Article by Nick Rinylo
With warmer weather once more upon us and a lot of us planning on staycations this year, you may be wondering how to prepare your garden for the summer. If you’re planning on basically constantly inhabiting your garden this summer, we’ve got some tips to help you get the maximum amount of joy from your garden.
If you’re one of those people that stay on top of your weeding throughout the winter and spring, we’re jealous of you. If, like us, you’ve spent the spring avoiding looking at the wilderness in your back yard, it’s time to get weeding.
When the weather starts getting warmer, it’s the ideal time to remove any weeds from your soil and lawn. Pull them up from the root, and make sure you get all the pesky ones from between your patio paving. As well as making the garden look tidier, this will also stop the weeds stealing nutrients from the soil that your plants require.
If you want to make a day of it, tidy up your flower beds and borders as you go by clearing dead leaves and any collected rubbish, pulling dead plants, and turning your soil. Another job to add to the list is pest control. There’s no point getting your flower beds to look picture perfect only to have them ruined by slugs. Whilst dousing your garden in pesticides is a reasonable way to move forward, if you’re nervous about using chemicals on your garden there are plenty of natural alternatives. Try sprinkling loosely crushed egg shells over your soil as this repels slugs.
Sow some seeds
Late spring/early summer is the best time for cutting back old growth to make room for new life. Remove old leaves and branches from your bushes and dead plants from your flower beds. Deadhead your climbing plants too, and then you can get planting.
It’s a little late in the year now for spring blossoms, but you’ve still got time to plant summer flowering plants and bulbs. Try lilies, crocuses, irises, and dahlias. If you’re not particularly green-thumbed, buy plants from a plant nursery and use them to fill gaps in your flower beds.
Find more of our summer gardening tips in our blog post from last summer here.
Welcome the wildlife
Wildlife friendly gardens can become full of furry and flying friends alike in the summer. In order to attract wildlife, it’s important to give them what they need. Bird feeders and bird houses are a great start. Do a little reading on birds in your area and put out suitable food for them. If you live rurally and have a large garden, a few bird feeders may be necessary to stop fights and overcrowding.
You can also build hedgehog homes so hedgehogs can make their home there over the summer in preparation for winter hibernation.
If you want to attract a variety of insect life too then planting bee and butterfly friendly plants will do wonders. Try out alliums and chives, onions, geraniums and buddleia.
For more information on attracting birds and wildlife to your garden, take a look at this handy guide from the RSPB.
Tidy garden, tidy mind
In order to maximise enjoyment of your garden, a tidy space is vital. Relaxing on the patio or deck is only going to feel restorative if you can actually enjoy it, and if you’re constantly spotting dirt and mess from the corner of your eye it’ll start to feel a lot like work!
Give your patio or paving stones a blast with the pressure washer to remove any discolouration or dirt that has collected over time. There’s very little more satisfying than seeing the dirt wash away before relaxing!
If you’ve been doing lots of garden work in preparation for summer, take this as an opportunity to tidy and organise your shed or lean-to as well.
Give your garden furniture a facelift
With COVID restrictions lifting, we’re all preparing to spend long summers in each other’s gardens for parties and barbecues. And for this, you’ll need to break out your garden furniture. If you’ve packed it away during the winter, it might collect dust in the garage. So when you get it out for the summer, give it a quick once over to remove any dirt that’s gathered. You might also want to treat it to preserve the wood. This will help to protect against spillages and the weather, as well as ensuring your furniture lasts longer.
For more information on cleaning rattan furniture, take a look at our blog post from last month.