Need Assistance? 01384 442752 (UK)

Spring Tasks in the Garden

Following such an unusually warm February, and then such a massive set of downpours in March, time in April and May may be much in demand for gardeners, so here are some suggestions:

Lawns & Moss

During the Winter, moss may have proliferated and lawns may now be in poor condition.  I recommend feeding the lawn with lawn feed, and if you have an enormous amount of moss, using a feed which contains iron to kill the moss too.  You can also get products which deal with weeds at the same time or separately - though bear in mind as I mentioned last month, daisies in lawns can look lovely and keep children and adults occupied by making daisy chains.  After the moss has gone brown/black, give the lawn a scarify to allow the remaining grasses room to grow, and reseed if necessary. 

Slugs

Apply nematodes as soon as the weather is warm enough (nematodes are the natural enemy of slugs (biocontrol) and are very useful in their control).  You should be aware that any molluscicide which contains metaldehyde will disappear from shelves of garden retailers this summer.  The UK Expert Committee on Pesticides and the Health and Safety Executive have concluded that metaldehyde poses an ‘unacceptable risk’ to birds and animals.  It will be illegal to sell products containing this from June 2019 although gardeners can use any remaining stock until early 2020.

Ferric phosphate-based pellets are now recommended as more wildlife-friendly.  No pesticide is 100% safe, so use only when required and follow the instructions on the label. 

Bulbs

Remove dead flowers of spring bulbs such as daffodils so that the plant’s energy can be channelled back into the bulb to flower even better next year rather than going into creating seeds.  Additionally, don’t tie the leaves up or cut them down until June, to allow leaves time to photosynthesise so they can provide more energy to the bulbs.  You can feed them too with a liquid fertiliser or a small scattering of something like Growmore. 

Support

Tie in climbers as they put on flexible young growth (being bent into horizontal positions encourages plants to produce flowers along the whole length of the shoot, rather than just at the top).

If growing early sowings of peas, provide support so they don’t flop to the ground by putting prunings of twiggy cuttings from trees and shrubs, or using canes and netting. 

Finally, the one I always forget to do until it is too late, stop new growth of flowering herbaceous plants being damaged/flopping to the ground by netting or staking early.  

Learn more about gardening with an ACS Horticulture course

We cover a variety of different subject areas to develop general horticultural knowledge, to specialising in the cultivation and propagation of particular plant species . Our selection of courses cater for different levels of knowledge - from beginners to advanced and specialists.

All of our courses are studied by distance learning. They can be started at any time. Our courses have been developed over decades and are kept up to date in line with current practices. They have been researched and written by myself and other experts. Many include practical exercises so that you can develop your knowledge with experience of what you are being taught. All students receive guidance and support from expert tutors whilst they study with ACS. 

If you have any questions or want to know more, please get in touch today.

Article by -

Diana Cole, Horticulture and Permaculture Tutor

[16/01/2021 02:12:24]