment, often they look brand new again.

3. Paint a fence or wall

gardeing tesco

It’s a great time of year to treat any wood that is in the garden – spring offers slightly cooler days with a possible chance of sunshine (unpredictable English weather) so your fence/wall will have time to properly dry. Whether that be fencing, a shed, garden furniture, wooden planters or a children’s climbing frame – all will last longer if given some added protection against the elements, and it will also give them a new lease of life. If you’re feeling brave, add some colour! A brightly coloured wall can make a fantastic statement all year round, a steely grey coloured fence can add a contemporary feel.

4. Costs

Have a plan for your garden and stick to it. Keep an eye out for retailers and garden centres who will have a wide range of deals available in the lead up to the summer months. Tesco is offering some great deals on its garden range available, in store now or visit online for more details and inspiration.

5. Lawn

Don’t forget to look after your lawn, as a freshly cut lawn makes all the difference. One of the top gardening mistakes Brits with a garden are committing is letting the lawn become unruly and overgrown. Make sure you remove any bare patches by getting rid of any dead grass and moss from the area. Then sprinkle some topsoil, followed by some lawn seed. A final fine dressing of topsoil will keep any wildlife from eating the seed as well as ensure that the seed comes into contact with the soil. Lightly water to prevent any of the seed from being disturbed.

6. Stake and support plants

Any plants that you know need support to look their best will benefit if you visit your local retailer or garden centre and get those supports in now. Even if they are weeks from flowering and still have lots of growth to put on, getting those garden canes in now and tying things in is much easier to do when you don’t have to navigate excess foliage and other plants in flower. As the plant continues to grow it will also naturally disguise the canes or framework you have put in place and leave you with beautiful looking flowers.

Tesco summer cup

A quick snack for the workers!

7. Lighting

Garden lighting is often overlooked, but it can really extend the use of your garden and add ambience and atmosphere to any outdoor spaces. String lights always look fabulous and add a festival feeling, whilst clusters of lanterns on steps and tables add charm and elegance. Up lighting a tree can add drama and give the garden an evening focal point, as well as give that holiday feeling. Don’t forget the fire pit which also gives warmth as the evening draws in.

8. Hoe

According to Tesco’s research the most dreaded gardening job for over a third of adults with a garden is weeding. However this task won’t seem so daunting if you find yourself a hoe (this is my favourite garden implement). It makes easy work of keeping on top of those weeds! On a dry day, slice the top of the weed off just below the surface of the soil. This will prevent the weed from photosynthesizing and the root will dry out and die. Sometimes the weed may eventually regrow, but this definitely weakens the plant so it is much less likely to make an appearance. For more persistent weeds, removing the whole root maybe necessary. However intermediate hoeing can make weeding a much more manageable garden task.

aperitivo

9. Prune spring flowering shrubs

Any shrubs which have flowered this spring can be pruned now if they are getting too big and unruly. Tesco has found that people are not confident when it comes to pruning plants but this is really easy to do! Remove any dead or damaged growth first, then any growth which is weak or crossing over one another causing stems to rub together in a tangled mass. Always cut the branch on an angle and to a new outward facing bud to increase air circulation. Shrubs can tolerate being cut back hard now, so removing half of the plant may seem brutal and look a little drastic, but it will recover over the summer months and reward you with lots of fresh new growth.

10. Dress it

Cushions, throws and outdoor rugs are the finishing touches that really make your garden feel like an extension of your house. Tie the colours in with colours you have in the home as well as colours you have used in the garden to create a unified and cohesive design. You don’t need green fingers for this, and it’s amazing how much more welcoming a garden becomes when it has a seat with a lovely cushion and a throw on it. Also, don’t forget to invest in a decent BBQ – this is essential to have, especially if you are planning to entertain friends and dine alfresco. Check out the wide range of outdoor essentials and BBQ’s available at Tesco on tesco.com/direct/garden.

cheers Tesco

Tesco is running unbeatable deals over the next month on its garden range. Don’t forget to head down to store, or shop online, to take advantage of these great deals and get your gardens set for summer.

Disclosure – This is a collaborative post with Tesco, I hope you can make the most of Katie’s tips, I certainly will be over the coming weeks. As you can see I have a lot to do. Cheers!

This is a collaborative post with Tesco.

garden gate

If you’re planning to sell your house, you are probably already aware of the power a good first impression has on persuading a buyer. That’s why estate agents will advise you to de-clutter, bring in some fresh flowers and have something baking in the oven when potential buyers come by. Although those are all good steps to take, many people will care only about the inside of the house. 

