Time to get your garden in shape?

This week, inspired by the sun (and ignoring the rain, drizzle and freezing cold), I thought it was about time I went into my garden to find out what neglected delights awaited me. It's become clear that I need to start thinking about repairing all that winter damage - I never did get round to covering the wooden garden table set and the varnish is starting to peel (oops)...and...about sheltering those plants...(double oops). So I called garden expert Gerardo Vidaurre, who's the manager of The Chelsea Gardener, to find out what tips he had for getting the garden set for spring. It's still a bit too cold and wet to do any major jobs, but here's what he advised to start with...

1. Make a list of all the plants you want to keep and all those you would like to remove and then turn over soil and mulch beds thoroughly, removing any weeds with a spade.

2. Bring the old lawn back to life by removing old grass and leaves with a rake.

3. Cut back winter shrubs, roses planted in autumn, established hedges, and remove dead or frost-damaged wood.

4. Divide herbaceous perennials as it will encourage them to flower better and prevent them from overcrowding.

5. Plant out hardy seedlings and annuals and move any existing plants that need doing so long as it’s not too cold.

6. Deadhead bulbs, particularly narcissus and hyacinths.

7. If you're planning a herb and vegetable garden, begin planting seeds as soon as possible.

8. Begin to fertilise any container plants at the end of March/beginning of April.

9. As new shoots and leaves appear on trees and shrubs, check for pests and diseases.

10. Add brightly coloured flowers in varying sized pots to create feature areas and brighten up the general appearance of the garden.

(Images courtesy of Thompson & Morgan)

Thompson & Morgan has grown to become one the UK's largest mail order seed and plant companies for award-winning seed ranges, young plants, bulbs, vegetables and fruit trees. Check out the ACHICA promotion now, which lasts until 7am Mon 7 March 2011.

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Emily Peck, Editor

View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor