Due to harsh weather conditions, winter can take its toll on your garden, leaving your outdoor space looking overgrown and a little forlorn. Subsequently your garden may need some care and attention when spring arrives.
Although it may be a few months away, when winter begins to thaw, it’s time for gardeners to spring into action. That’s why we’ve put together this spring garden checklist so that you can prepare!
Garden Tips for Spring Planting
As successful gardeners know, planning is essential and the cold winter months provide the perfect opportunity to get organised. Let operation clean-up commence with these essential pre-spring tips:
Complete basic maintenance and repairs, such as raking the lawn, collecting debris and fixing the fence – the waste you collect can be added to your compost heap.
Prepare beds and borders by clearing old mulch, removing weeds and any old annuals. It’s also a good idea to turn over soil to increase air circulation and improve nutrient levels by adding compost.
Clean plant pots, propagation trays and gardening tools to prevent diseases.
Prune fruit trees and perennial shrubs to promote growth.
Inspect your polytunnel for any damage and, if needed, apply repair tape to repair any small holes and tears. If the damage is more substantial, you may need to replace the polytunnel plastic. Also, it’s a good idea to remove any debris and clean the polythene cover to allow more light into the tunnel during the darker months.
Gardening in Spring, UK
After preparing your garden and polytunnel, it’s time to select your seedlings and plan your planting process. Our garden tips for spring planting will take you from early to late season, highlighting the types of flowers, fruit and vegetables you can sow, plant and harvest each month.
March and April are important months for sowing, whether you want to plant beautiful blooms or grow your own vegetables. However, because the early part of the season can be prone to frost, it’s essential to protect seedlings. To do this, you can sow seeds indoors using a propagator or place them under cover in your polytunnel – this will provide the shelter and cover they need.
During March, there are lots of crops you can sow in your polytunnel, including tomatoes, peppers, beetroot, lettuce, cucumber, carrots and cauliflower.
In April, you can add broccoli, pumpkins and squash to your polytunnel, as well as radishes, spring onions and sweetcorn. This is also an ideal time to plant your March seedlings.
Additionally, to make your garden come alive, plant your summer flowering bulbs during early spring. This includes vibrant annuals like Foxglove, Sweet Williams and Lupin. Pot them up and place in your polytunnel until all signs of frost have disappeared.
As May arrives, your garden may be starting to bloom. With temperatures warming up and frost gone, you can now place your plants outdoors, whether in pots, raised beds or directly into borders.
Midway through the season you can also expect to begin harvesting a range of delicious vegetables. This includes varieties like asparagus, lettuces, spinach, coriander and salad leaves. You can continue sowing and planting, growing a larger range of produce like French beans, kohl rabi, swiss chard, grapes and melons.
This is also an important time for maintaining your garden. Remember to keep on top of pest management, remove excess shoots and make sure your polytunnel has adequate ventilation.
As the season draws to a close in June, you can expect to see a riot of colour throughout your garden. Now is the time to complete your planting, by adding bedding plants and less-hardy varieties. This may include Petunias, Pansies and Begonias.
Depending on the vegetables you have sown earlier in the season, this month you can harvest garlic, courgette, cauliflower, basil, cucumber, and tomatoes. You can also sow and plant a new range of fruit and veg, such as strawberries, kale, aubergine and florence fennel.
Continue with your maintenance schedule to keep your garden looking colourful throughout summer. You can encourage late flowering by pruning shrubs and removing dead heads.
Follow these tips for a productive and fruitful spring garden. You can also find more monthly tips for gardening in spring in the UK here. For more information about which crops to sow, plant and harvest in your polytunnel in spring and for tips on how to get the best from your tunnel, take a look at our monthly growing guides.