Spring is finally here!

Now the clocks have gone forward and the sun is beginning to shine, pop in store to  pick up some colourful foliage to add to your garden!

Spring Checklist

  1. Protect new spring shoots from slugs.
  2. Plant shallots, onion sets and early potatoes
  3. Plant summer flowing bulbs
  4. Lift and divide overgrown clumps of perennials
  5. Top dress containers with fresh compost

Fruit and Vegetables

Now is a great time to make a start on planting the first of your home grown produce!

Fruit:
It is the last chance to plant bare-root fruit trees, and ideally plant container-grown ones too. However it is the perfect time to plant cold-stored strawberry runners and cranberries and loganberries, along with sowing alpine strawberry seeds also.

Vegetables:

It is time to get planting onions, shallots, garlic sets, Jerusalem articoke tubers, and asparagus seeds. If your in a mild area with light soils you can crack on and plant the following crops: broad beans, carrots, parsnips, beetroot, onions, lettuces, radish, peas, spinach, summer cabbage, salad leaves, leeks, Swiss chard, kohl rabi, turnip and summer cauliflower. Be guided by the weather, and sow only if conditions are suitable.

Pruning and Training

Fruit

  • Start pruning newly planted fruit trees if the weather is dry.
  • Prune blueberries.
  • Never prune grape vines after late winter to avoid sap bleeding, otherwise vines can be seriously weakened or even killed.

Problems

  • Place mice controls near stored vegetables.
  • Protect early seed sowings from slugs.
  • Protect brassicas from pigeons.
  • Look out for grey mould and brassica downy mildew on brassicas.
  • Control aphids and other pests on fruit but don’t spray when in blossom.
  • Get on top of weed control if not done in late winter and continue through to summer.
Pruning
Pest Control

Pigeon Pests

Wood pigeons can be somewhat problematic pests in gardens and allotments. They will peck at leaves, tearing them, often just leaving the stalks and larger leaf veins behind. Pigeons will attack many plants, lilac, brassicas and peas are particularly susceptible. Pigeons will also eat the fruit or cherries and currants when possible!

Control:

Shooting is the most effective, however often is not a safe or legal option in gardens or allotments. Scaring devices or repellent substances do work however only provide temporary protection. The only certain way of protecting vulnerable plants from pigeons is to grow them under netting or in a fruit cage.

Lawncare

A well kept lawn finished the beauty of a garden. Ensuring your mowing correctly from March till October will ensure you keep the grass looking its best – basically this means cutting twice a week in the summer months and once a week in spring and autumn.

Equipment:

  • Lawn Mower – We have a good range in stock from electric, petrol, pedestrian and ride-ons.
  • Sturdy Shoes
  • Ear Defenders
  • Protective Gloves and Glasses to protect your hands and eyes from flying objects

Tim’s Top Tip
“Adjust the height and frequency in which you mow your lawn according to the seasons, but always resist the temptation to cut it too short”.

Mountfield Lawn Mower
Bird Care

Birds: Encouraging them into the garden

 

Garden birds benefit from feeding all year round. However don’t forget to provide water for drinking and bathing as well. There is approximately thirty species of birds that are regular garden visitors, although in fact there are more than a hundred and forty bird species that have been sighted in British gardens.

Woody Waste: Shredding and Composting

How to get rid of your woody waste?

  • Small quantities of slender growth hedge cuttings can be collected up and deposited on borders and under hedges, or simply added to the compost heap
  • Larger quantities is when it is best to use a shredder which will quickly reduce the volume of waste, whilst also smashing up the larger woody waste, turning it into a useful resource for your garden. Shredding will also speed up the decomposition of woody waste.

Ponds

Start feeding the fish. Little and often is best, to prevent excess food leading to unwanted algal blooms. Frogs, toads and newts begin to spawn as the weather improves.
Remove pool heaters when the weather starts to warm. Clean out pond filters. Replace pumps, water features and lighting systems, after checking they are in working order.

Remove netting coverings placed over the pond to protect it from autumn leaf fall.

Structures 

As the dry spells become more frequent, you can begin to think about treating the timber structures in your garden with wood preservatives and stain. Only do this in well ventilated space to reduce the risk of damage to your lungs and eyes! We currently stock a variety of wood treatment products to ensure you add a few more years to the life of your wooden structures in your garden.