Eastertime for gardeners is a time to prepare for the summer. Repairing winter damage and starting lawn maintenance are two key tasks.
Planning changes to the garden, pruning shrubs, and preparing the lawn are all essential tasks for the gardener wishing to make the most of the summer.
Experienced gardeners will have already done some work in their garden and in the weeks leading up to Easter, they will have assessed what needs to be done. Some changes such as structural items might be major tasks. Others fall into the maintenance category but still have to be done.
When Easter falls later in the year there is greater opportunity for better weather. It is a good time to rectify any damage done during the winter. New growth on some Acer species will be coming through and it is a good time to just check there is no damage that will inhibit growth.
Leading up to Easter, owners of small gardens may have reassessed the best use of space and Easter is the time to make the changes.
Tender plants may not have survived a severe winter and should be removed. Evergreens may actually have suffered and need some careful pruning. Split and cracked branches and stems also need pruning.
Shrubs that need pruning should be cut back by a third to a half of their length. Dead branches and crossing stems should be removed as should damaged buds and moldy areas. Roses can be pruned but only after any risk of further frost has passed.
As a general rule, plants should not be fed until they are actively growing, to avoid scorching their roots. To further protect the roots, it is worth firming any loose soil at their base.
Easter is the best time of the year to undertake lawn maintenance, especially as April is the preferred time to lay new lawns if required. The first cut of the lawn will bring new growth through and help thicken the lawn base up. For the first few cuts of the year, lawnmower blades should be set high.
Existing lawns should have been scarified and forked previously to aerate the lawn ready for summer. Sand might have been brushed in to improve drainage.
If a requirement is to redefine the shape of the lawn, then rather than decide on the border area then let the lawn fill in, there is a lot to be said for deciding on the lawn shape first instead.
This tends to create larger and more impressive areas to display plants. Any spare pieces of turf can be kept to fill gaps later or turned over, covered, and kept out of the way to create a good loam by next year.
Easter might be used to make structural garden alterations such as building a pond or a greenhouse. Building a pond at this time is prudent as it allows time to prepare the water for its future inhabitants to enjoy their first year in the best weather initially.
This is particularly relevant for a koi pond. Existing ponds will need any weed removing and fish can start to be fed after their winter rest period. Garden borders will also need attention, and existing greenhouses will be kept busy at Easter.