We all know Spring is always a very busy time in the garden but the good news is that a bit of time spent on getting your garden set up for summer now will ensure you can really enjoy it when summer comes.
- If you have herbaceous, or cottage garden plants, in your borders make sure you are giving them a little help with a good feed of Vitax Q4 as they emerge. This is an excellent general-purpose feed that feeds for a long period. This is also the time to get some good sturdy, stylish plant supports above the taller growing varieties as it’s much easier if the plant grows up through these structures rather than trying to force them over the top once they have already grown too big. They make nice features in the garden as they wait to be filled up. If you have good clumps from previous years you can divide these now or it’s a great time to be planting new ones.
- Add in to your borders clumps of summer flowering bulbs such as Gladioli, Agapanthus and Dahlias. Feed Daffodils and Tulips as they fade with Miracle Gro liquid feed and divide large clumps of snowdrops.
- Early flowering shrubs, such as Spiraea Arguta Bridal Wreath, should be pruned immediately after flowering using a good sharp pair of secateurs, such as the Spear and Jackson traditional bypass secateurs, or some hedging shears, such as the Wilkinson Sword Razor Cut Pro hedge shear. Often just a good clip over to tidy them up is all that is needed. Whilst looking at your shrubs, look out for green shoots amongst the variegated varieties such as Eleagnus Pungens Maculata and remove them completely as these green shoots will be more vigorous than the more attractive variegated stems and spoil the look of the shrub.
- We all love eating fresh runner beans but often don’t have the space to grow them. Well if you’ve got just 2 square feet spare on your patio, you could use a Haxnicks pea and bean patio planter, fill with Jacks Magic compost, some six foot canes neatly clipped at the top with a sweet pea and bean ring, and away you go!
- As it’s been so chilly you might not have been able to give your lawn its spring feed of Evergreen complete 4 in 1 yet. If this is so and your lawn looks like it needs a tonic, you could give it a feed immediately with Miracle Gro water-soluble lawn food. The advantage to your grass is that these nutrients are available as soon as you water it on, giving an instantly improved appearance, whereas the granular feeds need to be washed in and dissolved.
- Suppress weeds and retain moisture in the soil with a good thick layer of Bark mulch around your fruit trees. They do not like competition at the roots from other plants and weeds.
- As the roses are now growing well, it’s essential to give a good feed of a proper rose food such as Toprose and begin a regular spraying program with Rose Clear Ultra to prevent greenfly, blackfly, blackspot and mildew becoming a problem later in the year.
- With the grass growing more and mowing becoming more regular you might wish to compost all the clippings. If you have used a feed and weed, avoid putting the first cut in your compost bin but thereafter layer the grass in the bin, ideally mix with some coarser green waste and every six inches (15 cms) sprinkle on a layer of Garotta to speed up the composting process.
- Finally, it’s getting close to the really good fun events of choosing the plants and filling your pots and hanging baskets with your summer bedding and patio plants. The ranges and colour combinations are endless but we’ve noticed that white flowers are a very strong trend this year. They could be planted up now and kept in a greenhouse for a couple of weeks until the danger of frost has passed before moving out to their permanent positions. Don’t forget to add Miracle Gro slow release fertiliser into the compost before planting and ideally use the Miracle Gro moisture control compost for best results.
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Until next month, happy gardening!
The Diamond Garden Doctor