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We’re not quite in the heights of summer just yet, but the thaw that comes after the winter is always a transformative time for gardens. It’s the season of blooming, new growth, and plenty of water. However, year after year, gardeners find themselves surprised by how quickly they have to get into action, get those gloves on, and get their tools out. Here, we’re going to look at how you can get ready for the beginning of the gardening year once more.

1. Goodbye, winter

First of all, tidy away all your winter gear from the garden and shed. Winter boots, gloves, and coats may have been useful in the cold, but now they’re only going to clutter everything up. Similarly, you may have covers that have been protecting all your furniture throughout the winter. Now’s the time to put them back in storage. If you have lighter covers, they can provide ample protection from the rain.

2. Audit your gear

Even under covers and in storage, our gardening gear suffers some wear and tear. Check your tools for rust and any sustained damage. Similarly, look over your furniture for cracks, chips, and signs of any pests. Now is the time to start a checklist of what needs to be repaired and what needs to be replaced.

3. Get the right tools

Regardless of the state of your current tools, make sure that you have the right equipment ready for gardening season. Effective garden gloves, cultivators, pruners, shovel, and hand rake are wholly necessary. A new hose and lawnmower can also help make things much more convenient.

4. Tidy up

Whether you have a shed or a mudroom that you use to store all your gardening equipment, now is the time to rearrange it. Put your winter gear in the back and clear out all the clutter, making your tools much more accessible. A rack to hang your tools from can keep them all separate and easy to spot, or a simple gardening tray can help you reach everything you need at once.

5. Pick your pots

Don’t keep potted plants in the same pots from year to year. As root-bound plants grow, they need more space. The pots you were using last year may not be large enough to sustain their growth. The surest sign a plant needs repotting is visible roots poking out from the pot. However, you can tip the soil out to gently handle the plant and get a closer look at roots. If they’re white and healthy, with plenty of soil around them, they are fine for now.

6. Watch new growth carefully

New growths in the garden are those most likely to attract pests. Keep an eye out for both aphids, snails and slugs in particular. If you spot them, squash them and find the right deterrent. There are companion plants that attract ladybugs, for instance, which feed on aphids.

Neglect to prepare, and you are going to leave yourself ill-equipped for all the gardening to come. With winter clutter in the way, old unreliable tools, and pots beginning to wear and tear, you will only give yourself more work if you don’t start getting ready.