We could be wrong, but we think winter is over – which means we can legitimately start enjoying spring and even look forward to the summer.
Easter is traditionally the beginning of the gardening season, the busiest time of the gardener’s year when we deal with the ravages of winter.
But if you were otherwise engaged over the long weekend, don’t worry: these pointers from the experts at Wyevale Garden Centres will ensure you get the most out of your garden, whether it’s big or small.
Is your garden already set for spring? Tweet your beautiful flower and garden pictures to @YourMirror.
1. The birds and the bees
Encourage garden birds. Do keep putting out bird food and hang a bird house outside – it gives you the chance to see wild birds in the garden close-up.
Sweet peas also help your veg plants thrive, and bees love them which comes in handy for cross pollination.
2. Slugs and snails
Be prepared to repel slug invasions with SlugGone pellets, made from sheep’s fleece, containing small amounts of sheep sweat that acts as an irritant to slugs and snails.
SlugGone also helps plants grow since it helps them retain moisture and also contains naturally occurring slow-release nutrients.
Nourish and brighten up pots and containers with cheery primroses, violas, pots of spring bulbs and spring heathers. Summer bedding plants like begonia, viola and marigold are also now available, as young starter plants, ready to grow.
Now is a great time to remove dandelions, docks and other deep-rooted weeds – their grip isn’t as tenacious this early in the season
Apply a layer of bark chips or other well-rotted organic matter to feed them, suppress weeds and conserve moisture in summer
Be sure to purchase and plant hardy trees, shrubs, climbers and perennials.
Potted topiary plants are also a great accessory for the front of your home. A bay tree on either side of your front door adds a touch of elegance.
Cut back shrubs with a clean, sharp pair of secateurs. Use a pruning saw for thick branches.
Simple, vibrant summer flowering plants for your borders and containers will add colour. Try pansies, violas and rhododendron, to name just a few.
Put the colder days to good use; stay in and re-pot house plants. You can also use your windowsills as mini-greenhouses to sow seeds in pots in preparation for spring.
Show your lawn you care by cutting it weekly and trim the edges. April is the best month to reseed any bare patches as the weather grows warmer.
Give existing wooden garden furniture, tubs and trellis a face-lift by using water-based stain. Cuprinol have more than 20 new colours.
To remove algae and dirt on wooden furniture, use an old gardener’s trick – sandpaper! It’s effective and cheap.
It may seem a little early, but you can at least check if the barbecue is clean, still working and you have enough cylinder gas or charcoal.
Create a secluded feel some to your seating area with a trellis, screening plants or topiary in large pots.
Alternatively, pick a remote spot and add a wooden arbour or small gazebo to retreat to on those lazy summer weekends.
Images used in this piece are in line with the Flickr Creative Commons license
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