With the Covid-19 restrictions lifting a little on March 29th, allowing up to six people to meet (or two households) to meet outside including in private gardens, people will want their gardens to be in tip top condition for hosting outside, particularly with Easter just around the corner too.
So, this Weekend is a great time to Spring Clean your garden – so what do you need to do?
Focus your initial energy on hardscaping – this is the time to repair damaged walls, level out stepping stones, clean out gutters, fix fences, benches decks sheds and raised beds.
Clear the patio and clean the paving – over time, moss, algae and debris will build up on a patio making it look a little unsightly but also this could make it unsafe too.
Use a dedicated patio cleaner or bleach, although specialist cleaners are also available. Rinse the patio before and after cleaning, give the area a vigorous scrub, leave for 5 to 10 minutes, pressure wash to remove stubborn dirt, and then give a final rinse. Remember to use thick gloves and eye protectors.
Cut the lawn. Our garden lawns play an important part in our al fresco summer enjoyment, providing a place to relax and read, host parties and provide a space for the children to play, so it is important to get the first cut right to set up the lawns for summer use – but only when the grass is dry enough to cut. Traditionally the first cut is known as ‘first cut Sunday’ (a phrase coined by Flymo) – which falls today on March 28th.
In the spirit of helping wildlife do you need to mow a whole area or could you just have a patch leading through wildflowers and also before you are about to mow, check for any animals – Hedgehogs can often be found in piles of grass and leaves.
Before cutting, take time to clear any mess around the area including dead sticks, leaves and any rubbish that may have gathered. Check for stones and thick branches as these may damage the mower blade. If required, have your mower serviced before the first cut too, there are many local companies who offer a collection and delivery service for lawnmowers, but book early as these sometimes have a long lead time!
Never cut more than one third on your first cut as this can stress the grass. Don’t try to shear it off in one go, cutting the grass too short too fast is known as ‘scalping’ which can lead to disease and weed infestation – reset the blades on your mower to the highest cutting position to just take off the tops, if your garden is small then you could use shears or a strimmer. Your usual mower should cope once you have got the grass down a bit.
Clear up dead perennial plant stems and tatty ornamental grasses by cutting them back close to the ground – they will soon start to re-shoot and you don’t want this year’s healthy green foliage growing up through last years’ dead bits!
Prune hybrid roses to around knee height, this will make it easier to work on the borders afterwards. New English roses should not be hard pruned – just give them a light tidy-up to improve their shape.
Clear away prunings, dead leaves and rubbish, then weed thoroughly, this is no-ones favourite garden pastime but with the correct mind-set, weeding isn’t such a painful excercise. The best time to weed is just after it has rained, when the soil is moist and loose. Grab the right tool a pair of gloves and a bucket. Tackle the roots and all the vegetation – fully remove the plant before it goes to seed so that it doesn’t have chance to grow back.
Always work from the back of the borders towards the front and as you finish each patch, sprinkle on fertiliser and prick the soil surface to aerate the ground, work in the fertiliser to keep it looking tidy.
Now is also a good time to clean out debris from the pond, water feature or bird bath. Maintaining good hygiene in your garden beds will help to keep pests and diseases at bay.
Though most annual flowers need the soil to warm up a bit before planting, some plants such as pansies, nemesia and osteospermum daisies won’t mind if you plant them in the garden early.
It will soon be time to plant spring pots, and you could order summer flowering bulbs and seeds now from your local garden centre.
So your garden is now looking lovely and all that hard work is likely to pay off.
David Phillip Commented ‘If you are looking to sell your home, then Spring is traditionally one of the busiest times to sell according to Rightmove – gardens are starting to look lovely and photogenic, and the nights are getting lighter for viewings (remember the clocks go forward today too!) – so after making today ‘first cut Sunday’, why not call us to arrange a free market appraisal, houses in Bramhope have some beautiful gardens, which since Covid-19 is one of the key elements that people require when looking for a new home’.
David Phillip Estate Agents, 01134 676 400 w: davidphillip.co.uk a: 86, Leeds Road, Bramhope, Leeds.