It’s that time of year again to enjoy the warmer weather and get the gardens spruced up ready for summer. We may not be able to venture far from our homes, but there’s plenty to be getting on with!
Evergreens such as Viburnum Tinus and Skimmia Rubella can be clipped this month, prune out frost damage from other affected evergreen shrubs. If not too woody, shredded clippings can be added to the compost heap, ideally in combination with soft material such as grass clippings. Prune spring-flowering shrubs such as Choisya and Flowering Currant after flowering.
Cut back tender shrubs and sub-shrubs such asPenstemon, Caryopteris and Fuchsia after the danger of frost has passed.
Prune wall-trained Pyracanthas, removing any shoots coming out from the wall, and shortening other new growth to about 8cm (3in). This encourages spur formation, and increased flowering relative to green growth.
Remove any reverted green shoots on hardy variegated evergreens, to prevent reversion taking over.
Check for nesting birds before clipping any hedge!
It’s the time of year to be getting those lawns in tip top shape!
For the first mow, be sure to keep your blades set at maximum height, after that lower the blades down and cut it regularly, around once a week. Remember to remove any dead foliage beforehand. Providing the weather stays nice, now is also a great time to apply some fertiliser and weed-killer to make sure your lawn is as healthy as possible come June. Add any clippings to the compost heap and keep the edges trimmed.
Ensure new lawns (either from turf or seed) do not dry out during dry spells. Keep off them for as long as possible to allow establishment. Don’t worry over a flush of weed seedlings in newly seeded turf. These will disappear once regular mowing begins.
For more on lawn care read our blog post.
Continue to keep on top of removing moss and weeds from your paths and terraces, it’s not just the plants that are growing at a fast speed at this time of the year. Stock up on some weedkiller which will kill off most weeds for at least a couple of months. And, keep your eyes peeled for any pests that might have made a home in your garden, keep an eye out on them pesky slugs and snails! To keep control, try trapping them grapefruit skins remembering to collect them up and disposing of them. There are also non-chemical traps available such as Slug Umbrellas and Nemaslug Slug Killer – use pellets only sparingly.
Viburnum beetle grubs start nibbling holes in the leaves this month, giving plants a tattered appearance. Inspect V. tinus and V. opulus regularly and spray or pick off the grubs by hand.
If you have any sad weathered looking fence panels, give them a lick of paint this month, you’ll thank yourself later come the summer BBQ’s!
info taken from RHS