At the Ashbrook Garden Centre, also sometimes referred to as the Meath Garden Centre due to our size, we are eagerly looking forward to Spring, and for things to start growing again in the garden.
To get your garden ready for spring, start with the lawnâitâs good to spike it every so often to help it along, especially with all the rain we get, as spiking helps get the water away more quickly.
By spiking I mean reducing compaction in the soil using long metal spikesâyou can strap them on your shoes, or you can buy a special lawn spike. A simple one has up to 10 spikes on it and itâs like a spade. You stand on it and it goes into the ground, penetrating the top few inches of the soil to help with aeration and let the water drain away. There are also rotary models you can push along, and even heavy-duty variants for pulling behind a ride-on lawnmower. A garden fork works just as well, but it takes a fair while if your garden is of a reasonable size.
Around the end of January you can put some lime onto the lawn. The lime serves to stress the moss, and then you can apply moss killer. You put moss killer on soon after the lime and it keeps moss away for most of the year. Lime helps to raise the pH in the soil. If you bring up the pH, it helps in stressing the moss because moss loves low pH or peaty and acidic soils. Some artificial fertilisers also reduce the pH in the soil, and this acidity creates excellent conditions for the growth of moss, which you donât want.
For shrub beds, a light dig over helps loosen the soil. You can also dig in some chicken manure, which is great for hedges and shrubs. Start putting it on in early spring and it will work its way down to the rootsâeven if you just spread the manure on the surface now, the earthworms and other organisms in the ground will draw it down into the soil over the coming weeks. When the weather gets warmer and the growth is ready to come, the plants will feed off the fertiliser and chicken manure and you will have luscious growth on hedges and shrubs. I would advise using more farmyard manure than compost. We sell farmyard manure in bags at Ashbrook Garden Centre.