St Margaret’s &
District Gardeners’ Association
recently said to me that it was time to begin Spring Cleaning.
being one of my favourite chores I was relieved when they added –
‘in the Garden’.
is the time of the year when everything seems to be growing at once,
flowers, vegetables and most prolifically weeds! Whilst the weather
has been so nice lots of jobs have been achieved. We have been able
to regularly cut the lawn; it makes the whole garden look smarter
once the grass has been cut. Now is the time to sow grass seed in
those patches that didn’t survive the winter. The flower border
was the next to receive some attention. Tidy up spent daffodil
flowers, dead head and eventually clear out the dead leaves. These
should be left until they have yellowed in colour, giving back all
the goodness they contain to the bulb in the ground. Old wood can be
pruned from Spring flowering shrubs such as Forsythia and Lilac.
Weeding is a daily job, as is searching for slugs and snails. Keep
an eye out for Viburnum and Lily Beetle grubs as well at this time of
the year. Many people advise the ‘Chelsea Chop ‘towards the end
of this month, reducing perennials such as Asters, Sedum, Phlox and
Rudbeckia by two thirds, to encourage stronger growth and more blooms
later in the year. I am a bit wary of this as my plants are not that
well established and the ‘shock’ might kill them! Already the
border is looking tidier. Plants you thought, just a few weeks ago,
had not survived can be seen showing signs of life. Now for the
vegetable patch. It’s time to earth up the potatoes you sowed back
in March, this prevents the growing potatoes coming to the surface
and turning green. Pinch out the tips of broad beans as soon as the
flowers show and remove any side shoots forming at the angle between
the main stem and leaf on the tomatoes. This will keep the plant
strong and healthy. Another tip is once they are flowering gently
shake them every so often to disperse the pollen.
make yourself a cup of coffee or a pot of tea find somewhere
comfortable to sit and enjoy your garden. We are very lucky to live
where we do and whether our garden be small or large, we wouldn’t
be without it I am sure.
behalf of all members of the SMADGA committee we send our best wishes
to you all, stay safe and keep gardening!