May has arrived as bulbs start to fade in borders and are replaced by vibrant flowering herbaceous and shrubs as summer is on its way. Now is the perfect time to prepare your garden for summer. Check out our latest reminders, put together by our Chairman and Horticulturist John Richardson.
Prune early flowering shrubs such as Forsythia after flowering is over. Remove deadwood and thin shoots to keep older bushes in shape.
Pick off dead flower heads of Rhododendrons and Azaleas to allow new growths to develop, and mulch with leaf mould.
Dahlias may begin to sprout in mild conditions under glass, but don’t plant out until frost is past. Consider taking cuttings of the first shoots.
Some plants like Forget-me-Nots can spread very rapidly from seed. To contain them, pull up the plants as soon as they finish flowering to prevent them from seeding everywhere.
Trim lawn edges frequently to develop a firm edge which will not sink when walked upon.
In dry spells, continue to water those trees and shrubs planted since Christmas.
If you have not used weedkiller to treat the lawn this Spring, use the grass mowings to mulch trees and hedge plants.
Propagate greenhouse plants, mainly foliage and climbing plants. Increase shading as necessary, and watch out for those odd late frosts.
Pick off the flower heads from spent daffodils, tulips, and other spring-flowering bulbs which have gone over, and give a top-dressing of general fertiliser.
In mild weather, slugs and snails may well begin to eat the shoots of newly growing perennials. Use environmentally approved slug pellets as a control.
Start spraying roses regularly against greenflies using a systemic insecticide. Remove rolled-up leaves containing Tortrix caterpillar or sawfly grubs and destroy.
Continue to stake tall herbaceous plants such as Delphiniums. Pinch out the tips of other tall-growing plants. Thin out the older weak shoots from the centre of plants more than three years old.
Apply residual weedkillers to gravelled driveways and footpaths. Be very careful to ensure that the application is confined to the treated area and not surroundings.
Begin mowing the lawn weekly, but with the blades set quite high until the rate of growth increases. Dig out those perennial weeds that suddenly appear.
Continue to support glasshouse grown tomato stems and remove side shoots regularly. Feed every week or 10 days after the fruits begin to swell. Stop laterals growing from the main stems of cucumbers and remove all male flowers and tendrils.
Remove raspberry suckers coming up away from the bed row. Thin new canes to 15cm. apart on the support wires.
For more hints and tips head to our solution page here
Posted 29th Apr 10:46am