Spring Tasks in the Garden

In spring…

At last it is time to begin. After the long winter period with nothing to do, work begins in March and increases rapidly:

• Sow seed of summer annuals, herbs and vegetables, either in the house or directly in seed trays the on balcony or terrace, depending on temperature.

• Cut back plants in containers and at the same time take cuttings to root and make new ones.

• Divide plants such as periwinkles, echinaceas, astilbes, clay lilies, bergenias and thyme.

• Your “green room” can already be beautiful with colourful spring-flowering bulbs and tuberous plants, herbaceous perennials and early-flowering biennials.

• Cut back perennials and other woody plants.

• Cut back bedding roses.

• Repot container plants. As a rule of thumb: younger plants should be repotted after 2 to 3 years and older ones after 5 to 6 years.

• Do not forget to air the greenhouse well in warm sunny weather, so that the temperature does not get too high. Vegetable seedlings in particular resent this. Small greenhouses for use on a balcony and terrace to provide some protection in the winter are available from garden centres and garden mail order firms.

• From April give container plants that have not been repotted a light feed for example with organic liquid fertilizer.

Alternatively, remove the upper layer of soil and these with a mixture of compost and fresh soil. This method is particularly good for bay trees.

• Hardy container plants should be slowly accustomed to warmer conditions in the open air, but they must still be protected from excessive sun and late frosts.

• Now it the time to prepare fruits such as blueberries and raspberries, so that the fruits will be ripe in midsummer. With raspberries, all shoots should be cut back in December to soil level, because fruits only develop on new shoots.

• Formal bushes and hedges such as box, privet or euonymus should be clipped to shape and fertilized as required, ideally with long working garden fertilizers. The clippings of box can be planted as cuttings to increase your stock of plants further.

• Summer-flowering bulbs can be brought out of storage and planted out.

• From mid-May, or depending on your local conditions, all frost-sensitive plants can be put outside. The summer flowering season begins.

• With warmer weather the time of garden pests begins: aphids, spicier mites and snails may become troublesome from May onwards. Check your plants regularly. Roses may suffer from powdery mildew, rose rust or black spot.

• Cut off suckers from rose rootstocks.

20. March 2014 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Gardening Ideas | Tags: , | Comments Off on Spring Tasks in the Garden

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