As the end of spring approaches we all begin to look forward to a summer of (hopefully) sitting out in our gardens on warm days and balmy evenings.
Of course, half of the pleasure relies on your garden looking at its best. No matter how lovely the weather is you’re not going to be able to relax if the lawn has overgrown, the flowerbeds are full of weeds and pests are running amok all over the place!
With this in mind, here at Gartec we’ve put together these spring gardening tips to make sure you’re ready for the summer months.
Prepare your vegetables
If you grow fruit and vegetables in your garden or greenhouse, there are a few things you need to do to get them ready for summer.
Earth up potatoes
Spring weather is the perfect growing conditions for potatoes, which means they can grow very quickly during late April and May.
Once the plants reach 10cm tall they can be mounded around with soil up to their full height. This is known as ‘earthing up’. You want to do this to increase the length of the underground stems, as it is these that bear the potatoes. An added benefit is that it also smothers any competing weeds.
Harden off vegetables grown in your greenhouse
Outside weather conditions can be a shock to vegetables that have been grown in the warmth of a greenhouse, so it’s important to ‘harden off’ things like courgettes, pumpkins and tomatoes 7-10 days before planting them in your garden.
Start this process gradually by setting them in the shade, next to the house for an hour or two, before increasing the length of exposure to include some direct sunlight and light breeze.
The final step is to leave the plants out overnight – but make sure to check that the forecast temperature is 10°C.
Keep on top of weeds and pests
As much as your plants and vegetables can thrive in the spring, so can weeds and garden pests.
Be sure to keep on top of weeds with regular hoeing, while you need to stay vigilant to tackle any pest problems as they arise:
- White powdery mildew on plants should be dealt with by fungicide;
- Deal with aphids on plant leaves by rubbing them off with your hand or spraying them with insecticide;
- Prevent slugs with slug pellets – preferably pet-friendly ones. Encouraging birds, frogs, toads and hedgehogs in your garden can also help to deal with these plant-eating pests;
- Tackle lawn weeds with selective weed killer and feed your lawn with fertiliser to encourage healthy green growth.
Follow these tips to ensure you get the most out of your garden this summer!