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The Spring Garden

The temperature is at last beginning to rise, the birds are singing enthusiastically and the weeds are beginning to grow.  These are all signs that we should be working away in the garden so we can sit in the garden and enjoy the benefits later in the year.

The lawn will require a bit of tender care after a long wet and cold winter. It’s not too late to treat it with moss killer and weed and feed. Make sure that you apply the granules evenly and according to the manufactures instructions. Apply when the grass is damp and when the forecast for rain is imminent. Weeds will wilt and moss will become black, your grass will green up and put on a growth spurt. This can be carried out by your landscape gardener if you have a large area of lawn.

Your lawn mower will deserve a service, and the blade being sharpened. Your local mower service centre will do this for you if you do not feel confident to carry this out yourself. Ask your landscape gardener for a recommendation if you have not used a local service before.

The fist cut of the season should be on the highest setting, followed by using a spring rake to rake all the old moss and other thatch out of the grass. This allows the grass room to grow and allows air and water to get to the roots. This scarifying improves the condition of the grass over a long period of time.

The borders will need weeding, feeding and mulching. Whilst weeding look at your plants, inspect for disease and pests. Remove aphids by hand and then watch and continue remove as the weather warms. Slowly aphid predators will move in, removing the need for you to do this.

Once you have removed all the weeds in the bed, do you want to move or reduce the size of any of your perennials? When you dig them up to reduce or move ensure that you do as little damage to the roots as possible by digging up a good sized root ball.  If you need to reduce the size of the plant ensure that you use a very clean knife to cut back. Replant immediately, sun and wind can dry out delicate roots very quickly doing permanent damage. Always water and feed after any planting/replanting. Put the part you have cut away into a pot with compost and water well. Then give to  a gardening friend, your friend will always remember that plant came from you.

Mulching is very beneficial, it will reduce weed growth, reduce evaporation which will reduce the need to water and if you use an organic material it will improve soil condition. Once you have finished all the work in one area, water  and feed well and use old compost, bark or stones to cover the soil to the depth of at least  10cm. Weeds will not be completely eliminated, but they  will be visible sooner  and easy to remove. If you have a big area that needs revamping or developing contact your local landscape gardener for advice and a quote to carry out the work for you.

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