Ross brings his extensive experience in estate management to The Park. He and his hard-working team make sure that Dalkeith Country Park looks beautiful all year round. From ensuring paths are safe for the public to maintaining all of the beautiful plants, trees and animals in The Park, Ross is busy every day.
We asked Ross for his top tips on spring gardening. What should we be planting? what garden maintenance is important at this time of year? How to help spring wildlife? And much more!
Top 5 tasks for spring
It’s time to think about waking up the garden for the new growing season. With so much to get done, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed on where to begin. Ross suggest to focus on these 5 areas first:
- Deadhead daffodils to ensure all energy goes back into the bulbs for next year
- Weed and mulch flower beds to give them a nutritional boost
- Split and plant snowdrops when they have finished flowering to encourage them to spread for the next season
- Prune roses to encourage re-growth
- Split and replant any large perennials. For first time gardeners who are now asking, what is a perennial:
A perennial plant is any plant that lives for more than two years. Some perennials are trees and shrubs, while others are herbaceous (nonwoody) flowering plants.
Important new additions
It’s a great time of year to add some important additions to your garden that will benefit both the plant variety and wildlife.
If you have the space, identify a corner that you can leave to grow naturally. This will help to increase the biodiversity of your garden.
Consider an area for wild flower planting and seeding. Not only will this look whimsical but it provides those all important pollinators with an excellent food source.
Build a bug box! It’s a great activity to get the whole family involved costs very little and provides the perfect habitat for beneficial insects.
For the first time gardener
First things first, test your soil. When designing and planting your garden for the first time, you need to know whether the soil is acid or alkaline, as different plants thrive in different soils. Check out this soil testing guide to get started.
Make sure to include an area for composting garden waste. This allows you to make the most of both garden and cooking waste and helps to enrich the soil with nutrients when it is re-introduced to your garden.
Give nature a helping hand
In preparation for a warm summer to come – fingers crossed Scotland! – a bird bath is a great addition to your garden. Some of the benefits include:
- Attracting more birds to your garden which can help with pollination and controlling pests.
- Providing a safe place for birds to drink and bathe, away from predators.
- A beautiful addition to any garden and can provide hours of enjoyment for you and your family.
Ross's Top Tip
Enjoy the process! Don’t let the thought of gardening overwhelm you just try things and enjoy seeing them grow, if they don’t try moving them or try something different.