Many people get to enjoy an extended weekend over the Easter period, with some communities getting one, if not two working days off to celebrate and mark this festival.
It’s traditionally a time where people get outdoors and enjoy Springtime in full bloom, whether its Easter Egg hunts with the kids, parades, a barbeque with family and friends or just spending the extra time off work to do some good old fashioned gardening.
With Easter just around the corner, it got us thinking: if you had a long Spring weekend to devote to the garden, what would be the most effective improvements you could make? Sure, maybe some lawn sweeping or weeding – but where else could you make those marginal gains that would benefit your garden over the Summer?
We came up with a list of 10 “reap what you sow” activities that would be perfect to address in the garden over a long weekend.
- A breath of fresh air
Many avid gardeners will own a greenhouse but many do not realize the benefits of ventilating it. Ensure that each morning you open up its doors and allow fresh air to circulate.
As long as it’s not too cold, ventilating your greenhouse will keep it free of pests and encourage plants to grow healthily. If it’s particularly sunny this Easter or over the rest of Spring, weaker plants should be moved outside of the greenhouse in the day and then rehoused for the night.
- Tidying bushes, shrubs and trees
It goes without saying that clipping and tidying overgrown foliage gives bushes and trees a neat and elegant look. This alone should be a good enough reason to utilize a Spring weekend going around the garden with shears and cutters.
But there are so many more added benefits of tidying plants. First, you allow more sunlight to reach plants nearer the ground. The biggest beneficiary of this will be your lawn. Grass blades near to bushes and trees will now have fuller exposure to the Sun, and will grow stronger. Second, this is a great opportunity to remove any diseased or dead twigs or branches, thereby improving the health of the whole plant.
- Go climbing
Some vegetable plants naturally grow upwards, such as peas and green beans, and they will need a little support while doing so.
At the beginning of each Spring, identify whether a trellis or stake is needed and entwine your plants among them. This will encourage plants to climb, which in turn should mean they grow strong and bear more fruit.
- The greatness of garlic
The health benefits of garlic are too lengthy to list here in full, but we’re sure you get the drift: while it transforms the taste of your food, it builds your immunity against everything from the common cold to heart disease.
If you’re going to grow one food type in your garden, you’ll struggle to find something better for your body than garlic. Plant garlic deep into the soil, or a deep plant pot, and make sure there is access to plenty of sunlight. Garlic bulbs should be ready to pick right in the middle of Summer.
- Awaken the winter hibernators
For those plants that survive the winter, fuchsias being one common example, give them a wake-up call by re-potting them with good quality compost and nutritious plant feed, and moving them to a greenhouse where they should be watered regularly.
Easter is a perfect reminder to do this and it will ensure they grow strong over the summer.
- One potato, two potatoes
There is something very exciting about planting vegetables that grow under the soil. That anticipation while you dig with your hands, and the satisfaction of finding a fully grown vegetable underneath, is surely one of the more joyous gardening activities. The way potatoes scatter beneath the soil makes them even more satisfying to pick, because as soon as you find one, you know the next is close by.
Early Spring is the right time to plant potato seeds if you want to be picking them by the Summer. Before planting the seeds, give them a chance to sprout shoots by laying them in a tray and making sure they get plenty of sunlight. Once the shoots are around 2cm long, they are ready to plant into the soil.
- Looking after your lawn
Here at Lawn Sweeper Reviews, we believe in the importance of a healthy lawn, simply because it’s the main and most important feature of a beautiful garden.
It’s the place on which you’ll spend quality time with your family and friends – eating picnics, playing games, having fun – so it needs to be strong and durable but also lush and green.
There are so many simple things you can do on a weekend that can improve the state of your lawn. If it’s your first mow of the Spring, take care not to cut the grass too short or you’ll risk damaging it after a long winter. Get a good quality lawn feed and give your grass a spring boost, just in time for those April showers that will give the turf some much needed hydration.
- Plant Hardy Annuals
A hardy annual is a plant that does exactly what it says on the tin. It has a full-year life-cycle (“annual”) and can survive cold and frosty weather (“hardy”).
By investing in hardy annuals during the Spring, you can enjoy a full year of several bunches of flowers. Ensure the annuals have access to plenty of sun. Thin-out the soil by weeding and raking it, and sprinkle the seeds across it. With some water, they should grow well and be in bloom across the year.
- Tom-ay-to, Tom-ah-to
Did you know that 2016 was the “Year of the Tomato”? We suggest continuing the trend into 2017!
Tomatoes are one of the most quintessential food plants to grow in your garden or greenhouse, and with so many varieties of seeds available, there’s no limit to how many different types you can grow and eat.
Pick a Spring weekend to plant your choice of tomato seeds. Then, have fun when harvesting a bucketful of firm, bright red, perfectly formed tomatoes! Tomatoes are also a great, nutritious snack and go with almost any type of food.
- Visit a public garden
This might seem a strange “gardening” tip, since it’s not about spending time in your own garden, but hear us out.
A weekend provides a great opportunity to go on day trips and visit different places. So what better way to get inspiration on the things that you may want to do in your own garden than visiting a public garden that is local to you? Apart from the pleasure of spending time in beautifully cultivated grounds, which public gardens usually are, you may come across design ideas, plants and flowers that you may wish to grow in your own garden. Doing this in Spring means you have time to start growing new things in time for them to bloom in the Summer.
At Lawn Sweeper Reviews, we believe in spending less time on your garden and more time in your garden.
Whatever you decide to do in your garden over the coming weekends, know that it doesn’t require a huge investment of time to make real improvements.
All of the activities mentioned above could be completed in a single weekend, allowing you to enjoy your improved garden throughout the summer.