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Top tips to spruce up your garden


Gardeners’ World presenter Mark Lane offers 10 quick fixes to help you perk up your plot.

Even if you only have half an hour in the garden, you can still spruce up your plot – so says BBC Gardeners’ World presenter Mark Lane.

He’s supporting The Great British Garden Spruce Up, an initiative by Jeyes to coincide with National Gardening Week, to try to get the public to keep a daily gardening diary and spruce up their plots in preparation for summer.

You can do a lot to your plot in half an hour each day, says Mark Lane

“It’s incredible what you can do in 30 minutes. People underestimate that. They see that they have so much to do in the garden, but by breaking it down in to manageable chunks it makes life easier and you can get more done,” he says.

Here he suggests 10 quick fixes.

1. Get your tools in shape

It’s a good time to dust off your tools and give them a good clean. Remove rust from your gardening tools in a bowl of vinegar, which you can leave overnight. Rinse them well with water and dry them off with a towel. Then you can sharpen them with a good sharpening tool or other sharpening device, to leave you ready for the growing season.

2. Scrub your decks

If your patio is looking a bit grubby, give it a powerful blitz or give your decking a clean. It doesn’t have to be all at once. Take half an hour each day to clean items of furniture and within no time at all your garden seats and benches will be looking great.

3. Add colour

Add a few scatter cushions or a throw to your patio furniture, sprucing it up with some colour to make the area look incredible without having to do too much to it.

4. Get rid of weeds

If you don’t have time to dig them out, mix 4.5 litres of vinegar to 1tsp of dish soap and a little salt and sprinkle it over your weeds (but away from your plants).

5. Clamp down on pests

Look around your garden for any pests, which love hibernating in small nooks and crannies. Slugs and snails will start to be emerging and you can pick them off.

6. Rake the lawn

Give yourself a physical workout by raking the lawn. Remove debris, animal waste, fallen branches and dead leaves and winter build-up and you will soon see a magnificent change to your garden.

7. Fix up your fence

If you want instant colour, paint your fence a different shade. Clean the surface down and give it a lick of paint or some varnish.

8. Add style to your shed

Have a good de-clutter, getting rid of all the old stuff you really don’t need. Sheds can be quite personal spaces so why not whitewash the walls or paint them your favourite colour, adding a little seat in the corner, so you can escape during the heat of the day?

9. Pot on seedlings

If you’ve been growing plants from seed, it’ll soon be time to pot on those seedlings into larger pots – and you can pot on quite a lot in half an hour. Clean your garden pots beforehand with warm water and washing-up liquid and leave them to dry, ready for seedlings.

10. Give your houseplants some TLC

If you don’t have a garden, spend half an hour on your houseplants, either repotting them in fresh compost, or feeding them, or rearranging them together in an area to create a green focal point. If you put them by an open window, you will feel the breeze on your face and the sun on your skin – and will make you feel better.

The Great British Garden Spruce Up runs from April 27 to May 31. To access a gardening planner/calendar go to jeyesruleyourgarden.co.uk.

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