By Christopher O’Riordan
Spring is when we start looking out through the window and begin thinking once more about the best ways to make that garden a little heaven. You don’t have to enlist the services of an expert gardener, or fork out on a pricey gardening book – we’ve got you covered!
Survey your garden
Has your garden survived the winter? Now is the time to give your garden a spring clean, and fix any damage that winter tends to administer, and all you need is some elbow grease. Remove leaves and other debris from your flower borders, lawns and ponds. If you have a greenhouse, make sure to sweep up all plant debris, clear the floor and tables, (make use of a garden disinfectant, if it’s a little too dirty), and let in the spring freshness by ventilating your greenhouse.
Freshen up the soil
Ireland’s winter was not the toughest but nevertheless, your garden may be a little under the weather, and it’s time to see whether it needs some nutrients. To increase the health and lifespan of the plants in your garden it may be necessary to add some fertiliser – composting will save you money here. You should also make sure your plants get the best from the sun when it shines – experts reckon you need at least six hours of direct sunlight to get those top growth levels. After all, it’s free!
We’ve heard a lot about water charges in recent times, but you can always take advantage of our wonderful rainy season (January to December). A water butt collects rainwater from your downpipes, which will help the environment and prove helpful to plants such as rhododendrons and blueberries. And you might have some leftover to wash the car!
Added to the use of fertiliser and organic materials, you could consider placing mulch in your flower beds and garden – save some money by using your own. It’s a little late to start now, but come next autumn you can pack the falling leaves into bin bags (if they’re not wet, add a little water), store in a cool and shaded area, and around a year later you’ll have your own leaf mulch – patience is definitely required! For now, you can always buy it in, and plan to make your own for next year.