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Spring Checklist

There is nothing quite like spring in the garden; the promise of warmer days ahead, the chance to grow your favourite plants or entirely new ones, and the anticipation of harvesting crops and seeing flowers blossom. Hard work now means you will reap the rewards in summer.

To help you prepare your garden for spring, we have created the ‘Spring Garden Checklist’ with some tips and jobs you can do to get started this season.

Your Spring Garden Checklist

  • In early spring, prepare beds for sowing. Remove any weeds and debris from the area and dig it over. Add in some fresh compost or well-rotted manure as you go to replenish nutrients. You may also want to add a good all-purpose fertiliser
  • Plant summer-flowering bulbs such as gladioli, crocosmia, begonia and hesperantha
  • Plant roses, so they can establish in time for summer flowering
  • Sow wildflowers directly into the ground in April, they will attract many bees, butterflies and other insects to your garden over summer
  • Plant spring bedding plants, such as primroses, to bring colour to the garden all through the season. Deadhead throughout spring to prolong flowering
  • Sow seeds of hardy annuals. These are typically sown in March through to May and provide a reliable flower display throughout summer. Try gypsophila, impatiens, geraniums and marigolds
  • Sunflowers can be sown in April, either into a pot or directly into flower borders
  • Prune winter-flowering shrubs and climbers that have finished flowering before spring buds burst into life – i.e. lonicera and ribes. Lightly prune hamamelis, holly and bay to remove dead or dying stems
  • Cut back buddleia down to the bottom couple of buds, otherwise the flowers will get progressively higher each year and the plant will be woody and poorly shaped
  • Deadhead hydrangeas now before the arrival of any new growth (if you left the ornamental flowerheads on over winter)
  • Feed roses with a special rose feed with high potash as they grow. Remember to prune your roses to encourage strong new growth
  • Mow the lawn for the first time this year if the weather is mild. Re-cut edges, aerate with a garden fork, then rake to remove leaves and other debris. When you mow, ensure you raise the blades of your lawnmower to their highest setting. This will protect the roots of the grass, which will be soft and delicate after winter
  • Repair patches of lawn or re-seed new areas. Earlier use products, like Gro-sure Smart Seed Fast Start, mean you can do so in March instead of April
  • Choose bird feed with high protein content, like sunflower seeds, to refuel returning migratory birds
  • Grow plants with flowers that provide nectar for butterflies in spring including erica (heathers), erysimum, Lavandula stoechas, malus, muscari, Primula vulgaris and pulmonaria
  • Sow vegetable seeds. View our seed sowing calendar to find out when to plant all the different varieties
  • Sow herbs directly into the ground or in containers in March, including chives, coriander, dill and parsley. You can sow basil seeds now into a container and keep it on your windowsill or in the greenhouse until the risk of frost has passed
  • Plant onion sets, garlic, shallots and seed potatoes outdoors in March for a summer harvest
  • Plant strawberry plants into the ground in March, or, to avoid pests, in hanging baskets
  • Install a water butt if space allows to collect and recycle rainwater over the coming year