Late spring is the perfect time to give your borders a little attention, in order to keep them in good shape throughout summer. At this time, there's still room between plants to negotiate a way through, so you can access plants at the back of the border before everything grows and knits together.

Late spring is the perfect time to give your borders a little love and attention, in order to keep them in good shape throughout the summer.

Here are six key jobs that you can do to pep up your borders in spring.


Feed plants

Feeding border plants dry blood, fish and bonemeal

Feed plants now as they come into strong growth. There are many feeds on the market, but good all-round organic products include fish, blood and bonemeal, and pelleted chicken manure.



Deadheading a spring-flowering plant

Deadhead spring-flowering plants such as bergenias to divert energy into leaf growth and establish stronger plants. If you want some plants, such as hellebores, to self-seed, leave the seedheads on.


Stake plants

Putting a circular support stake around a plant

Start staking large-flowered plants such as peonies or tall delphiniums. There are many types of supports available, including grids or simple bent metal supports to stop them drooping forwards.

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Tie in climbers

Tying clematis to a horizontal support with twine

Tie in climbers to their support framework as new growth develops, and ensure you cover the space evenly. Most climbers flower more profusely if you tie them in horizontally.



Hoeing a border
Hoeing a border

As you retreat backwards out of the border, hoe the soil where you've trodden and compacted it, to loosen it again. Hoe off any weeds you may have missed, too.



Mulching around plants

Mulch between plants while the soil is moist. This will lock in moisture, suppress weeds and improve the fertility of the soil, as well as visually set off your plants well for the season ahead. Watch our video on


Set up an irrigation system

Be sure to keep any newly planted plants well watered. Watering during dry spells in summer can be a laborious task - now is the ideal time to set up a leaky-hose irrigation system through the border.

Watering can
Geranium 'Ann Folkard'
Geranium Ann Folkard

Border plants to try

  • Geranium 'Ann Folkard' - a magenta cranesbill
  • Astrantia 'Shaggy' - white blooms light up a semi-shaded spot
  • Clematis 'Warszawska Nike' - drape it through a large shrub
  • Iris sibirica - an early iris, ideal for moist but free-draining soil
  • Euphorbia x martini - acid-yellow bracts with red centres