Seeds to plant now:
Indoors or in a heated greenhouse
Rock cress, Aubrieta, Aubrietia
Outside under cover
Shows and events:
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The UKGardening web site has been running since 1998. The idea behind the site has always been to provide what we think will be interesting and useful information for the novice gardener.
Jobs to do in the garden this week.
- When the leaves of cyclamen have fallen, stop watering and allow the bulbs to dry out.
- Earth up the first early potatoes that were planted in March, to stop the tubers being exposed to light, turning green.
- Cut runners from strawberries (unless trying to propagate more plants). Runners will divert energy away from crop production.
- Remove spring bedding plants and lift and store spring flowering bulbs (with the exception of snowdrops).
- Support herbaceous border plants with canes, where they will be needed in late summer. It's easier to do this now while the plants are still small, this also reduces the risk of damaging the roots later in the season.
- Prune plum trees, paint fresh cuts with Arborex to prevent infection.
- Take soft wood cuttings from thyme. Thyme cuttings take easily, so they can be stuck in the soil or in pots. Remember that thyme likes full sun and hates to be grown in the shade.
- Plant out greenhouse grown runner beans or sow them at the base of wigwams 5cm (2in) deep. Keep well watered.
- Fuchias flower from the ends of their branches, nipping out the growing tip will encourage more shoots, creating a bushier plant with more flowers.
- The adult vine weevil, the number one garden pest, will be emerging from the soil as the temperatures rise.
- Control weeds in lawns with a selective weedkiller. Don't cut the grass for at least a week after applying. Don't put these grass cuttings on the compost heap.
- Protect plants from slugs and snails with slug pellets, course grit or traps. Alternatively try to encourage birds, hedgehogs and frogs to your garden - all prey on slugs and snails. More suggestions to reduce slug and snail damage.
- Regularly water trees and shrubs that were planted last autumn and winter. Their roots won't have had a chance to fully develop yet.
- Cut grass weekly, long grass takes more nutrients out of the soil. It is also harder to cut and may leave yellow patches in the lawn.
- Apply a weed and feed to established lawns. Water in with a hose after a few days if it hasn't rained.
- Lift, divide and replant chives.
- Remove the dead heads of spring flowering bulbs. This will encourage the plant to store energy in the bulb rather than wasting it on seed production.
- Your pond may have started to turn green and cloudy. This is due to a rapid increase in algae, which flourish in the warmer spring temperatures. Once the pond plants start to grow again, especially the oxygenating plants, these will use up the nutrients and create shade, reducing the amount of algae. To speed up the clearing of the water, drop a small string bag/pair of old tights stuffed with barley straw, into the pond. Weigh the straw down, so that it floats just below the surface of the water.
As the straw breaks down, it produces hydrogen peroxide, which reduces and inhibits the growth of algae and blanket weed. If the algae is particularly bad, barley straw extract can be bought in liquid form and added to the pond water (follow the instructions on the bottle, but as a guide before purchasing,125ml treats approximately 4,500 litres/1,000 gallons, but multiple, fortnightly treatments through the year may be necessary). If you have a fountain or waterfall, try to position the barley straw underneath this. Remove and replace the barley with new straw after about six months, before it completely rots down, polluting the water.
The small, pre-filled barley straw bags to add to your pond, cost about £2 each, but you can buy a 17 litre pack, which will last a few years for less than a fiver from your local pet shop or Amazon here: Supreme Petfoods Tiny Friends Farm Russell & Gerty Barley Straw, 17 Litres Blagdon Extract of Barley Straw - 250ml
- Spread compost from the compost bin, over the borders, this adds valuable nutrients to the soil and acts as a mulch, to retain moisture and reduce weed growth. Ensure that the soil is moist before adding mulch.
- Sowing seeds
- Chitting and growing potatoes
- Care of Hippeastrum/Amaryllis after flowering
- Making leaf mould
- Creating a compost heap
- How to lay a new lawn
- Removing large branches
- Updated photo gallery