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Get going in your garden

All Areas > Homes & Gardens > In the Garden

Author: Julia Smith, Posted: Monday, 26th March 2018, 09:00

Love in a mist Love in a mist

Spring has definitely come now – hurrah! This is the time of year that everything starts getting busy again for the gardener – weeding, sowing, mowing, etc. We have had such a long winter that everyone is raring to get going. It is also often a time of moving into a new home, or even into a first home, and the excitement of starting to garden for the first time!

Feed soft fruit
Start feeding the soft fruit in the garden – strawberries and raspberries can benefit from a balanced general fertilizer such as blood, fish and bone or Growmore applied at about 70g per square metre. This will supply potassium (k) for flower and fruit production, nitrogen (n) for foliage and phosphorus (p) for strong roots.

April could be a good time to buy winter flowering trees and shrubs whose price may be reduced in garden centres – this will give you a good show next winter. This is also a good time to plant evergreens into well-prepared soil with a balanced fertilizer added.

Give evergreens a thorough watering
The old rhyme talks of April showers, but April can also be really hot and dry. If this is the case, care will have to be taken with any shrubs and trees planted in the last few months. Evergreens don’t show any sign of drought until they are in a really bad way so care must be taken to give them a thorough watering once a week until they are a year old and should have a strong root system. Remember, thorough watering means a good can full of water per plant, and mulching around the soil will keep the water in (although don’t go right up to the stem as it can lead to rotting).

Fragrance the garden for summer evenings
Try sowing a sprinkling of hardy annual seeds like poppies or Love-in-a-Mist through the flower border in a sunny position. Night Scented Stocks can be sown as well to fragrance the garden in summer evenings. They are not much to look at but are delicious to smell – put them by windows or patios to enjoy.

Chillies are easy to grow once germinated and look decorative even if you don’t like using them in cooking! Sow chillies in April, two seeds in a shallow pot, and if possible give them a little bottom heat just to germinate them, keeping them indoors at 12-25 degrees and plant out in mid-June. Good varieties are ‘Jalapeno’ and ‘Lewi Scotch’.

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Watering plants

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