I’m a gardening expert, here's how to get your garden ready for spring

WITH glimpses of sunshine over the last few days, it looks like spring is well and truly on its way.

It won't be long before you'll be having friends and family around for a barbecue and civilised get together.

But if your garden is looking a little worse for wear following a freezing cold winter, then you best head out and buy yourself the essentials.

If like us, you have all the gear and no idea, then fear not, because gardening expert Lia Leendertz has shared her top tips with The Telegraph.

Borders

Many homeowners leave old growth on their perennials behind over winter, so now is the perfect time to have a much-needed tidy up, says Lia.

She goes on to note how new shoots are eager to push through, so it's essential to make room for them to grow and flourish.

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However, she warns of the importance of moving any old debris to the side to give any insects which have nestled inside a chance to leavewhenever they're ready.

Once all of this groundwork is done, Lia says you're ready to go.

"Water perennials with an all-purpose feed and then seal winter moisture into the soil by applying a mulch of organic matter: garden compost or well-rotted manure are both perfect," she advises. 

The gardening expert explains how the mulch will not only help to reduce weeds, but will improve soil structure and in turn, some very happy plants.

Lawn

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The chances are, your lawn is in need of some serious TLC.

If this is the case, Lia advises giving it a trim first before tackling it with a lawnmower.

Then, she notes you're ready to repair any bare patches.

"Scratch up the surface, scatter grass seed, and then cover with a square of horticultural fleece or environmesh, pinned down with tent pegs, to keep the birds off while the seeds germinate," the gardening expert advises.

Lia also highlights the importance of giving them a generous supply of water throughout the summer.

Vegetable plot

When it comes to asparagus, it's essential the crowns are planted in a well-prepared bed of their own, with as much drainage as possible, according to Lia.

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"You will need to leave the plants unharvested for two years, keeping them weed-free and cutting back the foliage in autumn, but it is worth the investment as they will then crop for many years," she explains.

She goes on to advise that the ideal temperature for direct sowing is around 7-8C, as this will ensure that seeds will germinate.

So, while the chances are it's too cold for that at the moment, she notes that there's no harm in getting ahead of yourself in preparation for the following month.

This can be achieved by rather simply placing polythene over the soil in a bid to maintain the warmth.

Greenhouse

At this time of year, the greenhouse is in high demand, with Lia warning it's likely every area inside will be taken up by something.

Vegetables including tomatoes, aubergines and cucumbers should be placed in the heated propagator and sown around mid month.

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But crops that are able to be sown directly into the ground the following month can be placed in a cold greenhouse so that you're one step ahead, she notes.

These include peas, cabbages, spring onions, carrots and rocket.

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