With Spring in full swing and Summer just around the corner, it is a busy time for gardeners. Here are my top tips:

  1. Summer bedding can be planted out now the weather has warmed up but keep an eye on the weather forecast to avoid being caught out by a late frost.
  2. Look after your spring bulbs for next year. Once they have gone over resist the temptation to cut back foliage. Instead let it die and break down on its own and add a liquid fertiliser around the clumps. This will give you a more impressive display next spring. Congested clumps can be lifted and divided now.
  3. Feed and water container plants. Optimise your watering routine, water early or late in the day to get the most out of your water.
  4. Top dress permanent pot plants to refresh the compost.
  5. Prune Penstemons – cut all the old shoots back to the base providing there is new growth at the bottom of the plant. If there are no new shoots at the base cut back to the lowest pair of leaves. This will keep the plants much neater and prevent them from becoming floppy.
  6. Prune spring flowering shrubs, once the flowers have faded. Aim to remove approximately a third of the old wood from the base along with any crossing or diseased stems.
  7. If you haven’t fed your roses do it now, they are hungry plants and will perform better if fed.
  8. Continue to weed beds and borders to prevent competition for water and nutrients.
  9. Mow your lawn regularly and feed with a high nitrogen fertiliser to encourage healthy green growth.
  10. As the season progresses dead-head roses, perennials and annuals to promote more flowers.
  11. May is a good month for cuffing evergreen hedges such as Lonicera and Yew, but make sure you check for nesting birds first.

Claire Jones
Claire Jones Gardens