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Gardening Tasks for Spring

If you have got behind with your winter clean-ups, pruning, weeding and mulching, now is the time to get that attended to. This should be an important part of your garden management. Once the frantic spring growth starts it is then more easily kept under control.

If you have spring flowering shrubs, it is best to trim these immediately after flowering has finished. Examples are rhododendron, camellia, forsythia, Chaenomeles japonica (flowering quince), Hamamelis x intermedia (witch hazel) and Philadelphus ‘Virginal’ (mock orange).

Roses that haven’t yet been pruned can still have a tidy up, but only a light pruning. With a copper/oil spray and fertiliser they will catch up in short time. You can expect flowering to be later than if they were pruned in August.

Mulching is an important factor at this time of year also. Organic mulches keep the weeds down, hold moisture in the soil and encourage microbial activity, producing ideal soil conditions for your plants’ overall health.

Spring and autumn are the best times to use a ‘Weed and Feed’ product on your lawn. When you cut the grass from now on, keep it to a medium length to suppress weeds and reduce lawn burn from the dry summer days.

Another reason lawns burn off in summer is a build-up of thatch – dead grass builds up and prevents moisture getting through. We have a machine for de-thatching if you need large areas done professionally. For a smaller space, a rigorous raking will lift the thatch.

Aerating the lawn is also important at this time of year to help the rain soak into the soil. A garden fork can be useful for this or for larger areas we can assist with an aerating roller.

Once flowering is over, your bulbs are best left to die down but they can look untidy. One solution is to grow perennials in front, which will take centre stage once the bulbs have finished. Feed your bulbs with bone meal so next year's blooms will be stunning.

Enjoy the spectacular display of your shrubs now and resist the urge to prune or trim until they have finished flowering. However, removing spent flowers throughout the flowering season can be beneficial for roses and daisies to encourage more flower buds; also deadheading of rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas makes way for new growth. Fertilise all your plants with the appropriate food now, to see them through the harsher summer months.

Hold off trimming your hedges if possible until just before Christmas. This will give you a tidy look when you need it the most and save an extra cut through the season.

Spring and autumn are key times to weed! Time spent now will save you work later by reducing the population of weed seeds. Mulch your garden to prevent more weeds coming up, and also keep the soil warm and moist for maximum growth.

If your garden is getting on top of you and you want a hand – whether that's weekly, fortnightly, monthly or seasonally – call Richard at Richard Forbes Gardening for a chat.