Seeds to plant now:
Indoors or in a heated greenhouse
Aubrieta, Aubrietia, Rock cress
Rock cress, Aubrieta, Aubrietia
Outside under cover
Shows and events:
Welcome to the UKGardening Internet site.
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.
- 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.
- Thin out seedlings, leaving the strongest growing plants. Water the soil gently beforehand to reduce soil disturbance.
- 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.
- Open cloches ends to allow pollinating insects access to flowering plants. Remove cloches in late spring.
- Plant up new ponds with aquatics, including oxygenators.
- As daffodils fade, remove the flower heads. Don't cut back the leaves - leave them to die back naturally. However if you want to tidy them up, wait until the leaves have yellowed before removing.
- Feed established roses with a rose fertilizer.
- Plant maincrop potatoes in prepared ground or potato growbags.
- Lift and divide primulas and polyanthus after they have finished flowering.
- Now is the best time to plant lavender. Widely grown for its scent and foliage, lavender is ideal for borders or a low hedge. Available in shades of purple, blue, white and pink it is a magnet for bees and butterflies
- April is the peak flowering time for orchids.
- Lift, divide and replant chives.
- April is the best time to plant an evergreen, such as laurel or box.
- 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.
- Postion plant supports where they will be needed in late summer. Doing this now reduces the risk of damaging the roots later in the season.
- If your lawn is more moss than grass, then treat with a lawn moss killer. Bare in mind that the moss will turn black within a couple of days, so don't be too alarmed. A couple of weeks after application, if you are left with bare patches in your lawn, mix equal quantities of grass seed and seived compost and scatter over the patches, cover areas with fine netting or twigs gently pushed into the soil, to protect from birds and animals. Combination lawn feed and moss killer is available, but feeding your lawn when it's not necessary will encourage it to grow quicker and therefore need to be cut more regularly.
- Transplant any self-set aquilegia, lupins and hollyhocks to new locations.
- Begin regular cutting of your lawn. If the grass is long increase the height adjustment of the mower to the highest setting. Once this first cut has been done, lower the blades/deck and go back over the lawn.
- Prune lavatera hard, down to healthy young growth.
- Don't be tempted to buy your summer bedding yet, unless you have a greenhouse, conservatory or cold frame that you can store them in. A late April / early May frost is not uncommon in the UK.
- Scatter growmore granules under fruit trees and bushes, especially apple, pear and plum trees. If it doesn't rain for a couple of days, water the granules in with a hose or watering can. Growmore is a slow release, general fertiliser, it includes the three main plant nutrients (nitrogen, phosphates and potassium).
- 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
- Tidy up any remaining leaves and general garden rubbish. It's home to slugs, snails, vine weevil and woodlice and can introduce disease and infection into your garden.
- Spread compost from the compost bin, over the borders and vegtable patch. 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.
- Autumn or late winter are the best time to lay a new lawn, as it's damper and cooler, allowing the turf to bed in without you having to worry too much about regular watering. See here: laying a new lawn for further information.
- Plant lily and gladioli bulbs in 4in (10cm) deep holes. Cover with soil or compost and gently firm down the soil to ensure that there are no air pockets as this may cause the bulbs to rot.
- Remove algae and moss from patios and paths with a proprietary patio and path cleaner or tar-oil winter wash.
- Keep an eye on the weather forecast. Cover shrubs that are likely to be damaged by frost with garden fleece, sacking or an old light blanket.
- UKGardening YouTube Channel
- Sowing seeds
- Chitting and growing potatoes
- Care of Hippeastrum/Amaryllis after flowering
- Cleaning patios, paths and decking
- Making leaf mould
- Creating a compost heap
- How to lay a new lawn
- Removing large branches
- Updated photo gallery
Tweets by UKGardening