From Michael Coulter

Spring weather has at last given us some rain so the top soil now has some good moisture but the sub soil is still dry, this means that we will still have to water our gardens to keep the moisture up where the plants are growing.

The warmer temperatures plus humidity from the rain will give ideal conditions for the spread of fungi on our plants therefore a preventative spray to protect from infection is needed now. Keep a watch out for the aphids that always appear as the rapid Spring growth on plants is soft and susceptible to insect attack.

Much of what we do in the garden now determines the outcomes of our crops for the rest of the growing season therefore it is wise to do today the tasks that are needed as tomorrow will be too late.

Lawns

  1. Mow the lawns each week and catch the clippings

  2. Repair damaged areas with seed.

  3. Treat for weeds but remember not to use the clippings for at lest six mowings.

  4. Do not cut the grass too low as this encourages weeds and moss.

  5. Aerate any areas that have become compacted over the Winter.

  6. Water the lawn to keep it growing before it becomes too dry.

  7. Fertilise the lawn to keep it green and healthy.

Fruit & Vegetable Garden

  1. All those Summer vegetable plants that love the warmth can now be planted or sown.

  2. After petal fall on stone fruit treat for leaf curl and aphids.

  3. Sow seeds of leeks and parsnips for the Winter.

  4. Watch out for the white butterfly on the brassicas.

  5. Once they are growing well keep tomatoes well watered and fed, remove laterals when you are able to hold them but before they get too big. Later in the month after petal fall treat apples and pears for coddling moth and powdery mildew.

  6. Peppers and chillies love the heat. Try growing some in pots so that they can be grown in that very warm place.

Flower Garden

  1. Remove the Spring annuals and prepare the ground for planting Summer annuals later in the month.

  2. Keep the water up on the daffodils until the leaves die down.

  3. Dahlias, chrysanthemums and gladioli  may be planted now along with other perennials.

  4. Treat the areas around the hostas for slugs and snails.

  5. Continue to prune the shrubs as they finish flowering to encourage next years flowers.

  6. Fertilise the roses and keep them well watered, treat for pest and diseases.

  7. Mulch the garden to keep down weeds and conserve moisture.