Spring In The Garden
Well, here we are, another long winter behind us with spring and summer to look forward to.
I love this time of year, the garden is bursting back into life and there of signs of hope and regeneration everywhere. The birds are nesting and singing, leaves are bursting and flowers are blooming.
It’s Spring Time!
What could be better than putting on your boots and heading outside for some recreational time with nature and improve the view from your window at the same time?
According to recent research landscaping your garden can also add up to 77% to the value of your property!
Spring is traditionally the time to plant your annual bedding plants or sow seeds to grow your own.
A word of caution, most bedding plants are not frost hardy so don’t get tempted to plant them to early unless you can bring them in or cover with fleece. In our part of the country a frost up until late May is not uncommon.
Whether you favorite is the fiery orange of Marigolds, the subtle pinks of Busy Lizzy or the vibrant blue of Lobelia there are plenty of choices to brighten your space. Remember to remove dead flowers regularly and to feed weekly in season with a liquid feed such as Miracle Gro to ensure a continual display.
If plants that come back every year (perennials) or shrubs are more your thing now is the perfect time to plant while temperatures are not too high and the soil is still moist. Remember, these plants will hopefully be in your garden for many years so preparation is key, ensure you dig in some good quality compost such as Care Compost or well rotted farm yard manure. Also add a slow release fertilizer such as pelleted chicken manure or fish, blood and bone. Remember to water regularly for the first year until they are established, an automatic micro irrigation system from Gardena or Hozelock is ideal if you are time poor.
Now is the ideal time of year to lift and divide herbaceous perennials such as Hosta’s, Delphinium’s and Lupin’s. This improves their vigor and you get more plants for free which you could share with your friends and family. This should be done roughly every three years.
If roses are your thing prune them back now if you haven’t already done so. Roses are hungry plants so ensure you feed them with a quality rose food. Why not plant new roses with an English Lavender hedge around for a double scent sensation?
Do you need a new hedge? Please consider carefully your choice of plant, think carefully how tall you want it to grow and how often you can realistically trim it. Ask us about alternative choices for beautiful evergreen hedges such as Photinia Red Robin, Escallonia or even Hebe before opting for conifers!
Topiary plants such as cones, lollipops, spirals or balls are really in vogue at present or how about a bit of Japanese style gardening with a cloud tree? Please talk to our experts for advice.
It is also a good idea to check any plants that are staked or tied now to ensure they are secure but not too tight for the new season.
If you are a fruit grower, ensure you cover the blossom with horticultural fleece if any late frosts occur.
Top dress existing fruit trees and bushes with chicken manure or Vitax Q4 fertiliser to encourage heavy cropping.
In the greenhouse now is the ideal time to start your Tomato, Cucumber, Chilli and pepper plants etc. Try to avoid using thin growbags in favor of the deeper premium planters or better still large pots of John Innes No. 3 compost. The difference in your crops and ease of watering will amaze you.
Blueberries are also fun to grow but are best grown in containers of ericaceous compost unless you are certain your garden soil is acidic.
There are also exciting new super berries to try such as the Saskatoon Berry!
Finally, don’t forget your houseplants.
Increase watering gradually as the growing season starts and feed fortnightly with an appropriate houseplant fertiliser.
Many houseplants will benefit from being put outside in the garden during the water months, they love the fresh rain.
Remember above all else enjoy your garden, there is no right or wrong, don’t be afraid to try new things and to experiment. You may surprise yourself!