Gardening with Simon Linell

Well, Spring is here for a while anyway, but for the next few weeks the weather is certainly likely to change from one extreme to another very quickly, it’s just that time of year! The sun is gaining in strength and can warm the day up very quickly but cool east winds can drop the temp down again fairly fast…so be prepared to experience all the seasons in brief over the next few weeks.
The days are certainly getting longer and the good weather of late spring and early summer is just around the corner so there is plenty to do in the garden and there is more time to do it with the brighter evenings!
1. NOW is the time to spread Lawn fertilizer and also a good idea to use the formulations that contain Moss and Weedkiller…helps to sort out the lawn before the summer starts.
2. NOW is the time for planting up TREES and SHRUBS where ever necessary. By planting in the spring the shrubs will begin to send out new roots before the pressures of summer growth puts the root system under pressure.
3. NOW is the time for planting bare root planting material. From the end of the month it’s too late. So , if you want to plant a Laurel, Griselinia or Escalonia hedge get on with it quickly as from the end of the month you will have to use container grown plants which will be more expensive.
4. NOW is the time to plant up your fruit garden before they start coming into leaf and flowering. Goosegogs, Black and Red currants are available bareroot so obviously need planting in the next couple of weeks. Apples, Pears, Cherries and Plums are available as container grown plants and can be planted up at any time but early spring is best.
5. NOW is the time for getting the vege garden ready for planting. Spread out well-rotted manure and turn the soil over and let settle down for another couple of weeks. Onions and Garlic can be planted up straight away; Potatoes should be spaced out in trays so they can ‘chit’ away to produce well developed shoots in time for planting out in a few weeks time.
6. NOW is a good time to start sowing some seeds for this year’s vegetables. Tomatoes, Cucumber and Peppers should all be sown now in a warm location. Once they have germinated they will grow better in the warmth as well so they will be ready for planting into a tunnel in early May. Peas, Beans and lettuce can be sown at lower temperatures but still under protection.
7. NOW is the time for planting up spring window boxes and patio containers with Pansy, Viola and Primroses. These will keep on flowering from now on and can put up with any frosty weather we might have between now and summer. You can add other foliage plants to these arrangements for contrast in shape and greenery.
8. NOW is the time for planting bulbs and corms of Begonia, Dahlia, Gladioli and Lillies… out to the Garden Centre for more advice on these.
9. NOW is the time for splitting herbaceous perennial in the garden. Hosta , Astilbe, Crocmia, Lysmachia etc, for example, can be dug up now, divided and replanted. This gives them a chance to get their roots into fresh soil, resulting in increased vigour and doubles the numbers of plants you have toooo !
10. NOW also might be a good time to put the Kettle on …its been a long day !

Further information, then call out to Willowfield for more advice and much much more. Happy Gardening!