Getting ready for spring: The best tips for the garden
“Anyone wanting to enjoy a beautiful garden the whole year long should also make good use of the cold season,” says Patrick Pflegler, Category Manager Garden at Einhell Germany AG, giving tips on what needs to be done in February, March, and April.
February: Cut hedges – preferably from below
To protect sitting birds, hedges can only be cut back sharply up to the end of February. “February is a much better time for cutting back than the fall, because the cut areas are not exposed to frost for as long, which allows the plant to recover better,” says Pflegler. An extra little tip from the Einhell garden expert: “Always cut your hedge in a trapezoidal pattern – narrower at the bottom and wider at the top. That brings a lot of benefits, from the way it looks to its health.” A trapezoidal cut, for instance, will ensure the light is distributed more evenly over all parts of the hedge. This in turn promotes better photosynthesis and growth of the plants from the root to the tip. Air circulation is improved too, which reduces moisture and minimizes the risk of fungal diseases and mold formation in the hedge. A trapezoidal pattern also gives the hedge an aesthetically appealing, symmetrical shape. With flowering hedges, a trapezoidal cut additionally helps to ensure that more flowers appear on the lower branches, creating a more attractive blossom effect.
Pruning trees can likewise become a complex matter. “Depending on the species of tree, not only the method but also the best time for pruning can vary. While late winter is recommended for some species, other trees should not be pruned until the summer,” says Pflegler. His tip: “There's an art to pruning a tree correctly. Anyone wanting to learn how to do this for themselves is best advised to consult their local gardening club.”
March: The starting gun for garden projects
In March, as temperatures slowly start to climb again, it’s enjoyable getting outside and preparing the garden for the summer. “Now is precisely the right time to rethink the design of your garden, for instance, and make possible changes. It’s good for the garden if there’s something new every now and then,” says the Einhell garden expert. “That includes things like putting in new plants, of course, but also larger projects such as creating a compost heap or a raised bed, or building a greenhouse.”
A spring-clean is another must for the garden at this time of year: Dead plant remains, weeds and leaves must be removed from the beds in order to create space for new growth. Since the soil is generally not frozen any more, it should be loosened up and, ideally, mixed with a little compost. “That’s the best way to prepare the beds for planting vegetables and spring flowers,” says Patrick Pflegler. “Now would even be a good time to sow some frost-resistant vegetables such as carrots, radishes, and peas directly outdoors.”
Another task that should not to be forgotten is inspecting the watering systems, which should function perfectly the whole summer long after a thorough check. Last of all, of course, the garden tools need to be checked and gotten ready. This means charging batteries that were stored over the winter, and sharpening blades of shears and lawn mowers. Having a first trial run will heighten anticipation of the coming garden season. Those wanting to be perfectly prepared will now also be creating a garden calendar with planting and maintenance times for the whole year.
April: The grass comes alive again
From April, when the temperatures are permanently above five degrees, it’s time to see to the grass. “If you are a perfectionist, measure the pH value of the soil. It should be between 5.5 and 6.0 for sandy and light soils, or between 6.5 and 7.0 for heavy, clayey soils. If the pH value is too high, this will encourage the growth of clover and other weeds. If it's too low, the grass will become mossy,” the Einhell expert says.
“The grass must also be raked thoroughly to remove moss and other loose weeds. Then it needs to be fertilized. The perfect time to do this is when it's still dry, but rain is forecast,” Pflegler advises. At least two weeks later, and when the temperatures are above ten degrees, it’s time to start scarifying and reseeding.
Anyone investing well in their garden in the first few months of the year, then, will be able to enjoy it in its full glory in the summer.
About Einhell Germany AG
Einhell is a leading manufacturer of state-of-the-art tools and equipment for the house and garden. From its headquarters in Landau/Isar (Bavaria), the internationally successful company has continuously expanded its innovative rechargeable battery platform Power X-Change and is now the market leader in the area of cordless tools and garden equipment. For many years Einhell has set new standards in terms of endurance, performance, and safety. Einhell customers appreciate the freedom of cordless operation for all their DIY projects, as well as the excellent value for money that Einhell products represent and the first-class customer service offered by the company.