This Spring is bringing the usual mixture of warm and cold weather  – potentially a problem for the garden as we start to get ready for the planting and sowing time.

To get the most from our plants we should really wait until conditions are consistent for the soil and the weather settles down.

The Spring bulbs are in full bloom and will benefit from a fertiliser to build up the bulb for next season; removing spent flowers will also help.

Spring flowering trees and shrubs should be pruned straight after flowering to ensure good growth for the next season’s flowers.

Summer perennials may still be divided up and replanted. Many Summer bulbs and corms will be starting to make new shoots, some of which can be used to make cuttings to refresh or increase plants (Dahlias and Begonias are examples). Gladiola corms may be planted in succession to give a longer flowering display.

Summer annuals may be planted from the end of the month onwards. As the warmer weather starts a good mulch around the garden to help soil moisture and to suppress weeds will be of great benefit.

In the fruit and vegetable garden we can start to anticipate what is needed to do for the best returns from the garden. Fruit trees will need to be treated for pest and diseases. Prevention is the most effective method so look at the plants for any signs and act immediately.

Most vegetable crops can be sown or planted from now on, but wait for warmer weather for the tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, pumpkins, etc.

The lawns are growing fast now so mow often and do not allow them to get too long, this will help them to stay green.

The grass may be treated now for broad leaf weeds and moss, after which a fertiliser will keep the grass healthy.

New lawns which are laid now will get established well before the very hot weather arrives.

Happy gardening, Michael Coulter

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