Winter is over, the clocks have sprung forward and you should make use of some of those extra daylight hours to sort out the garden so you can make the most of the great outdoors when summer truly arrives.
Here are a few tips on the important things you can do in your garden at this time of year.
Get the bedding ready
As the temperatures turn warmer it is time to swap the bed for bedding plants. These will provide much of the wonderful colour that will make your garden such a nice place to spend the evenings and weekends in the coming months.
The end April is a good time to sow the seeds of these blooming beauties. Keep them in the greenhouse to begin with – especially while they are only seedlings – and it is worthwhile taking a little time to sow the seeds in weekly intervals. This means that you can enjoy a long flowering period that will keep your garden colourful into early autumn.
Every plant has its nuances, but a good general rule is to cover a seed with its own depth of compost. This rings true unless the seed is tiny or dust-like and these little ones only need to be placed on top of the compost.
Before you go getting carried away with flowering fantasies, remember that the odd frost can still hit your garden so keep outdoor planting to a minimum.
If you want a pond, now is the time to do the hard work.
It may be a nice thought to sit in earshot of a white waterfall or a fancy fountain, but the dream will not happen on its own and as it is a big job, it’s best to get it started. Doing your pond digging now will also give your aquatic ecosystem time to settle down before summer, allowing you to enjoy picking plants and wildlife when the sun is out.
Goldfish and Koi tend to thrive in British ponds so they are a good choice if you want to add fish.
The best way to do this is to have a holding area where you can leave new fish for two weeks beforehand. This will allow you to know that they are fit and healthy before adding them to your existing stock. Another tip to keep your pond disease-free is to only add the fish and not the water they are held in – and definitely not the water you buy them in.
Fire it up
We all love planting flowers and beautiful gardens, but there are few finer things than al-fresco dining.
As it is still early days yet if you want to enjoy a barbecue it’s best to go with gas. Buying yourself a new BBQ could be the ideal reward for all the hard work you have been doing. A Weber Gas BBQ could be perfect for this time of year when you may only have a few hours of good sunshine. These fire up fast allowing you to get cooking (and eating) in no time at all.
A perfect accompaniment for a flame-grilled steak, chop or burger could be a homemade salad. With this in mind, you could also take the time to plant a few summer cabbages or broad beans.