Spring into action in the garden
PUBLISHED: 15:21 15 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:05 20 February 2013
Longer days, warmer weather - it must be spring! This is the perfect time of the year to get your garden into shape and Philippa Pearson gives her top ten gardening tips to get you started
1 Check your tools
Clean tools, get shears and secateurs sharpened. Get the lawnmower serviced.
2 Lawn preparations
Scarify to remove thatch, apply a top dressing and aerate soil to promote good air circulation and drainage. Apply a spring feed.
3 The first cut
Raise mower blades high for the first cut. Re-define edges with a half moon tool.
4 Tidy up
Remove leaves and debris from borders and productive plots, cutting down to soil level dead flower stems. Take care not to damage new shoots. Hoe or pull up weeds.
5 Roses grow on you
Prune roses by the middle of March, removing dead, diseased and dying material and crossing branches. Feed regularly and mulch well.
6 Soil level
All soils will benefit from an incorporation of well rotted farmyard manure, garden compost, leaf mould or soil conditioner. Lightly dig in then mulch a thick layer on top to suppress weeds and keep moisture in.
All plants will benefit from removal of dead, diseased and dying material. Prune climbers but check which clematis type you have: group 1 flower before May and need light pruning; groups 2 and 3 flower May to July and are pruned hard now.
8 Planting time
Bare-rooted plants are still available but must be planted by the end of March. Don't plant out tender bedding plants until the danger of frost has passed.
9 Good housekeeping
Tidy all other areas: sweep driveways and paths, clear hard landscaping areas and wash paths and patios. Clean and oil garden furniture. Remove debris from water features, check pumps are working and liners are not damaged.
10 Review your space
Take a good look at your garden layout as this is the perfect time to review your outdoor space. Create new areas or treat your garden to a professional makeover.