Whether you have a single pot on a window ledge or a sprawling rural garden, there are plenty of ways to bring delicious food and beautiful flowers into your life, and there’s no better time that spring to get going.

Here are my top three tasks for your organic garden in spring:

Spring clean

Emma O’Neill, head gardener at Garden Organic
Emma O’Neill, head gardener at Garden Organic

Spring cleans are as important in your garden as they are in your house. Now is the time to give everything a good clean, including any pots, tools, greenhouses and polytunnels. We also use this time to inspect crevices, nooks and crannies for any pests. And if like us you left spent flowers and foliage on your plants to provide food and habitat for beneficial insects and mammals, now is the time to cut it back.

Master mulching

Spring is also the time to start mulching. A mulch is a layer put on top of your soil to protect or to improve it, it’s a great way to supress weeds, protect and feed your soil, and trap moisture. Mulches can be made of organic material, such as homemade compost, leafmould or grass cuttings; or a geo-textile fabric; or just a simple layer of gravel or straw. On our no dig beds at Ryton Organic Gardens we use a combination of our own compost, covered with cardboard or cornstarch.

If you grow in containers, a layer of compost applied as a mulch will help feed your soil – simply remove the top third of the soil in the pot and replace with fresh homemade or peat-free potting compost.

Sowing and planting out

Of course the biggest, and most enjoyable, spring tasks are seed sowing and planting out anything you’ve already grown that’s large enough to handle, such as peas and beetroot, into its final growing bed or pot.

Seed sowing is a really simple task, and one that still gets me excited after all these years. We have a short video on seed sowing with some simple tips and hacks to make sure your precious seeds get off to the best start.

When it comes to seed sowing and potting on, your choice of compost is key. If you’re heading to the garden centre, make sure you buy the right compost for the right job. And always choose peat-free. Peat is a precious resource and highly efficient carbon store, extracting it for use in our gardens simply isn’t necessary as there are some fantastic peat-free compost alternatives available. We have lots of useful resources on growing without peat on our website.

However you choose to garden, enjoy it and don’t forget to take time to reflect on your victories and your disasters, and plan accordingly.

About Garden Organic

Garden Organic is a UK-wide charity that empowers individuals to garden and grow organically in their own homes, gardens and communities. Its focus is to demonstrate the positive difference organic gardeners can make in supporting biodiversity. It aims to nurture and grow a movement of people and organisations that take practical action to conserve seeds, to nurture soil, to reduce waste, to share organic gardening know-how and join in campaigning for organic growing methods to the benefit of human and planetary health.

Triodos Bank and Garden Organic have been friends and partners since 2013. 

Become a member of Garden Organic to join a movement of likeminded growers, and gain access to expert advice and information to support your own organic growing.

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