Spring garden essentials
If you’re new to gardening, in need a refresher course or just want to tick off a few must-have essentials now that the season of preparation and planting is upon us, our checklist of green-fingered tips will ensure you have everything you need to help your garden grow.
You’ve put on your old clothes and headed towards your shed, determined to bring some much-needed post-winter order to your garden… only to realise that your most-needed tool is missing. After the long winter months, spring’s the perfect time to have a proper look through your tool collection, tidy and organise your garden equipment, give any dirty tools a thorough clean with our Garden Sonic Scrubber and make a note of anything that’s missing or needs replacing before the growing year starts again.
When it comes to must-have tools, it pays to remember that whatever else you decide to do with your outside space, plants will always need pruning and weeds removing. A good pair of clean, sharp-bladed secateurs will save you a lot of time and effort when it comes to cutting out dead wood, and a hand trowel and weed fork will help you turn your hand to smaller digging and plant removal tasks. Garden trugs are great multi-taskers, allowing you to transport tools and equipment into your garden and remove any green waste out for compost or recycling, and a divided caddy like our Shed Tidy will keep all your smaller tools and essentials like twine, gardening gloves and plant labels safely together in one easily portable place.
2. Protect yourself – and your clothing
Let’s face it – gardening in the British climate is never going to be a balmy, bone-dry affair. Nothing brings a gardening session to a close faster than aching, muddy knees, so knee pads or a garden kneeler like this one from Kneelo® are a great investment.
A pair of hard-wearing, comfortable gloves are another essential, both keeping hands warm in still-cool spring weather and damp earth and protecting against cuts and grazes from thorns and sharp stems. And just because they’re practical doesn’t mean they can’t be pretty – this pair from Kneelo® in a beautiful chrysanthemum print can only inspire you on to greater gardening glory! And sturdy, waterproof footwear like wellies or garden clogs will keep your feet warm and dry – and much less likely to want to dash indoors and prop them up in front of the fire.
2. Food and water
With the main growing season fast approaching, this is the time to make sure your plants have everything they need to thrive. Compost will go a long way towards providing any nutrients your soil may lack – ask at your local garden centre if you need advice about which kind is right for you. When it comes to general compost you can always make your own from kitchen and garden waste – we’ve a wide range of kitchen compost caddies to help get you started – but specialist varieties are also available for seed sowing and bulb planting.
To keep your garden well-watered through the warmer months to come, a hosepipe for larger gardens or good-sized watering can for smaller ones will save you time and effort, and cut down on trips to the tap. If you don’t have an outside tap, a water butt will collect rainwater and reduce both the need to keep popping inside to the kitchen tap – and the repeated dirty garden shoe shuffle!
3. Proper support
Some plants need a little extra help to keep them upright, and garden wire, twine and bamboo canes will help you provide much-needed support. The Build-A-Ball system helps you protect crops or plants and will let you get the upper hand in that ‘battle with the birds’.
4. A helping hand
When it comes to helping out in the garden, plenty of good bugs lend a hand [or six] by pollinating plants and feeding on pests. Encourage them to linger a while longer by giving them a home – the Bee & Bug Biome offers a lovely boutique hotel for garden-friendly insects like ladybirds, lacewings and solitary bees.
5. Banish the pests
Just as there are helpful critters, there are some less than welcome pests any gardener is keen to banish from their garden. Slug Circles are a humane way of deterring slugs and snails from munching on your prized plants, and if you have a problem with furry intruders digging, scratching and fouling, try our Cat & Dog Repellent or CATWatch – the only cat deterrent independently tested and approved by the RSPB – to put an end to unwanted visits.
6. Decorative delights
If you’re planning a planting scheme and want to add a few points of interest amongst the flowers and foliage, we’ve a range of garden ornaments that are just the thing. Our fun Gnome Spotlight Set and elegant Peacock Solar Ornament can’t help but add a touch of charm, and will also light up your garden when dusk falls.
7. …and relax…
After all your hard work, you’ll have more than earned the right to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labours. All you have to do is sit back, close your eyes… and try to ignore that last unpulled weed!
(NB All featured products are on sale in most Lakeland stores now and will be available to order from lakeland.co.uk from 1 April 2015.)