10 ways to get your garden ready this spring

With our lives slowly starting to feel a bit more normal again and the welcome news that groups of family and friends can now meet outside in parts of the UK, the garden is about to become not just a personal sanctuary but a lively social hub! All the more reason to make the most of the improving spring weather and get the garden ready for some long-awaited gatherings.

Although spring is most definitely in the air and we’re optimistic about the months ahead, the increased interest in gardening since the start of lockdown in March 2020 means that there’s been a rise in demand – accompanied by a rise in prices – in all things outdoors. This is particularly the case for outdoor furniture, with some large retailers already warning of stock shortages. Garden items increasingly affected by the surge in interest are barbecues, firepits, gazebos, tables and chairs, garden lights and even outdoor pizza ovens!

So, whether you’ve already got your new garden furniture in place, are still waiting for items to arrive, or are making do this year, there’s no doubt plenty to keep you busy outdoors. Here are just a few of the ways you can make sure your garden gets off to the right start this spring…

Maintenance and cleaning

  • It’s been a long, wet and windy winter so check for damage to fences, retaining walls, decks, sheds, trellises and more – and repair, sand down, reseal and repaint as necessary.
  • Clean bird baths and feeders with a suitable disinfectant to prevent the spread of disease, clear debris from ponds or water features and have fun jet-washing patios and brickwork.
  • Chop back unruly plants such as lavender, prune woody shrubs and trees and edge your lawn. It’s also a good time to clear out your flower beds and feed your soil.
  • Other spring maintenance jobs include giving your greenhouse a thorough clean with hot soapy water to get rid of any pests and diseases and let more light in. Soapy water and a splash of bleach can also be used to spruce up weather-worn plastic tables and chairs.

Planning and preparing

  • If you’re after some new furniture or popular items for your garden – such as barbecues or gazebos – check availability as soon as possible. And don’t rule out Gumtree and Freecycle for picking up free or cheap tables and chairs if stocks of new items are currently limited.
  • Order your summer bedding and hanging plants, such as begonias, geraniums and busy lizzies. If you buy them too early, you’ll need to be prepared to nurture them indoors until mid-late May. If stocks are low, look into local plant or seed swaps.
  • Lift and divide established autumn-blooming perennial plants. Evergreen shrubs can also be moved in early spring before new growth appears.

Planting and growing

  • If you want a summer garden full of blooms, start planting bulbs such as pansies, dahlias, gladioli, lilies, nemesia, crocosmias and polianthes.
  • Sow hardy plants and half-hardy annuals, such as sunflowers, nasturtiums and marigolds. Vegetables, including salads and herbs such as parsley and coriander, can also be sown in the spring, but make sure you check the packets for exact planting months.
  • Late spring frosts are still a possibility so be prepared to cover emerging buds or foliage if a particularly cold snap is forecast. Don’t use plastic to cover tender plants – old sheets and towels are perfect.

What’s your top gardening tip or favourite plant?

We’d love to hear what you’re doing this spring to make your garden special for the year ahead. With so many guides and resources available on the television, internet and in the papers, as well as methods passed down through green-fingered generations, we’re sure you must have some favourites you’d like to share. Send your tips and digital photos, or let us know what you love planting, to customer.engagement@saga.co.uk and we’ll use our favourites in a future article.

Insuring your garden items

If you have your home contents insurance with Saga, this also covers your garden contents – such as plants, tools, ornaments, furniture – up to the value of £1,000. If you’ve decked out your garden with the latest kit this spring, you might want to consider our optional Extended Garden Cover, which means your garden contents will be covered against damage and theft up to £5,000. Call us on 0800 068 3410 to arrange this additional cover.

If you don’t have Saga Home Insurance yet, our policies are unique products designed by us specifically for our customers. They are underwritten by a number of carefully selected insurers that provide high standards of quality and service. What’s more, we’re currently offering 15% cashback on new policies. Find out more.

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Lady and girl in greenhouse