Season-wise, it’s hard to beat spring. Flowers bloom at their best, days get longer and balmier. It’s a season of beauty, best spent outside on your own garden patio. That said, the magic may be lacking somewhat when you still have autumn leaves around and weeds are sprouting. In other words, after hibernation, it’s high time to spruce up your terrace and garden. Our checklist gives you the lowdown on exactly what needs to be done in spring and in what order. Getting your garden shipshape has never been easier...
Mow: As soon as overnight temperatures stop going below freezing and blades of grass have grown at least 7 cm long, you can restart your lawnmowing. Don’t overdo it first time around, since cutting the grass right to the roots suddenly will stunt its growth.
Weed: Mowing the lawn should make it easier to spot outlying moss or weeds. Pull them out by hand or with a weed cutter or use a biological weed killer. For paving stones or joints, you can also douse the weed in boiling water, which will kill the plant and dry it out. Depending on the variant, however, you may have to hold off on any more gardening for one to two weeks until all the weeds have died off.
Scarify: Mossier lawns or lawns with bare patches should be scarified. This involves the scarifier cutting the turf to a depth of 3-5mm deep or so with rotating blades and removing dead plant residues in the process. This gives the grass roots more oxygen and makes for a denser and more durable lawn.
Fill in gaps: Immediately after scarifying, you can seed any brown spots to repair gaps and get your lawn back to its spotless green best.
Fertilise: Best done right after seeding and preferably with a special spring fertiliser, to stimulate the root growth of your newly sown blades of grass. After fertilising in spring, you should fertilise two more times during the garden year, in summer and autumn respectively. And you can set up a reminder directly in our maintenance planner.
Water: Directly after fertilising is when your lawn most needs a drink: water it extensively afterwards.
Collect leaves: Fallen leaves are a winter blanket for your plants and keep them toasty warm when the mercury drops. Come mid-March or so though, you should remove this foliage layer to give them enough air and water to grow.
Weed: Remember, weeds also end hibernation in spring and as with the lawn, should be removed from flower beds as soon as possible.
Dig over: If you didn’t get around to it already in autumn, make it a priority to dig over and rake through any smooth soil that is being replanted, removing any large stones you find in the process.
Prune: Now is the time to prune back tree crowns and shrubs that thrive in these circumstances at the earliest opportunity. The Plantura article (in German )helps you schedule the optimal timing for each shrub. Clear your trees of mistletoe, which is probably a job for pruning shears. And while you’re at it, you also prune perennial herbs like rosemary, lavender or roses.
Plant bulbs: March is the perfect time to plant flowers with bulbs, like tulips or crocuses. You can also sow robust annual flowers like daisies or corn poppies now.
Repot: If the roots of your potted plants threaten to outgrow your enclosure, now is the right time to repot them.
Control slugs and snails: Slugs also awaken from hibernation in spring and the eggs prepare to hatch. Set live traps by placing potato peelings, fruit scraps or lettuce leaves under old boards or bricks in the garden. You’ll find they become shelters for snails overnight, which should make collecting them the next morning a breeze. Place the slugs somewhere full of natural enemies, where they cannot cause further damage, like a forest or wild meadow. Raised flower beds also help keep slugs away from your seedlings.
Carefully acclimatise plants to the cold: Potted plants that have spent the winter indoors or in a greenhouse will protest if suddenly exposed to the cold. With that in mind, keep them inside until at least May.
Basic care: Remove any dead leaves and fruit remains from your fruit bush and take away leaves, weeds and stones from the vegetable patch.
Dig over vegetable patch: Dig over your planted vegetables and work some compost into the soil, which will give it the nutrients it needs.
Prune fruit trees: If you are sure that no further frosts are coming, you should prune back your fruit trees. However, be a little more careful here and less generous than with conventional trees.
Plant vegetables: By March, you can already start planting the first vegetables provided you have frost-free weather. Peas, carrots, spinach, broccoli and onions all tick the box perfectly. Other vegetables, celery, courgettes, cucumbers, tomatoes and beans for example, are more sensitive to cold, so hold off until at least May before planting them.
Fertilise and water: Water your freshly planted vegetables sufficiently. Unless you have already worked compost into the soil, you should fertilise the vegetable bed. Come what may, plan to fertilise your vegetable garden a second time no later than June.
Tidy up and clean: It is best to place all furniture and pots to one side, then remove leaves, cobwebs and other dirt. Once you’ve brushed the space clean, you can also use a high-pressure cleaner to polish your patio slabs until they shine.
Clean and prepare garden furniture: Wood or wicker garden furniture is best cleaned with a conventional wood cleaner and warm water. Metal furniture may need to be thoroughly derusted and if so, you’ll find a water/vinegar mixture very handy.
Protect garden furniture: Things may still be a bit nippy in spring, so let the furniture dry well after cleaning and protect it with a cover while not in use.