Gardening Tips For May by Jill Blackwood

Gardening Tips For May

  • Fill garden containers with a variety of summer bedding to give instant colour that will last all season long. Feed and water garden containers regularly to maximise displays.
  • Sweet peas can be planted outside where they are to flower and either trained up trellis or netting or you could make a wigwam out of canes.
  • Tender plants like tree ferns, Olive and Bay trees that have been under cover or wrapped in horticultural fleece to protect them over the winter can now be unwrapped or placed in position in your garden. Remove any dead or diseased parts and top up the pot with fresh compost before watering.
  • Hedges should be given a light trim to tidy their appearance
  • Early flowing shrubs like Pyracantha and Kerria can be pruned.
  • Prune back flowering stems on Hellebores
  • Give spring flowering bulbs a sprinkling of fertilizer to help them build up reserves for next spring.
  • Continue to stake tall perennials and tie in climbing plants as they grow.
  • Thin out earlier sowings of hardy annuals to leave a seedling about every 15cm.
  • Deal with weeds and pests regularly to keep them under control
  • Give water features a spring clean removing any duck or pond weed.
  • Lawns will need more regular mowing, once a week should be fine, regular feeding will keep lawns green and healthy all summer long.
  • Tomatoes and cucumbers sown earlier in the year can be planted into larger containers in your greenhouse. As they grow feed weekly, provide support and remove side shoots regularly.
  • Outside continue to sow a succession of vegetables and salad leaves in rows – this makes it easier to hoe between rows to control weeds.
  • At the end of May runner beans and french beans can be sown directly into soil outside in rows with supports made out of netting or canes for them to climb as they grow.
  • Sow sweetcorn in blocks of five about 30cm apart to ensure good pollination.
  • Plant main crop potatoes and continue to earth up earlier varieties until they are ready to harvest.
  • Place straw underneath strawberry plants to prevent the fruit from rotting and harvest rhubarb regularly.
  • Keep bird baths and feeders topped up and take a break to enjoy the early summer sunshine.

April In The Garden By Jill Blackwood

Garden Tips For April

By Jill Blackwood

  • Weed growth will be speeding up, applying a thick layer of mulch on borders will help to stop perennial weeds growing – any stubborn weeds can be treated with an easy to apply weed killer like roundup, taking care not to spray nearby plants.  Regularly weeding borders will gradually reduce the amount of weeds that grow back each year.
  • Keep an eye out for slugs and snails as they will also be raring to go and can destroy emerging plants overnight.  Treat areas with wildlife and pet friendly slug pellets.
  • Spray roses with a suitable treatment for black spot and remove any leaves that look sickly.
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Garden Tips For February

It may still be cold and wet outside but cheer up winter’s shortest day is behind us and gradually the days are getting longer bringing enough daylight for the first signs of spring to emerge in the garden.  Snowdrops began to emerge in late January and Crocus are now giving a welcome carpet of colour in many gardens helping to lift our spirits.  Hellebore flowers stand above shiny dark green foliage and spring flowering shrubs like Chaenomeles (quince) begin to blossom.  Take a close look and many shrubs will have budded ready to burst into leaf, daffodils will be preparing to flower and early summer flowering perennials will soon be starting to push through the soil.

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January Garden Tips

Once Christmas and New Year have passed by and the decorations are packed away for another year January can be a cold, dark month when we can experience the worst of the year’s weather.  Dormancy will continue in the garden for a few weeks yet but there are some jobs to do in the garden that can help to work off some of the festive excess with some fresh air and exercise.

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Only a few weeks left until Christmas and the festivities begin.  Just when visitors are likely to see your garden it will be at it most dull and uninteresting.  There are a number of ways to improve the view of your winter garden.  Trees and shrubs can be planted when the ground is not frozen.  Many trees come with interesting bark and will add height and drama to your garden.  Try Betula ut jaquemontii with its crisp white bark and Acer griseum with its peeling  bronze bark.

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Garden Tips for October

Now that summer is well and truly past us and the nights are drawing in  it is time to give the garden a general tidy before the winter sets in.  Growth will have slowed in the garden and deciduous trees and shrubs will be shedding their leaves, these will need to raked off lawns and cleared from paths and water features.  Rotting leaves make a great mulch and are full of nutrients so don’t waste any – add them to your borders or pile them into a corner of the garden so wildlife can shelter in them over the winter.

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Garden Tips For September By Jill Blackwood

For many gardeners September marks the beginning of a new gardening year, the nights are starting to draw in and late flowering plants such as Dahlia’s, Japanese anemones, Echinacea and the stately Miscanthus grasses give their last flush of colour and interest before the temperatures plummet.

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Garden Tips For August by Garden Designer Jill Blackwood

August is a time for enjoying your garden, spending time socialising and admiring the results of your hard work earlier in the year.  Many early summer flowering perennials have finished flowering and can be cut back to keep borders tidy, prevent the spread of disease and to give room for the later flowering perennials. Border stars this month include Agapanthus, Penstemon Dahlia and Leucanthemums.  

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Garden Tips For July

As the weather heats up borders and containers should be looking their best with plenty of variety and colour.  To keep perennials and annuals looking their best and flowering for as long as possible it is important to deadhead faded blooms.  During long dry spells only water borders if they really need it and it is better to give plants a good soaking once a week than to water a little each day.  Applying a thick mulch around plants will help to reduce moisture loss.

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Gardening in June

As midsummer has arrived the garden should be full of colour and interest.  Now most of the hard work of preparing the garden is done midsummer is the time to take full advantage of any good weather.  It’s really a matter of maintenance at this time of year.  Weeds will be growing quickly now so carry out some regular hoeing to prevent weed seedlings establishing and dig out larger weeds by hand.  Keeping weeds under control not only keeps the borders looking their best but it also prevents them from taking nutrients and water away from your plants.  Applying a thick layer of bark mulch on the border will help to smother weeds and retain moisture cutting down on maintenance.

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