How does your garden grow?

Round & About

Spring, even the sound of the word lifts your spirits. Little shoots of colour start to emerge and with it hope for the warmer months ahead, so get digging and clearing and start getting your garden in shape

Getting your garden ready for spring should be a pleasure rather than a chore, so it’s time to dig deep and get some spade work in and you’ll reap the rewards later.

Even for professionals such as our expert Cathie Welch, kick starting your garden for spring is no easy task: “Gardening is a real challenge these days and every season will be different.” So where to start? Cathie advises ‘mulch, mulch, mulch’. “The most important thing any gardener can do is to improve the soil. A thick mulch of home-made garden compost, well-rotted manure or suitable compost that is peat free.

“It’s a huge subject but anything that is not wood chip or multi-purpose potting compost should be ok but check to avoid expensive mistakes. A thick mulch will keep in the moisture, suppress germinating weeds, feed the plants, prevent soil compaction from walking on it as well as looking fabulous.”

Having done the ground work, you need to turn your attention to your plants health, which means pruning and training. This time of year is especially important for roses to ensure a fragrant colourful abundance in the summer months to come – make sure you know whether you have climbers, ramblers, bush, shrub and prune accordingly, says Cathie.

And it’s not just roses that need some TLC, “Wisteria is another tricky one that needs its spur prune by mid March as do apples and pears,” Cathie continues, “many other plants can be cut hard back like Spireaea, Hypericum, Buddleia and all the Dogwood Cornus to name but a few. Avoid pruning Acers until they are in full leaf and never prune plums and other stone fruits until the summer. Evergreens should ideally wait and be especially vigilant of nesting birds. When you prune consider making piles or a dead hedge if you have space rather than burning or binning.”

For many of us our lawns are the crowning glory. This month is the ideal time to sow a new lawn or repair worn patches. As the month progresses, it may even be time to cut the lawn again. Some lawn basics – set the mower blades high to avoid scalping. Rake (scarify) the lawn to get rid of debris, dead grass and moss. Aerate badly drained areas of the lawn with a hollow tined fork. Try to avoid walking on waterlogged lawns and working in sodden borders to avoid soil compaction.

Cathie warns against neglecting your lawn. “If you want a green striped lawn then that is hard work scarifying, aerating, top dressing and seeding at this time of year. Think about whether you can let areas grow a little longer or create a meadow (not easy) but you are creating diverse habitats.”

And finally, to planting. Cathie says: “Take time to enjoy the bulbs, emerging shoots and the warming sun.” Find out more advice and about her services at

The spring flowering bulbs carefully planted in autumn will be raising their heads and once the tulips and daffs start to go over, it’ll be time to deadhead. Compost the blooms but leave the foliage to die down naturally in order to feed the bulb for next year’s flowering.

The experts at Squires Garden Centres with a branch in Wokingham have advice on hardy annuals too: “Hardy annuals can be sown from seed in late March, either where they are to flower or in trays and pots to be transplanted later. Any further spaces can be filled later with tender bedding plants.”

There’s plenty to do in the vegetable patch too – onion sets and shallots can be planted, broccoli, cabbage, kale, parsnips, peas, radishes and spinach can be sown outside towards the end of March and then covered with cloches while seed potatoes can go in a cool, light position to chit (sprout) for later.

Blossoms Garden Care are an established family business in Woodley and the surrounding area with more than 40 years experience installing patios, deckings and driveways, turfing, hedge and tree planting, garden fencing upgrades, ground maintenance as well as new garden design plans. They can bring your vision for your outdoor space to life. Free quotations and competitive prices are offered. Find out more about all they can offer at or call 07966 627883.

Maintenance is key when it comes to getting your garden ready for spring and in the words of DW Garden Maintenance “no job too small, no lawn too big”. Whether it’s the small matter of strimming your hedge or an overhaul and new look, contact [email protected] or on 07599 673925.

If you’re looking for some help to make the most of your outdoor space, contact Green Gardenista, an experienced plant person, RHS and LCGD qualified. With a sustainable approach to design, planting and maintenance using peat-free and chemical-free products, Krys can help your garden be at its best. Contact [email protected] to get the best results for your garden. Turn your garden into a beautiful, relaxing area with Evolve Outdoors Ltd. Landscaping and bespoke verandas let you create and design a space that brings home comforts into the open air – a space to unwind, entertain, and do the things you love. Bespoke design ensures you get exactly what you want all backed by a price promise and years of experience. Find out more at