A nice garden, however, is not to be overlooked as a selling point as Saga.co.uk explain  If you know that you will be putting your place up for sale in the near future, it’s worth spending a little bit of time making sure it’s a seller. 

Your front garden is the first area of your house that a potential buyer will set his or her eyes on, yet you don’t have to spend much to make it look appealing. A lick of paint on the door, trimming the hedge, tugging out weed and clearing away rubbish will work wonders for your front garden.  

If you have a back garden and you’re still a year or more away from putting the place on the market, consider building a patio. A nice sitting-out area can become like an additional room, making your home feel more spacious than it actually is. When it becomes time to sell the place, make sure you de-clutter your back garden. Any toys, gnomes or garden tools that you normally have out should be stacked away. Invest in some seasonal bedding plants and get rid of all tired-looking plants that are bringing the place down. Cleaning the windows will ensure the garden can be appreciated from the inside, and likewise an attractive inside can be seen from the garden. 

Unfortunately, simply attracting a buyer isn’t enough to get your property sold. Conveyance is the process that follows upon an offer being accepted and includes, among other things, preparing legal documents. Legal delays can prove costly so it’s worth getting a professional conveyance service to help you. When shopping around for one, make sure to choose one where all legal fees are agreed on. That way you avoid the price escalating if you run into unforeseen difficulties with your sale.

 

bird feeder in treeWell mine in all honesty is let to do much as it pleases in as much as I am not a constant gardener but one who dabbles now and then. Thank goodness the forsynthia knows that! She gets a good cut mid summer and again in the autumn and we get on just fine.

My ideal garden is one that looks after itself because as much as I love to dabble there’s never enough time to look after it properly, that or I have to start dropping other commitments, like blogging for example.

We moved in 3 years ago and the garden had been left to it’s own devices, we cut back LOTS at the start, possibly too much and only now after three years is it starting to look better. Although there is still a lot to do until I have my ideal garden that’s for sure.

In fact I would go as far as to say the best gardens are those of old people who have spent a lot of time and thought on it and passed many hours out there caring for each plant, bush or tree. Next time we move I shall be looking out for the words established garden.

A couple of years ago I took part in the Bosch gardening competition and with that we were given a super lawnmower plus £100 to spend on plants from Coblands. We were very happy to pick 3 apples from our tiny apple tree last year and this year she’s blooming marvellous.

baby apple tree

My wisteria plant struggles, I think the spot I chose is too windy and if I had the guts I’d move it only I notice it’s started to sprout lots of baby shoots – what to do? Leave it and pray it gets stronger this year. Or brick up the gap in the fence?

So with a family party on my hands a couple of weeks ago and a garden one at that (BBQ was being dragged out) I made a special effort to tidy up and get the place looking nice. Off I trotted to my local garden centre to fill up on colour for my pots. here let me show you in photographs all my lovely flowers.

purple flower

pink flower

mauve flower

mauve flower

white speckled flower

pot plant

rosemary bloom

forsynthia

And finally I cannot let you go without updating you on this year’s veggie plot! The spuds are coming along a treat, planted from chits a month ago, I’ve already covered them in soil once and they’re fighting back through to the sunshine again.

seedlings 2013

Then  we have seedlings of broccoli, carrots and leeks. I’m staying well and truly clear of brussels this year as last year they over took my patch and nothing else grew in it!

I’m linking this post up to the lovely Mammasaurus, click on her beautiful button below and you’ll find some fabulous garden photography and many other gardening ideas who have linked up too

spread ’em

raised vegetable plotWe have started on our raised vegetable plot this weekend and it’s looking really good. We bought the wood set to make the frame from B&Qfor £17.95 (if I remember rightly) and it’s sat in the back garden for a couple of weeks now whilst we got Easter out of the way and waited for some decent gardening weather.

Well that’s not going to happen is it? It’s turned really cold and wet but we mustn’t complain as we’re already on a hosepipe ban and I’m kicking myself I didn’t buy a water butt before now which would have filled up nicely over the past week or two.

Anyway, the seeds have grown and the kitchen window is once again looking like a nursery, in fact some of my plugs I got from B&Q are getting too big for the pots and crying out to be replanted only I’m still a bit wary of night frost so keeping them in for another couple of weeks yet.

It was very simple for OH to put the planks of wood together as I watched :)

drilling

raised vegetable plot

and once we had decided where to place it he then dug the earth over and removed the grass and roots from the soil.

raised vegetable plot

digging

I then emptied five 25 litre bags of compost on top and gave it a good dig to break up any lumps.

little helpers

Now I just have to wait a little longer before my next step of planting but in the meantime look what the Spring has brought up so far

tulips
yellow tulip
red and white tulip
untitled bush