Gardening Tips

Apr 25

Gardening update from Gordon

Posted on Monday, April 25, 2016

Gardening update from Gordon

Many of the tasks that you want to do cannot be done as per the calendar, but rather when the weather and conditions are suitable and this can be frustrating!

Late spring/early summer should see the soil drying, enabling soil cultivation and sowing/planting, but invariably we suffer extremes of wetness, dryness, while the night time temperatures mean that tender annuals and perennials can become frosted

When should you plant out your summer bedding plants?

In Scotland; you should not plant out or hand baskets until the last frosts are past and that means the very end of May, but early June can see really late frosts; while I have known hail stones to destroy leafy annuals.

Many will have grown their own bedding plants from seed or plugs, but avoid buying too early from the garden centre unless you can provide a frost free growing environment, such as a heated glasshouse, polytunnel or covered frame.

What is the best way to control weeds?

Weeds can be annuals (live one year); biennial (live two years) or perennial (live longer than two years)

Annuals may be removed by hand, hoed out and raked off, or sprayed but far better to sever them during dry weather and they will shrivel up.

Biennials and perennials are best forked out, as hoeing will leave the root system to produce more top growth.

Where possible; weedkillers that enter the sap of the plant are best, with the most popular products being based on glyphosate, but ensure you do not let the spray touch your plants.

What should I be doing to my lawn?

Gradually lower the height of cut, but unless you have a really fine lawn you should avoid cutting below 12.5 mm / ½ inch as this stresses the grass and can result in disease and weed infestation, as well as looking pale.

Any bare areas may be lightly cultivated, with the relevant grass seed mixture spread (read seed packet for application rates).

Propriety fertilisers come as powders, granules and soluble forms and again great care taken to apply correctly.

Liquid feeds are only suitable during the summer months.

Weed and feed products are available from garden centres and require careful consideration and application in order to be successful and avoid scorching.

It may be wishful thinking, but it may be necessary to irrigate your lawn during periods of drought.

Things to do in the vegetable garden

You will have sown your seeds; planted your transplants and potatoes and all hopefully at the correct spacing’s.

There will always be weeds to eradicate in the vegetable garden and this is best done regularly when they are small and manageable.

Thinning your seedlings to the optimum spacing can be tedious but necessary unless you are good at space sowing.

The use of fleece and nets assists in keeping birds and other pests away from your crops and the fleece prevents any late frosts damaging your tender seedlings.

You will have incorporated organic matter in to the soil that requires conditioning and you will possibly have applied inorganic fertilisers at sowing and planting time.

Organic gardeners avoid man made fertilisers and seek natural forms.

Liquid fertilisers can be applied in both the flower and vegetable and fruit gardens to promote optimum growth, flowers and fruits.

Other things to be doing

Plan your activities and garden on a little and often basis to avoid straining yourself and treat yourself to enjoying your garden; relaxing with cups of tea etc. and visit other gardens to see different aspects of gardening and get ideas for your own garden.

Article provide by local Landscape Gardener Gordon Croll.
Check Gordon's website here.