Spring has burst into life and is now well and truly upon us. Birds are nesting, clematis are climbing, and the darling buds of May are out.
The garden is in an inviting state and it’s time to start enjoying it. But with the fresh delights come also the new rounds of disease and weeds. It’s also the moment to keep an eye on the weather forecasts and protect tender blossoms from cold snaps.
- If you’ve planted new trees, hedges or shrubs this winter, keep them well watered. This is the one key thing to do, to make sure they establish themselves properly. A leaky pipe will save water and time and is great if you are having a spring break! Use rainwater if you can.
- Hoe weeds to keep them under control – particularly around new hedge and tree plantings. Using a mulch mat will help keep the weeds down and the moisture in at the same time. You might also want to put up a windbreak.
- Now is the time to plant lavender. We have our own, homegrown Munstead, Hidcote , Rosea and Alba varieties in stock from now until June
- If you want to spread your daffodils and other bulbs, dig some up and divide clumps this month
- You can trim established hedges, but new hedging plants should be left to grow for the rest of the summer. When trimming, watch out for birds nesting.
- It’s also time to cut back any Clematis that have finished flowering
- Many pests and diseases will begin to flourish now so look out for problems and deal with them promptly. Roses may show signs of black spot – find out how to treat it here
- If you are lucky enough to have an orchard, now is the time to set codling moth traps. You can also grease your fruit trees against ants and earwigs now with Fruit Tree Grease
- Frosts can affect newly planted trees and hedge plants if the soil freezes. The frozen earth swells and rises, destabilizing newly planted saplings. Just wait for the earth to thaw out and gently firm the soil back down. Once established, you needn’t worry about frosts at all for most of our stock.
- Fruit trees and shrubs can lose some or all of their crop if buds or flowers are frozen. Planting sites should be chosen carefully but if they are already established you can use horticultural fleece as a protection for all but the largest trees. Mowing the grass short below trees will allow more heat to radiate back up from the earth, affording some protection. You could also avoid mulching until the danger has passed, for the same reason.
May is a really lovely, fresh time to be outdoors, and keeping on top of things now will set your garden up for a wonderful summer of flowers, fruits and fun to enjoy through the coming months.
(And finally – it’s your last chance to enter the photo competition – the theme is ‘Trees and Plants in Water’ and there’s over £100 in vouchers to be had!)