Six 'essential' gardening jobs that take less than an hour

Woman and brand new hover lawnmower with fence in background
Woman and brand new hover lawnmower with fence in background -Credit:Getty Images/iStockphoto/SHARED CONTENT UNIT

National Gardening Week begins on Monday (April 29) and many people may be inspired to spruce up their outdoor space. If you're unsure of where to start in your garden, experts suggest beginning with six straightforward tasks.

As the warmer weather gradually approaches, many of us are eager to prepare our gardens for enjoyment once summer finally arrives. Keen and seasoned gardeners are likely already well into their spring to-do list, but if you're more of a beginner and uncertain of where to start, these experts have got your back.

There are six tasks that you can commence your gardening journey with, and the best part is all of them should take you under an hour to complete. This means that you can easily get on top of your green space, either by setting aside a little time to do one of these tasks over a few days, doing one each weekend, or if you're feeling particularly productive you can even tackle all of these in one day.


Experts from Express Bi-Folding Doors and Dobbie Garden Centre have teamed up to devise the best introductory tasks for novice gardeners to get stuck into this spring. From tidying the lawn to refreshing potted plants, use this as your to-do list and you'll find your green space is completely transformed.

Tidying up

Firstly, it's crucial to give your garden a thorough tidy-up before you start any planting. This is the "essential first step when it comes to preparing for the summer, and if you have been maintaining your garden throughout the winter months."

But if you've neglected your outdoor space while avoiding the chilly weather, there's no need to fret.

"One of the quickest and simplest ways to tidy up your garden is by removing dead leaves, neatening your beds and borders for the growing season, removing weeds, and applying a good layer of mulch over the surface with organic compost," the gardening gurus recommend. They add that "not only will mulching help tidy up the appearance of your garden, but it will break down into the soil and give your plants a nutrient boost for spring."

Designing beds and borders


Moving on to lawns, they require some extra attention at this time of year. Before diving into mowing and seeding, one absolutely vital task must be completed: clearing any debris from your grass.

Once the climate in your area begins to warm, you can start raking out dead grass and any emerging moss. For now, hold off on treatments until it gets warmer and simply concentrate on cleaning your lawn of any litter. This should take around 15-30 minutes for an average-sized garden, or perhaps up to an hour for those with larger green spaces.

Refreshing your pots

Generic gardening image of plant in a pot
Generic gardening image of plant in a pot -Credit:Shared Content Unit

As a beginner gardener, one of the quickest tasks you can tackle is sprucing up any potted plants you have. Now's the perfect time to inject some vibrant colour into your garden or patio area - and it's ideal for those with just a balcony space too.

Nigel Lawton, a gardening expert, suggests focusing on coordinating the colours of your pots as an easy way to enhance your outdoor area. For example, "Primroses, Pansies, or Violas can be effective in spring to welcome the new season," with their cool hues creating a harmonious display. Nigel advises grouping three pots together, varying their sizes and heights, to make a striking visual statement.

Creating a cosy patio

Another top tip from gardening gurus is to give your patio a thorough tidy. A well-maintained patio can serve as a fantastic spot for social gatherings or a peaceful retreat to enjoy a book on a sunny day.

To get the most out of this space, start by cleaning it thoroughly. While jet washers can simplify the process, a good scrub with a stiff broom and soapy water will also do the trick.

To further enhance your patio, the expert recommends complementing your garden furniture with an outdoor rug for a snug vibe, and adding cushions and throws to elevate your comfort even more.


Another beginner-friendly task you can do to spruce up your garden is taking care of the lawn. Experts say that early spring is the best time to get your lawn ready for sowing by cultivating soil and making sure the area is level and firm.

However, before you do anything, make sure to clear out any debris from your lawn. Nigel adds that as we get into spring and the weather heats up, you can begin to rake out moss and dead grass.

Other lawn treatments should only be used in late spring once temperatures rise, as during the colder months, the grass is still quite tender, and this can damage it. This will take 15-30 minutes for small gardens and up to 60 minutes for those on the larger side.

Welcome wildlife

A final note for novice gardeners eager to increase the biodiversity of their outdoor oasis - take steps to encourage wildlife. This simple act supports the overall health and ecosystem of your garden.

All it takes is dedicating a small corner of your green space to be a wildlife haven. Add pollinator-friendly plants and consider "stacking branches in a shaded spot to help protect them from the elements. All of this can be done in under an hour."