Perk up your patio
Give it a good sweep, raking up any leaves lurking in the nooks and crannies, then use an old penknife (or, even easier, QVC’s Drive Cleaner), to whip out any weeds and moss growing in the joints between the paving slabs.
Finally give the paving a good scrub with hot soapy water. That should get rid of moss, algae – plus any beer and wine stains from last year’s parties! For extra cleaning power, hire a pressure washer for the day (it’ll cost about £20) and your patio will gleam like new.
Spring clean furniture
Resin tables and chairs can be cleaned with hot soapy water. Hardwood furniture gradually turns grey over time. If you want to restore it to the original colour, wash it, let it dry, and then apply a coat of teak oil.
For the finishing touch, plant up a few pots for instant colour. For the best impact, pack in lots of plants – I like to use seven pansies per 30cm pot. Feed them once a week with a high potash plant food like Flower Power, take off the finished flowers as they fade, and enjoy a wonderful display from now until the end of May.
Boost your borders
If any plants have died due to the winter cold, dig them out and replace them. Try to choose a replacement which adds something extra to your garden, like an evergreen to give all year round structure and colour or a fragrant plant to perfume the patio.
Cut back sprawling plants
Trim back any sprawling shrubs and dead stems on plants like hardy fuchsias. Overgrown climbers such as honeysuckles and summer jasmine should be cut back hard, to around 30cm from the ground. It may seem drastic, but they’ll soon re-grow and they’ll flower much better too.
Fork over the top couple of inches of soil, removing any old leaves, stones or seedling weeds. It’s the gardening equivalent of hoovering the carpet – the fresh clean soil will set your plants off a treat. Sprinkle on some Growmore to kick start the new season’s growth.
Keep weeds at bay
Over the coming weeks, the weeds may well re-appear so keep them at bay, as well as improve the look of your borders, by mulching the soil with a 7.5cm layer of bark chips. The bark will also help reduce moisture loss so you won’t have to water as much during the summer!
Give your lawn some TLC
First of all, rake off any leaves or twigs, and then cut the lawn. Don’t set the blades too low or you’ll damage the grass, a cutting height of about 4cm is ideal. Then give it a professional finish, by trimming the edges with lawn shears. Don’t dodge this job, as it makes a huge difference to the look of your lawn and garden.
Sadly, the winter weather has left most lawns looking the worst they’ve been for years. A couple of days after cutting it, give your lawn a much needed boost by treating it with a quick acting fertiliser like Richard Jackson’s Lawn Magic and in just a few days it should turn emerald green and positively glow with health!
If your lawn is looking very patchy and threadbare, rake the ground gently to loosen the soil, spike it with a fork, sprinkle in some Growmore ( 70g per sq.m), followed by a handful of fresh grass seed( approx 35g per sq.m ). Rake the seed in, keep it well watered and the new grass will quickly fill in the patches, transforming your lawn to look as good as new.
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