Mike from Rocket Gardens fills us in on ways to make your garden brighter this Spring.
It’s certainly been a wet and stormy few months, which has made getting out into the garden tricky for lots of UK gardeners.
Never fear though as Spring is on the way and signs of this will be popping up all over the place. Keep an eye out for snowdrops and primroses that will be starting to appear and are a lovely reminder of the amazing new season to come.
There are plenty of things to be doing in the garden in preparation for Spring but make sure if you are planning to dig over and prepare soil that this isn’t too wet. It’s far better to wait until your soil has dried out sufficiently before you get too excited with your spade and fork. Walking on wet soil isn’t great either as it compacts the soil, forcing the air out and ruining the structure – the exact opposite to what you are trying to achieve when digging over your patch.
To create a productive and healthy garden you need to be feeding the soil regularly – as the old saying goes ‘ the more you put in the more you get out.’ One of the best things you can do at this time of year is to add organic matter to your soil. This can be in the form of home made compost, leaf mould, wormcast, farm yard or horse manure. Well-rotted compost is best as it’s gentler on young plant roots. If your ground is dry, spread the compost about your soil and dig it in well. If your soil is wet, collect up plenty of organic matter and leave in a lovely big pile ready to spread once the sun comes out.
If your garden is ready to go, there are plenty of things that you can be planting right now. Early new potatoes are a great one to get started with. Ideally, these should be chitted (have little shoots popping out). Pop seed potatoes into the ground about a foot apart and cover with horticultural fleece which will warm up your soil, protect new leaves from frost and give you a much earlier crop to enjoy.
If your soil is still too wet to plant in, you could try popping individual seed potatoes into 3 litre pots with compost. Water them and keep in the warm until the leaves become established. You can transfer these plants to your garden once the soil in your veg’ patch is warmer and drier.
February or March are also very good months for establishing a fruit garden. Plant bare-rooted fruit canes and bushes such as raspberries, gooseberries, blackberries, red currants and black currants now and you will be enjoying delicious soft fruits from your garden for years to come. Again, if your ground is wet you can plant all of these initially into containers and transfer them to the garden once conditions improve.