When winter starts to fade into spring, the inside of your home isn't the only place that needs some attention.
Alongside your spring cleaning regime, it's also time to think about some basic gardening jobs that will help get your yard ready for the summer months.
Whether you're a keen gardener or you're just starting out, these are some simple tips that will help you enjoy your garden during the warmer seasons.
Green fingers at the ready... Here we go!
1) Clean your tools
If you've left your gardening tools in the shed all winter covered in mud and dirt, now is the time to clean them. Dirty tools can fall into disrepair quicker, and can also spread disease and infect plants.
Blast dirt away with some water, and remove stubborn mud with a stiff brush. Oiling your tools will also help prevent them from rusting. To prolong their life further, and to ensure your plants and flowers remain well looked after, keep tools clean and free of dirt after each use.
2) Tidy up your flower beds and borders
With dead leaves and foliage falling from trees and bushes in the autumn, your flower beds will probably have collected a fair few during the winter. Remove any dead leaves from your beds and borders, as well as any rubbish that has collected over the winter.
Neaten up your borders by trimming the edges, and turn your soil to cultivate it and help plants to thrive.
3) Get rid of weeds and pests
Everyone hates weeding, but it's a job that needs to be done. Spring is the ideal time to remove any weeds from your soil and lawn. You should also pull any that have grown between paving slabs or cracks in your patio surface.
As well as making the garden look tidier, this will also stop the weeds stealing nutrients from the soil that your plants require.
Another job is to make sure that your garden is free of pests – particularly ones like slugs which love to wreak havoc on your flower beds. Rather than using toxic pesticides, there are plenty of natural solutions that are environmentally friendly. For example, sprinkling crushed egg shells over your soil will help to repel slugs.
4) Cut back any bushes
Spring is the time when new life starts to bloom, but its important to first remove any old branches and leaves from your bushes. There may be dead parts that need to be removed to allow for new buds to blossom.
Prune bushes and dead head your climbing plants, and this will enable them to flower during the spring and summer.
5) Plant summer flowering plants and bulbs
A summer garden looks best when it boasts a riot of colour from attractive plants and flowers. To ensure your garden bursts into life this summer, make sure that you plant any summer flowering plants and bulbs in the spring.
Lillies, dahlias, crocuses and iris are all great colourful options that you might want to try.
6) Tidy your patio area
There's no better way to enjoy your garden than with a patio or decking. But during the winter, this part of the garden can become a little tired and run down.
Rejuvenate your patio by removing any rubbish that has collected. You could also give paving stones a blast with a pressure washer to lift up any moss or dirt and leave them looking as good as new.
7) Clean your bird tables
If you like to attract wildlife to your garden, you'll probably have a bird table stationed somewhere. Birds love nothing more than flocking to a garden where they're made welcome with a selection of treats and a bath.
However, it's important that you keep your bird table clean to avoid harming the birds. When you're spring cleaning the garden, make sure you give any bird tables a clean and re-stock with seeds and nuts.
8) Start composting
Good compost can massively improve the quality of your garden soil. And the best thing is, you can make your own absolutely free! If you don't already have one, get a compost bin or, if you enjoy a bit of DIY, make one from an old container or some wood.
You can then throw in your garden waste (and kitchen waste such as vegetable peelings). The rotting process creates great compost which is perfect for adding to your soil to help your plants thrive.
9) Collect and recycle rainwater
As we all know, summer in the UK doesn't mean we're free of rain! It can be a nuisance when you plan to spend a day in the garden only to be foiled by the heavens opening.
However, rain isn't always bad news. It's definitely worth collecting it in a water butt, as this is an eco-friendly way of watering your plants when the soil is dry. As well as being good for the environment, recycling rainwater is also beneficial to your plants – tap water can be slightly alkaline which can cause harm to some varieties of plant.
A water butt will also stop you falling foul of any hosepipe bans that may be imposed during particularly hot summers.
10) Treat your garden furniture
With summer on the horizon, it will soon be time to start inviting friends and family round for a garden party or barbecue. And for that to be a success, you'll need your garden furniture.
If you've packed it away during the winter, it might collect dust in the garage. So when you get it out for the summer, give it a quick once over to remove any dirt that's gathered. You might also want to treat it to preserve the wood. This will help to protect against spillages and the weather, as well as ensuring your furniture lasts longer.
Tell us your tips
If you're looking forward to spending much of your summer in the garden, follow our simple tips this spring to get your yard ready.
Do you have any tips of your own for making the most of your garden? Share them with our readers by leaving a comment below!