Getting your garden ready for summer
As the weather really starts to hot up, don’t just drag your barbecues out, blow up the paddling pool and dust off the sun lounger. Although all we simply want to do is soak up the sun as soon as it arrives, it’s really worth taking some time to get your garden in shape for the summer months. Make sure your garden looks gorgeous for the time of year when it really becomes an extension of our indoor living space – another amazingly colourful room full of life for the whole family to enjoy.
Here are some summer garden jobs that are really worth taking the time to get done, so you can give your outdoor space the best chance of looking fantastic this season:
LOVING YOUR LAWN
A neatly mown lawn is a joy to behold in an English summer garden, so make sure yours is in tip top condition. By now, hopefully you’ve re-sown any poor patches, aerated it to encourage root growth and given it a good scratch with a wire rake to allow light and water to reach the soil. However, it’s also a good idea to remove the most common lawn weed Trifolium repens, the white-flowering clover. Pull them out individually by ripping out the stems, as this will hopefully avoid the plants getting established. Remember to not mow less than 1cm height off your grass – cutting it too short will give you a far less healthy-looking lawn.
Keeping weeds at bay can seem like the never-ending task. If you are given or buy any plants always check them over before you introduce them to your garden, especially woody plants that ground elder, bindweed or couch grass are attracted to. In the lead up to summer you want your garden looking it's best right from the pathways and walkways to the lawn and borders. If you do find you’re losing the battle and have missed the moment to tackle weeds as you find them, you may wish to call in the cavalry with a specifically designed weed control product.
CLEARING OUT THE SHED
Over a long winter you tend to stockpile a lot of odd bits which usually results in a chaotic mess that is in desperate need of order. If you love your garden shed then this should be a priority. I usually find the best method of doing this is to follow these simple steps:
- Remove everything from your shed.
- Sort all items into groups of ‘keep’ and ‘don’t keep’.
- Throw or give away everything in the ‘don’t keep’ group.
- Think about what you have left in comparison to the size you shed, and be ruthless about what to keep if you still have too much.
- Clean the inside of the empty shed.
- Place the remaining items back in the shed in a sensible organised order.
CLEANING THE SUMMER ESSENTIALS
Depending on the type of barbecue you have in your garden, it can vary in difficulty to clean and will certainly vary in how much it is affected by harsh winter conditions. If you have a masonry barbecue you will have very little to do, however you may have to remove any rust that has built up in wet conditions. If you have stored your barbecue away for the winter in might just be a case of a little spring clean and dusting down before inviting the family and friends over for a feast.
If you have outdoor sofas and other items then you will have to make sure they are pristine for all of your summertime fun. It is recommended to take your cushions off any outdoor seating during winter, but if you forgot this year there are great ways to clean them with little hassle.
PAINT AND TREAT THE FENCE
During the winter months there is likely to be detrimental conditions for your garden fence. Before summer comes it is a great idea to give your fence a revitalised look of colour and health. Use a treatment such as Creosote to give it the extra protection it needs from those hot sunny days.
This all said, summer is definitely the time of year to really kick back and indulge in what you really love doing in the garden whether that be cooking, playing, drawing, sunbathing… all of which is enhanced by the work you do to make it a special place to spend time. The long days of light offer us the chance to really pick our own preferred hour to garden, whether that be 7am in the morning or 9pm at night. Do it at a time when it permits you to prioritise what you enjoy the most.
Next year, think about maybe not going away during the summer months because for sure you’ll be missing the best your garden has to give.