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The Lazy Dad's Guide to Gardening: Spring Prep Edition

Well, it might be pretty much the coldest snap of weather we’ve experienced this winter, but there are hints that conditions out there are changing. Every now and again, the sun peeks from behind the clouds, and unless I’m very much mistaken, we’re getting the occasional feeling of heat on our faces.

Sure, it’s not quite time to start popping the champagne corks and inviting your friends and family around for garden parties, but as any horticulturalist will tell, the time is ripe for getting your backyard ready for spring.

But let’s be clear - who can honestly be bothered? When you have your hands full with screaming kids and a boss who doesn’t care about your sleepless nights, the reality for most busy working parents is that gardening is going to take a back seat. There are, however, a few simple cheats you can try that should only take you a weekend or so - and possibly a little investment. Let’s take a look at the lazy dad’s guide to spring garden preparation.

The Big Clean

First of all, let’s clear the damage caused by a brutally wet and windy winter. Get yourself some tough garden gloves and bags, and start work by clearing all the winter debris from your garden beds and lawn areas. Get the kids involved, too - they will want to help out, and you’re much better off offering them the opportunity rather than constantly having to pick them up and bring them back indoors. And anyway, the likelihood is they will get bored after five minutes and get back to Peppa Pig, leaving you some peace and quiet for the rest of the day - perfect!

Plan Ahead For Your Lawn

During the winter, your lawn looks manageable. But don’t be fooled. By the time spring and summer come around, that bad boy is going to be thicker than a shag pile rug and growing from a few centimetres high to towering jungle conditions almost overnight. And let’s be clear - you are going to be responsible for cutting it. My recommendation? Cut your work in half - or more - by persuading your better half to open the purse strings for some decking. As you can see over at, there are some fancy designs that should go down well with the whole family. And if you want to cut back your workload, even more, try your local garden centre for some artificial turf. While it won’t match the real thing, just think of the hours you will save from having to get the mower out. And guys - don’t forget there’s months worth of World Cup Finals coming up this summer. Wink wink.

Trim & Fix

Finally, look for holes in fences, hedgerows, and border areas. These places will all hold an incredible fascination for your kids, and give them a handy escape route - which is obviously a little on the dangerous side. If you have any DIY skills, fix them - have a good guide. Otherwise, pop down to your local garden centre and find a replacement. You should also look for dead or broken branches on your trees and shrubs. Remove them with secateurs, and if you are feeling artistic, give them a little shaping. Or don’t, if you are a true lazy dad.

OK, so there you have it - a few little tasks and your backyard should be ready for spring. Any tips to add? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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