Tips for Spring Gardening in Scotland

Hello, happy gardeners; as you may have seen on our social media channels (loving the feedback we're getting about our most recent posts!), it's time for me to put down the clippers and take to the keyboard for our latest gardening blog.

The weather's been less than standard this year, but as we're now in February, I hope we can say that winter is loosening its grip on the South of Scotland, and unless there is another 'Beast from the East', garden enthusiasts can begin to focus on the arrival of spring, heralding the perfect time to prepare and rejuvenate our gardens. As a garden centre manager in our picturesque region, I'm excited to share essential tips and insights to ensure your garden blossoms into a vibrant haven this coming season.

Shall we begin?...

Assessing Winter Damage:

Winter can be a challenging time for our gardens, so it's helpful to begin your spring garden preparation by thoroughly assessing any winter damage. Inspect plants for frost damage, broken branches, or signs of disease. Prune away damaged limbs and remove any debris to promote healthy growth.

Soil Enrichment:

We aim to see your gardens bloom in 2024 and healthy plants start with nutrient-rich soil. In the South of Scotland, our soils often benefit from a boost of organic matter, so incorporate compost into the soil to enhance its fertility and structure. Much like taking a supplement with your breakfast, there are a range of products that will provide a solid foundation for your plants to thrive.

Weeding and Pest Control:

The ubiquitous and omnipresent weeds have been giving us a rest over winter as their growth stalls just like the rest of the garden. Spring is the ideal time to tackle weeds before they take hold. Regular weeding prevents competition for nutrients and sunlight. Taking a proactive approach to weed management is key and there is now a good range of products that work more in harmony with the environment too.

Pruning and Shaping

There can be nervousness around pruning too early or too much, especially when there's been little apparent growth over the winter but trimming and shaping your plants not only enhances their appearance but also promotes healthy growth. Have confidence by pruning flowering shrubs and bushes before the new growth emerges, and shape hedges for a neat appearance. Remember to remove dead or crossing branches to improve air circulation.

Sowing New Additions 

And now for the exciting part of this time in the garden. Spring is a prime sowing season.  One delightful option for sowing seeds is the charming, Sweet Pea, a fragrant and vibrant addition to any garden. To kickstart the growth of your sweet peas, start them indoors. This provides a controlled environment where you can carefully monitor their development until the frosty grip of winter loosens its hold. When sowing these new additions, pay attention to proper spacing to allow each seed room to flourish. Adequate watering is crucial during this stage to help them establish strong root systems.

Add a Pop of Colour

Can’t wait until full-swing spring? We are all excited about the arrival of our Primulas, Pansies and Violas that can add some spring colour to your garden and pots right now. 

Planting the Potatoes:

As we all know, our gardens are functional spaces as well as pretty places, and can produce all manner of herbs and vegetables. If you’re keen to see what your garden can yield, now is a good time to plan first early potatoes. I recommend you always use the Safe Haven certified seed potatoes for your crop. These are easy to spot, just look for the red tractor logo.

Mulching for Moisture Retention:

With the increase in wet weather, as our climate changes, this step could seem counterproductive, however, mulching is crucial in retaining soil moisture and suppressing weeds. Apply a layer of organic mulch around plants, leaving space around the base to prevent rot. Mulching also regulates soil temperature, providing an optimal environment for plant growth - all very important but not-so-obvious steps.

Lawn Care:

Give your lawn some TLC by aerating the soil to improve water and nutrient absorption. Overseed any bare patches and mow the grass to a suitable height. Spring is also an excellent time to feed your lawn with a balanced fertiliser to promote lush, green growth.

And talking about mowing lawns, it's an excellent time to book your lawn mower for a service. We highly recommend the team at Border Chainsaw and Lawnmower Service, our sister company based in Earlston. You can take your machine or equipment direct to Border Chainsaw in Earlston or pop it into us in Duns and we can organise it for you.

Fertilisation Schedule

Now, this last tip is for the truly dedicated gardener, and I know that's you! 2024 could be the year to establish a fertilisation schedule based on the specific needs of your plants. Different varieties may require varying nutrients at different times. A well-tailored feeding routine ensures your plants receive the essential nutrients for robust growth and blooming.

gAs you embark on your spring garden preparation journey with confidence, armed with these valuable tips from me, I'd like to remind you that the entire Pearson's Garden Centre team is always on hand and happy to help with any questions you may have, at any time of the year. We are all looking forward to seeing our gardens blossom and bloom through the warmer months, boosted by our spring preparation energy and efforts. Happy gardening!

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