With the first day of spring just around the corner, March and April are the most popular months to start a gardening project. With 42% of us actively gardening in the UK, what are the best ways to prepare your garden for Spring?
Intrigued to find out more, Savoy Stewart looked into how we can revive our gardens in time for Spring and tips and tricks for keeping our gardens and plants healthy.
Tips for growing seasonal vegetables this Spring
Bell peppers are best grown in early March to the middle of April; however, there are some important care tips to be aware of.
Firstly, it is important to use the right fertiliser. In this case, a low-nitrogen fertiliser should be used to ensure the growth rate isn’t harmed.
Companion plants can also be crucial to thriving plants, and bell peppers reportedly thrive well around cucumbers and carrots but less around cabbage family plants.
Potatoes prefer slightly cooler weather, so they are best planted in Spring. It is important to ensure you are planting certified seed potatoes to avoid starting with any diseases.
Water them consistently, about one to two inches weekly, and grow them in acidic and well-drained soil in full sunlight. Additionally, ensure you heavily cover the potatoes with soil or mulching, so the skin does not turn green.
Carrots can take up to three weeks to germinate in moist soil and begin as very small seeds, which should not be planted too deep. The best way to plant carrots is to sprinkle the seeds on the soil’s surface and lightly brush the soil up with your fingers.
Once growing, ensure you thin the sprouts, removing any extra sprouts so that each carrot has one to two inches of space around it. If this is not done, your carrots may grow smaller.
The Eden Project’s Living Landscapes Manager Julie Kendall told Savoy Stewart: “With April days getting longer and reliably warmer, now’s the time to start sowing crops. Some harder crops, such as carrots and peas, can be sown directly into the ground outside.”
“Tender crops, like sweetcorn and courgettes, will do better in a greenhouse, shed with windows or sunny windowsill. You don’t necessarily need to have a dedicated vegetable plot if space is limited. Vegetables, fruit and herbs can be mixed along garden borders, like a potager garden, and many can also be grown in pots, such as salad leaves and radish.”
Tips to keep your plants healthy
Using cinnamon in your garden
Cinnamon may well be a staple in your kitchen, but it also has multiple purposes for your garden. Scientific studies have found that it can treat mould in plants. For instance, white mould usually infects plants in the early Spring period, meaning it can develop unnoticed for quite some time.
To use cinnamon to treat plant mould, take one teaspoon of ground cinnamon and five litres of warm water, and let it sit for a few hours. Your cinnamon fungicide will be ready once this is complete. Cinnamon also helps protect seedlings against rot, which can also accelerate growth.
For seedlings, you don’t need to prepare the solution; sprinkle some ground cinnamon directly onto the seedlings, and let it get to work.
Using coffee grounds in your garden
Coffee is part of many daily routines but can also become essential to your plants’ lives. Plants such as roses and tomatoes thrive best in acidic soil, and coffee grounds can help to achieve this. You can either sprinkle the used grounds over the soil’s surface or make coffee and pour it onto your soil. Soak up to six cups of used coffee grounds for up to a week to make garden coffee, and then you can use it to give your plants some care.
Using eggshells in your garden
Alternatively, if you have plants which prefer less acidic soil, such as lentils, chickpeas, and soybeans, eggshells could be your best option. Eggshells help lower the acidity of your soil and provide plants with calcium, an essential nutrient. To use eggshells, clean them out in your kitchen, crush them, and they will be ready to use in your garden.
Garden furniture tips and trends
Gardens for mental health
With 34% of people spending time in the garden for mental health and well-being reasons, the physical benefits of gardening and being outside are things we value. As a result, our garden styles reflect a more flower-filled space to create a relaxing atmosphere amongst nature rather than a plain minimalist effect.
It is predicted that 2023 will bring garden furniture trends such as pop colours. These colourful furniture items can be accent pieces to brighten your garden space.
Secondly, lightweight furniture is predicted to be popular, as it gives your garden a breezy, light feel. This type of furniture is particularly suited to smaller spaces such as vegetable gardens or terrace gardens.
Thirdly, a material expected to see increased popularity is teak. This is a particularly good material for withstanding all weather while being low-maintenance, with no need for painting or vanishing.
Planting colour trends
It is predicted that plants with plummy or darker stems, such as bronze fennel, will be positioned as a backdrop for lighter-coloured plants, such as meadow flowers. It is also thought that flowers’ smokey purple and grey hues will be highly sought after this Spring.
Cleaning your garden furniture
Savoy Stewart has found some key tips for reviving your garden furniture for the season ahead.
- Start by removing any cushions on the furniture, and use a brush to remove leaves and moss. You must vacuum any excess that you could not initially get off.
- Mix washing up liquid with warm water, and use a soft cloth to wipe down your furniture, ensuring it gets in all crevices. Allow this to soak in for a few minutes.
- Avoid using bleach to avoid discolouration of your furniture.
- Rinse with a hose on low pressure; using a pressure washer could damage furniture, and allow this to dry thoroughly.
The articles we publish on Psychreg are here to educate and inform. They’re not meant to take the place of expert advice. So if you’re looking for professional help, don’t delay or ignore it because of what you’ve read here. Check our full disclaimer.