From Michael Coulter

Spring is well and truly here. The cherry blossoms are in full bloom and the city is clothed in a kaleidoscope of Spring flowers of all colours and types.

We are still in need of rain to get the soil moisture up to a good level for the coming growing season. I have started to water my garden and the results are instant; blooms open up, plant shoots expand into growth and hostas poke through the ground within hours of a good soaking. With the equinox past the days are now longer than the nights and plant growth, including the weeds, will become very rapid – so a busy time for gardeners. Remember, do the task today as tomorrow it will be that much bigger and harder.

From now on much of what we do in the garden determines the results that we will get throughout the growing season, ‘well begun is half done’ really is good advice for any gardener, especially in the Spring.

Lawns

  1. Feed and water now to encourage good Spring growth.

  2. Cut at less once a week and catch the clippings.

  3. Treat for weeds and moss.

  4. Over sow with seed any areas that have been damaged, or are thin in grass.

Fruit & Vegetable Garden

  1. Now is the start of the seed sowing and planting time, it is better to plan planting to get a continual supply of vegetables – so do not plant the whole garden on the same day.

  2. Leave planting tomatoes until the end of the month or early next month for best results.

  3. Keep feed and water up on strawberries as they grow for best quality fruit.

  4. Look out for pests on fruit trees as they move into growth.

  5. Sow beans, sweet corn and other Summer crops as the ground warms up later in the month.

  6. Keep onions and garlic weed free as they do not compete well with weeds.

  7. Stake up broad beans as they will grow fast now.

  8. Smaller successive plantings of salad crops will give a constant supply over the Summer.

  9. If spraying insecticides be aware of the bees and only spray after the bees have returned to the hive in the evening.

Flower Garden

  1. Water daffodils well, remove spent flowers and leave foliage on for as long as possible.

  2. Prune shrubs straight after flowering to encourage new growth for next season’s flowers.

  3. Give shrubs some fertiliser before they start to grow, especially if they have been planted for some years.

  4. Mulch around borders to conserve moisture and suppress weeds.

  5. Feed roses and watch out for aphids on the new growth.

  6. Remove Spring annuals as they finish flowering and prepare ground for planting Summer flowers.

  7. This month is a good time to plant new shrubs like rhododendrons, azaleas etc, but they will need to be given plenty of water to established.