Starting to see signs of Spring? The beginning of the year is the perfect time to spruce up your outside space ready for the warmer months. Getting stuck in early will spread out the hard work (we know Spring cleans are a chore!) as well as giving you longer to enjoy the end results.
So roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty with our checklist of top Spring clean jobs...
Tidy your borders
They’re probably looking a little wild and unkempt after Winter. Perk them up with a good weed. If you use a hoe, take care not to disturb any Spring Flowering bulbs nestling in the soil or any new shoots that are appearing. Afterwards, apply a generous layer of compost or manure (we love pelleted chicken manure).
Scrub your patio, decking & paths
Invest in a stiff brush and good cleaning agent. For an environmentally friendly option, try salted hot water. Remove the build up of moss and algae from your outdoor seating areas and walkways. If you’re short of time, a pressure washer will do the trick quicker! Take care; those green patches will be slippery.
Prune those perennials
Once you are sure that the risk of frost is over, cut back any perennial plants that still have old growth on them after the Winter. Take care not to cut into any new growth that may be emerging. Now is the time to divide any plants that have got too big and to plant new ones.
Sort those shrubs
Prune and tidy, making sure that dead stems are removed to allow light into the rest of the plant. Once the weather starts to warm up a bit, you can layer or take root cuttings from your mature shrubs.
Open your greenhouse
Pick a nice warm, calm day for this job. Remove your plants to a sheltered temporary home. Clean any structural parts with disinfectant. Give your greenhouse panels a good clean with a sponge and warm water. Open the vents to allow as much air through as possible. Throw away any dead or dying plants. Sweep the shelves and floors. Wash and disinfect any pots/tubs that you are thinking of replanting later in the year.
Love your lawn
Start by giving your lawn a good rake over, removing any ‘thatch’ (dead grass) and moss that has accumulated over the winter months. When the danger of hard frosts has passed (usually late February or March), give your grass a cut. Not too short mind! Keep the blades high for the first few goes. Try and pick a dry day to avoid bruising the tender growth.
Tame your climbers
Prune late flowering Clematis (after July) back to a pair of healthy buds 30cm from the ground. Remove all of last year’s growth even though it may be shooting, and add it to your compost heap. Prune Vines and Honeysuckles back to their woody framework and make sure that any ties are secure.
Tie & tidy!
Remove any dead or diseased branches from trees. Stake and tie anything that has been loosened by the Winter winds. Remember to burn anything that is diseased – don’t put it on your new compost heap! Tidy your roses - in sheltered places, these can now be pruned back and tidied. All roses love a good feed of well rotted horse manure in the spring!
Prune deciduous ornamental grasses such as Miscanthus and Molinia to the ground by removing all of the tall growths and spent flower heads that have stood through the winter. Take care not to damage any new shoots that may be piercing through the soil now.
Start a Compost Heap
Add any materials from your tidying efforts to your compost heap. If you don’t have a compost heap, start one! Have a look at our starting your compost heap article, which will help you layer your ‘ingredients’ for the best results.