The end of Winter and the start of Spring is the beginning of the growing season and when work in the garden really determines results for the coming growing season. The old saying, “well begun is half done” can be applied to the garden, so start the season off properly by doing the right tasks at the right time.
Fruit & Vegetable Garden
Choose the right cultivars of plants to plant out from now on i.e. plants ready for Spring planting and Summer harvesting – important for crops like brassicas, lettuce and early potatoes.
Prepare ground for tender crops – tomatoes, beans, sweetcorn, peppers etc. Dig in plenty of compost and add some fertilisers to ready the soil for planting after Labour weekend once the danger of frosts is over. As fruit trees blossom and start to grow they can be given some balanced fertiliser to encourage growth and developing fruit.
Citrus trees need to be given their first dressing of fertiliser, also as fruit is picked prune back the stems to the supporting branch and if necessary thin out any unwanted thick growth from the centre of the plant to allow air through the plant.
Onions and other root crops can be sown now as they need a long growing season. Crops like broad beans, garlic and shallots that have been planted in the Winter must be kept free of weeds to get the best crop.
If you are spraying fruit trees while they are in blossom make sure that you follow the right instructions to protect the bees from harm.
Feed daffodils and other Spring bulbs with a dressing of potash fertiliser to encourage strong stems and next years flowers.
Spring flowering shrubs must be pruned as soon as they have finished flowering so that they will have plenty of new growth to give next Springs flowers.
Dead head plants and bulbs as the flowers finish and look out for aphids. Spray if needed to keep the plants healthy.
Give roses and other shrubs that have been in the ground for a while a good side dressing of a suitable fertiliser to encourage new growth and flowers.
Treat any perennial weeds as they begin to grow and before they get too big, among the shrubs, with spot treatments like Roundup gel.
Once the ground is weed free mulches spread around the border will help to control weeds and also conserve water later in the Summer.
Dig in compost and add fertilisers to the areas that are going to be planted with summer bedding plants, chrysanthemums, dahlias, gladiolas and begonias.
Lawns need to be invigorated after the cold of Winter by feeding with a good balanced lawn fertiliser.
Once the grass has started to grow give the lawn a rake and then top dress with soil and seed if needed.
Treat lawns for moss and aerate with a fork or coring to help stop the moss growing back.
The grass should not be cut too low at this time of the year.[/one_third_last]