A Month-by-Month Spring Checklist For Your Irish Garden, Backyard and Balcony
It doesn’t matter whether you have a large front garden, backyard or small balcony plot. There are so many ways a little bit of green and nature adds value to our homes.
It starts now in the coldest months of the year! Here’s a handy monthly checklist to see you through Spring - it will help you prepare your garden big or small for the growing season ahead.
Now that the Christmas decorations are stored away and the house has been rescued from the visitor footfall, it’s time to prepare your plants and garden spaces for the new year as the days start to lengthen.
- Take a look around and check for any repairs or damaged parts of your garden that may have suffered from the winter weather and need replacing.
- Clean up the garden structures and clear debris or mould.
- Scrub down your glasshouse/polytunnel. If you have a window sill or balcony garden, clear away cluttered sunny window areas in preparation for replanting baby seedlings that will soon need these sunny spots.
- Chop up your Christmas tree for firewood, kindling and mulch.
- Brush off, take stock and dust off your gardening tools for the year ahead. Find out what’s missing, clean off rusty implements and repair what you can.
- It's a good time to take advantage of winter sale deals to stock up on your gardening kit. This includes fertilizer, pesticides, stakes, netting, compost, germinating supplies, horticultural fleece, plant and bed labels, etc.
- Order seeds, seed compost and bulbs for the spring planting season such as dahlias and chrysanthemums.
- Kickstart essential structural repairs that may be necessary immediately. Start planning project work requiring big changes, such as landscaping, installing fencing or changing the garden layout.
- Actual gardening work can begin with a clearout of wilted perennials and the weeding out of many nooks and crannies left neglected during the Christmas months.
- Once stripped down to its essentials, it’s a good time to lay down mulching, fresh gravel or straw paths.
- Start planting bare-root plants.
- Finally, sign up for gardening event updates. Check the dates, festival and event diaries of your favourite garden centres and gardens for special days out, workshops and markets.
- The first signs of growth from spring bulbs will appear now in the form of Snowdrops, Crocus and Daffodils bringing colour to your pathways and beds. You can even divide mature clumps. Transplant herbaceous perennials & snowdrops to spread out their growth over time.
- Start pruning or cutting out the dead ends of your roses bushes or vines before any buds start to appear. Don’t forget to prune apple trees and cut out the old dead wood off berry bushes to conserve energy and encourage new growth.
- Cut back evergreen hedges that have sprouted over the winter.
- Are you planting creepers like beans and sweet peas? Time to create wigwams from birch stakes or bamboo.
- If you’re planting vegetables, cover the plot rows to warm up the soil in preparation for the sowing season in March. Frost is still a big threat on Ireland up to April so protect your young spring vegetable crops with a garden cloche or frost fleece.
- Plant bare-root fruit bushes, trees, hedging and shrubs.
- Order in flowering bulbs & roots such as Echinacea, Agapanthus, Dahlias, Lilies & more for planting in time for Summer.
- Sow annual plant variety now to guarantee a crop of early flowers. Plant perennials and shrubs you wish to establish into the summer.
- Continue Weeding and Mulching as you go.
- Prepare your lawn for growing season by smoothing out bumpy areas now the ground is wet and soft. Start treating for moss, tidy lawn edges and clear out weeds as they sprout.
It is a good time for sowing and planting across a wide variety of plants in time for summer.
- As the spring bulbs start to fade, deadhead them and save the seed heads if you can. Don’t strip back the foliage just yet as this will still nourish the bulbs underground right till the end.
- As you prepare to plant more, this means hoeing and weeding as you prepare the ground.
- Plant summer bulbs in pots and borders and any autumn/winter-sown hardy annuals and perennials. Plant your rose bushes and new creeper varieties. Start potting your tuberose and pot on seedlings you have been germinating in the last 2 months.
- Continue pruning flowering bushes like Roses, Buddleia, Cornus, Hydrangea and finish off the last of your pruning early in the month before the buds start to fully appear.
- Are you planning a natural mini meadow? It's time to sow any indigenous wildflower seeds in trays for replanting later into your lawn.
- Now that the growing season is on its way, this is also a good time to start feeding your outdoor beds and even applying manure before major growth starts to happen.
- Pests will start to appear as the weather warms up. Check new shoots and bulbs for aphids, and remove them manually or with diluted sprays of detergent mixed with water.
- Gauge the temperature before bringing out any potted plants that you may have brought indoors to protect from the frost. Or bring them back indoors in the nighttime for now.
- As climbing plants and rambling roses start to grow - start guiding them and tie them into place on your climbing frames or pergolas.
- If you haven’t done so already - Sow hardy annuals, herbs and wildflower seed outdoors now as conditions improve and their roots develop.
- Time for biological and natural pest control methods too. Why not order in Ladybugs?
- Take cuttings as growth returns and pot on existing cuttings as they take root (ie plectranthus, salvias, dahlias).
- The ground should also be ready for you to now sow in new lawn sections, feed them and repair bare patches.
- As the weather gets warmer, start to apply shading paint on greenhouse panes. This prevents plants from scorching by bright sunshine. You can also use newspaper sheets, or shade netting to protect seedlings and young plants from the brighter sun.
- Continue to keep on top of your weeding too, as faster growth becomes evident.
- Start to water glasshouses and pots as the temperature warms. If you have indoor plants, houseplants and sheltered balcony plants, start watering these more frequently too.
- Continue feeding your plants as more heat and daylight returns to encourage higher rates of growth.
- Don’t forget to care for houseplants - start using liquid feed and Pot up burgeoning houseplants in danger of being root-bound. Apply fresh compost to pots and large containers that show signs of depletion. Dust off any shiny waxy houseplant leaves to allow them to breathe and access light.
- If you have citrus plants, start feeding them with a high-nitrogen feed with added trace elements.
What Gardening Will You Be Trying This Spring?
So there you have it. A simple checklist to start your gardening year and prepare your property for a bountiful summer and autumn. Stay tuned for our summer checklist!
Don’t forget, it’s easy to find the tools and supplies to get you started right here on Homevalue.ie in our lawn and garden section.
Gardening is such a healthy way to mindfully lose yourself in the outdoors, get your hands into some solid and get closer to nature. Gardening is a great way to get respite from those Zooms and stock up on fresh air and vitamin D as we emerge from the winter months.