It makes our heart leap every spring when we can finally get back onto the balcony and out in the garden. Staying indoors, watching the winter rain drip down the windowsill, makes us yearn for the green outdoors, and the warmer weather. The good news is that, while summer days are still a while off, you can start to plant out some garden plants in spring. We’ve gathered together some tips for early gardening success, so you can enjoy the courage of these brave first plants for the rest of the year.
Knowledge is power
Assess the size of your outdoor space is, and its orientation: is it south-facing, or does it look onto the cool north? Then think about what plants you want to buy and decide whether they fit with you and your space in terms of their needs (sun/shade, type of soil) and your requirements (flowering season). Check also that early spring is the right time for planting out: for annuals, for example it's best to wait until after mid-May.
Planting in beds
If you have a spacious enough garden for flowerbeds, then plant out your plants here, so they have plenty of room to stretch out their roots. Do it like this:
- Dig a hole in the soil that the roots will easily fit into.
- Enrich the soil in and around the hole with compost.
- Loosen up the roots and place the plant in the hole.
- Half-fill the hole with soil.
- Pour in water until there are no bubbles.
- Fill up the rest of the hole, press down gently and then you’re done.
Planting in pots
You can transform an empty balcony or patio into a flowering paradise with pots, hanging baskets and plant-filled containers. Choose plants that flower sequentially, so that there is always something pretty to admire. Plants in pots dry out quickly because of the sun and wind, so water them regularly. A few more handy tips:
- Terracotta pots retain more water than plastic pots.
- Place pots on a saucer into which the water can drain.
- Always choose a plant pot with growth in mind.
- Wrap up delicate plants when there are night-time frosts in spring.
- Feed and prune your plants for optimum flowering success.
Share pictures of your early gardening with us on social media using #thejoyofplants and we'll repost our favourites.