Get into the garden this month

Gardening doesn't have to mean hard graft

It's getting warmer, and summer is just around the corner – now's the time to head outside, and get gardening.

You don't have to be particularly green fingered – simply completing a few small tasks here and there will help you enjoy your garden throughout the summer and beyond.

Here are our top gardening tips for this month.

Caring for your plants

  • Let the foliage of spring-flowering bulbs, such as tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, die down naturally rather than cutting them back – this enriches the bulbs for next year
  • Now is the time to remove the blossom and fruit from any newly planted young fruit trees – this allows the trees to establish themselves, and grow properly during their first year
  • Keep on top of weeds, to stop them from spreading and competing with your plants for water, light and nutrients
  • Feed and water any container plants to ensure healthy growth for the summer – try a balanced liquid feed every two to four weeks
  • Treating early signs of pests and disease now can help prevent an outbreak later on in the year – look out especially for blackspot on roses

Grow your own

There’s something so satisfying about growing and eating your own vegetables. This month, why not try growing tomatoes and peppers?

Plant out the seedlings in pots filled with multi-purpose or container compost, and place in a sunny yet sheltered spot. Use a liquid feed weekly once the fruits start to form, and don’t let the plants dry out in hot weather.

Try growing a selection of herbs to complement your vegetables too – chives, rosemary and sage are all easy to grow and taste great.

Get planting

Turn your garden into a riot of colour and fragrance this summer by planting some well-chosen flowering plants. Lavender, clematis, fuchsias and geraniums can turn even the smallest of gardens into a bright and cheerful haven.

And it’s never too early to think ahead to next year. Sow biennials, like foxgloves, wallflowers and sweet williams, now to create a beautiful cottage garden border that you can enjoy next year.

Look after your lawn

Now is the time to apply weedkiller to your lawn. Encourage healthy growth by feeding your lawn with a high-nitrogen fertiliser – and make sure you keep your lawn well watered during hot weather.

Why not beat the hosepipe ban by investing in a water butt and using the collected rainwater to water your lawn and plants?

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(24 October 2013)

 

Britain in bloom

This beautifully illustrated title showcases the unique beauty of our island's country gardens – from Cornwall's Lost Gardens of Heligan, to the rugged charm of Crarae Gardens in Scotland.

 

Exploring Britain's Country Gardens