Roger's Ramblings

April 2003

It really is amazing how quickly things change, we have had only 4mm of rain here since 7th March and the ground has gone from totally waterlogged to concrete in just 3 weeks. In addition, the last week has been sunny with strong, cool east winds - a perfect drying combination - and this means you must consider watering any new plantings, grass seed and turf. Evergreens are particularly susceptible so do be vigilant and water when required.

Although pleasant and dry, we have had cold nights and frost which has held growth back, and I believe we have had the largest daffodil flowering season I can remember - they have looked magnificent. The good weather has been a bonus and many people were able to make an early start in their garden and our Nursery was really busy with plants, compost etc., rushing out of the gate. I hope the settled weather continues and we donít revert to soggy ground or severe frosts to cut back the profusion of new leaf and flower buds. 

We really need to get on in the garden, weeds always grow whatever the weather, lawns need mowing and the moss which has thrived in the wet weather needs treating a.s.a.p.! I prefer to use a combined lawn weed, feed and moss killer, which, if applied on a mild dry day and watered in, works well. Severe moss infestations need raking or scarifying - this usually makes the lawn look awful but does a world of good. Aeration with a lawn aerator or fork will help relieve some of the compaction caused by all the wet, and donít mow too low - give the grass a chance! - little and often is best.

You will have planned your spring programme?! and now is the time to plant those new shrubs, trees, perennials etc., alter borders and beds, feed and weed. Begin your spring pest control programme on susceptible plants like roses and fruit. Containers and hanging baskets can be planted up in the greenhouse ready for putting outside when the danger of frost is past.

More major projects can be undertaken now, - that new patio, deck, summerhouse or water feature will add to your enjoyment of your garden but remember, order your materials well in advance, and, if using a professional, donít expect them at a momentís notice - we are all extremely busy at this time of year.

This months tips:- Prune early flowering shrubs, such as Forsythia, after flowering, nip the seed heads from bulbs, such as daffodils, tulips and hyacinths, but leave the leaves to strengthen the bulb for next year, and mulch beds and borders to improve soil structure and fertility and, most importantly, conserve moisture.

Enjoy April, itís a super month with lots of interest and enjoyment.


Roger

roger@gardenfixers.co.uk

 

 

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