GET OUT IN YOUR GARDEN – GARDENING TIPS FROM OUR EXPERT

Hello Gazette Readers,

We are half way into April and Summer is not too far away. Those long Summer days that are fast approaching are perfect for any green thumbed gardener who can’t wait to get outside. There are however many bits and bobs you can be doing now.

Lawn:

The lawn is usually a big area of many people’s garden, that’s why it is important to ensure it is not an. Eye sore due to patches in the grass or a jungle of weeds. Ensure your grass is well looked after. Sparse areas can appear for several reasons for example it may be played on, used for barbeques or even be effected by fungal diseases etc. This can damage the grass leaving it with bare patches. To treat the grass and keep it looking healthy and ready for the summer, apply a “weed and feed” treatment will prevent weeds appearing and reduce them in these areas.

Keep weeds under control:

Weeds tend to be troublesome in the spring and summer months. Putting weed barriers in place in early spring/ late winter help to defend your garden from weeds popping up. It is much easier to prevent a problem than treat a problem.

Mulch:

Living in England the weather is sometimes unpredictable. One day we can have the sun and temperatures reaching that of our neighbour’s Spain, and then the next minute torrential rain and hail. Ensure you mulch your plants to protect them, if we have any last-minute frost the mulch keeps the temperature above freezing around the roots. And if it is very hot and dry then the mulch keeps the roots damp ensuring the plant does not suffer from stress from being dried out.

Pruning:

Spring flowering shrubs such as Camellias and Forsythias will be coming to a finish this month. This means that you can prune them appropriately, by this I mean you have to take into account that you will not be able to prune them again until 2018! When pruning any plant remember the 3 “D’s,” Dead, Diseased and Dying. This is what should be cut out first and then you look for branches rubbing each other, crisscrossing branches and in the case of fruit tress shortening laterals. By correctly pruning this may take quite a length of time but the plant will respond really well and this will improve flowering and increase further healthy growth.

Jason Harker

JASON IS A PROFESSIONAL GARDENER AND LANDSCAPER, AND OWNER OF JHPS-GARDENS LTD.

HE REGULARLY WRITES A PIECE FOR OUR WEBSITE, PLUS THE SENTINEL NEWSPAPER, AND IS A GO TO EXPERT ON BBC RADIO STOKE’S GARDENING PROGRAMME.