Love Your Garden
I love this time of year. May onwards sees some of the most colourful plants brighten up any space, writes Tracy Hargreaves
With fingers crossed that the warm weather is due to stay, there is nothing more satisfying than coming home from work and pottering in your garden. I love it! Even just a mow of your lawn can transform it but try and keep this up at least once a week for the best results.
Summer does officially arrive on 21st June and the extra light and warmth encourages the garden to put on an exuberant burst of growth. But this extra light and warmth also means weeds will sprout up from nowhere. So, keep on top of them by hoeing regularly in dry conditions.
Now is the time for hanging baskets, whether you’ve had winter or spring ones they provide valuable colour at eye level. Don’t forget to water regularly, feed with a liquid fertilizer and choose plants which are going to flower all summer. Pansies, Lobelia and Petunia are colourful and easy to maintain.
If you have a pond and you have nice new plantings established, you can start to stock new fish ponds with fish. Start stocking and feeding when the water is warm.
Don’t leave fish sitting in plastic bags full of water – get them in to the pond as soon as possible so that they have a sufficient supply of oxygen. However, it pays to float the bags in the pond for ten minutes or so to allow the water temperatures to equalise.
Greenhouses can get extremely warm on sunny days. Open doors and vents to increase ventilation and damp down the floor regularly on hot days, to increase humidity levels. This not only benefits plant growth, but reduces the risk of pest problems such as glasshouse red spider mite.
Go through your shed and have a clear out. Remove any out of date garden chemicals and dispose of safely. Do any checks on pergolas, arches and fences if needed and paint with wood preservative and stain.
Check your shrubs and trees to see if they need pruning. If this job is left too late, the new growth put on after pruning may not have sufficient ripening time to flower well next year.
Keeping on top of your garden regularly will mean that you have time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour.