April 12th, 2022

How to make the most of your garden this spring

Spring is here, and has brought a spell of beautiful sunshine all around the UK.

You might have felt yourself let out a sigh of relief when the sunshine returned, and spent more time in your garden to soak up every minute of warmth you could.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, your garden may have become something of a sanctuary for you and your family. Indeed, when outdoor activity was restricted, having a garden may have brought you some comfort during such an uncertain time.

Now that spring is here, it’s time to start preparing your garden for the warm months ahead, and make the most of your outdoor space in the lighter evenings.

Read on to find out some gardening tips for spring, plus, why spending time outside could improve your family’s wellbeing as we emerge from winter.

How to prepare your garden for the warm spring and summer weather

If you love tending to your garden, you may have already begun preparing it for the heat of the spring and summer.

Spring can be unpredictable – temperatures can soar above 20 degrees in the day, then plummet below zero at night – so it can be tricky to know how best to keep your garden healthy in this season.

If you have a vegetable garden, it might be best to research the needs of the specific veg in your patch. For example, asparagus is a perennial vegetable that sprouts during the summer. So, the spring months are a perfect time to remove any weeds surrounding the asparagus, and to fertilise the beds before they begin to sprout.

Similarly, if you have spring flowers in your garden, such as magnolia or cherry blossom, these may already be starting to fade in the height of spring. So, you could use these trees to hold bird feeders year-round, in order to make use of their structure, even outside of the flowering season.

If you are unsure what your garden needs at this time of year, it may be helpful to access free resources on YouTube, or to contact a local gardener for advice. You could also pay a visit to your local garden centre and chat to a friendly expert, who may be able to offer guidance on caring for the plants you have at home.

If you’re looking for inspiration, our how to make the most of your garden guide has some great tips.

Why gardening is great for your mental health

Beyond caring for the plants in your garden, spring is the perfect season to take care of yourself, too.

Indeed, winter can be a difficult time for your mental health, with Bupa reporting that approximately 2 million Brits suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) each year.

Luckily, psychologists believe that gardening can be instrumental in improving a person’s mental wellbeing.

According to Psychology Today, gardening is a fantastic way to practise non-perfectionism, connect to the Earth in a meaningful way, and develop a growth mindset.

For example, you could plant seeds in your garden, tend to them carefully, and still, they may not bloom as you had hoped. Or, they could sprout beautifully, and reward you with a sense of accomplishment.

Not knowing how something will turn out, but deciding to nurture it anyway, could be a fantastic exercise for your mental health. If you are experiencing financial or work-related stress, a few minutes of gardening each evening could help soothe your worried mind, and allow you to practise gratitude and acceptance too.

What’s more, psychological research is now being conducted into the effects of the colour green on our brains.

Indeed, according to Very Well Mind, the colour green can be associated with tranquillity, peace, and nature – meaning that, by spending more time in your garden, you could be treating your brain to a healthy dose of calmness every day.

Gardening can help bring the whole family together

Not only can gardening be brilliant for your own mental health, but it can help strengthen family bonds too.

No matter the size or shape of your family, you can get everyone involved in gardening. Young children love to dig and water flowers, while older children might get immense satisfaction from planting and growing flowers or vegetables of their choice.

Plus, older relatives could get much-needed social contact and physical exercise from short gardening sessions.

The lighter evenings we will experience in the spring and summer will offer ample opportunities to get outside and do some gardening as a family.

You could even go one step further and embark on a family project, such as building a new shed, or setting up a vegetable garden for the first time.

Whatever the size, shape, and scope of your garden, making the most of it this spring could improve your health, and help keep your plants in shape in time for the summer heat.

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