Spring is just around the corner, and for many of us that will mean it’s time to get out in the garden again. Whether to grow a little bit of healthy, natural food or simply to spend some time outside and cultivate a beautiful section of your yard, gardening is always a soothing and rewarding activity this time of year. And to help you get ready for this year’s main gardening season, I thought I’d share a few helpful DIY tips to keep on hand.
1. Do Your Research
This is less of a hands-on DIY tip and more of a general recommendation. As any experienced gardener knows, the beginning of spring signals a time for sprouting and maintenance, but not necessarily the starting point of your garden. So as you prepare for warmer weather, remember to do your research and take appropriate steps for the time of year. For this I recommend keeping an eye on the Royal Horticultural Society, which offers up-to-date advice each month. For instance, right now it’s recommended to start feeding citrus fruits, water houseplants more regularly, and start to repair bare patches in the lawn, among other things.
2. Stock Up On Tools & Equipment
Before you can actually get going on DIY gardening activities, you need to be properly equipped. And while this certainly isn’t news to more seasoned gardeners, it’s easy to forget over the course of the winter that you may need to grab some new or upgraded tools. Screwfix features a very wide selection of items that may be of service for your gardening needs, and it makes for a nice place to browse even if just to remind yourself what you may or may not need. Reading through reviews, browsing tools, etc. will help get you in the right mindset for the coming season.
3. Check Your Soil
It’s something that all but the most serious gardeners may typically ignore, but checking your soil in advance of spring is actually a fairly easy thing to do on your own. As explained by Martha Stewart, all you need is a home soil test kit. With such a kit, you can test the pH in different planting areas and then treat the soil as needed for ideal planting conditions. The article also recommends adding dolomitic lime to areas with low pH and elemental sulfur where the pH is too high.
4. Prepare Planting Areas
For another tip from Martha Stewart, use this time of the year to get your planting areas ready for new plants. Once you’ve checked your soil quality, go about clearing any weeds or debris from the area (adding what you can to the compost pile you should be collecting as you work your garden throughout the season). Once the area is clear, add roughly 10 centimetres of compost or manure across the entire area and use a spading fork to cultivate it to a depth of 25 centimetres or so. With all the areas prepared like this. you’ll be set to plant spring plants and perennials as soon as the weather allows.
5. Hang Planting Areas Vertically
If you’re more of an urban gardener, take the time just before the beginning of spring to go about maximising your space. Generally, urban gardening has a lot to do with going vertical, which is why Buzzfeed’s tips for arranging vertical gardens can be invaluable this time of year. Some opt for hanging pots, some stack pots in a tiered manner (so that the top piece is a small pot), and others get creative by arranging pockets for planting in pallets turned upright, or shoe organisers hung outside. Taking some of these ideas into account can give you just the creative spark you need to prepare your space for a busy gardening season.
Beyond steps like these, it’s on to basic planting, care, and maintenance! But the time between now and the inevitable April showers is ideal for setup and planning. This year is the year I dedicate some extra time to making my garden productive and beautiful. Watch this space!