Anton Du Beke discusses gardening with his children

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Gardens are long-term projects, therefore doing small tasks often is the best way to ensure that your garden is in good condition. For beginner gardeners, doing things in this way can also allow you to enjoy the process of gardening more, as well as making it easier for yourself.

Expert gardener Calum Maddock at Home How has shared his tips on which small tasks you should do to maintain your garden.

These tasks only take a few minutes each and will not take more than an hour if you decide to do them all on the same day.

They should also be done often so that your garden stays in tip top condition.

Calum said: “Improving and transforming your outdoor space doesn’t require a lot of time, there are many small tasks you can perform to achieve a visually striking garden.”

The first task that Calum advised doing that requires little effort but still produces excellent results is pruning your hedges.

When garden hedges overgrow they can easily become a nuisance and affect the growth of other plants in your garden.

Calum recommended trimming hedges regularly to maintain them looking tidy.

Evergreen hedges should be pruned in spring, while all hedges should be pruned well every summer.

When cutting any type of hedge or tree, ensure that there are no birds nesting, which could happen anytime between March and September since that is when nesting season takes place.

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Another task to do in the garden that doesn’t take much time and that is perfect to do now, in April, is to sow seeds.

Calum said that growing your own vegetables “doesn’t have to be a big task” and can take up to 30 minutes.

The simplest vegetables and fruit to start off with if you are a beginner are potatoes, peas, and strawberries, according to Calum.

The easiest way to sow seeds is to use pots or containers, fill them with general compost, plant the seeds into the soil, and then cover with more compost before adding a little water.

All the seeds require for germination is warmth, moisture, and oxygen.

Most flowers and vegetables need a warm, sheltered area that attracts sun, since this keeps the compost moist.

Watering your plants is vital for their growth and can take as little as 20 minutes.

Before watering, check if a plant’s soil is moist, watery, or dry, so that you know if it needs water or not.

Keeping a watering schedule is handy to know when you have last watered a plant, and this will help avoid over-watering.

Plants in containers will need more watering than those in borders, said Calum, while cactus and succulents can survive without frequent watering.

Cleaning your patio is another task that is useful to do in the upkeep of your garden, especially ahead of summer when you will be able to welcome guests to your home.

Calum recommended splitting the workload into sections to maximise your time.

First, move all your pots and furniture to one side and brush away any debris with a thin bristle brush.

To remove any dirt, mix soap with water and scrub with the brush over your patio tiles.

The final task Calum advised as part of your gardening routine is to remove any tired plants.

The gardening expert said: “If you have old shrubs or flower plants that need reviving, don’t be afraid to remove them.

“Old looking plants can have a negative impact on the entire look of your garden.”

Calum recommended investing in a weed killer, but make sure that you read the labels to see which product will work best for you, and try to avoid ripping plants out of the ground as this will deprive your soil of food and reduce its fertility.

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