Spring has officially sprung, but that doesn’t mean you should be dusting off the cushions on your outdoor metal garden furniture just yet. Instead make sure you are on top of the month’s gardening chores so that when the weather really does turn warm, you can sit back and enjoy the view from your superior patio furniture!
Attack as a form of Defence
Things are beginning to sprout and that means the good and the bad, so take the time now to treat driveways, patios and paths with one of the residual weed killers on the market.
Give the lawn a once over – there’s a very good chance that moss has gotten a foothold during the winter, so get hold of a scarifier and scratch away at it. A garden leaf rake will also do the job but does demand a fair amount of elbow grease!
If you have climbers that flower on this season’s growth or hybrid tea roses, prune them now.
Cut back your fuchsia and mallow stems to live wood.
Spring clean your herbaceous borders. Lift and divide congested clumps of perennials and replant them in soil that you have enriched with compost. Michaelmas daisies, phlox and rudbeckia will all respond well to such treatment. The most vigorous growth is usually around the edges of a clump, so if you don’t refresh them, they can end up with a bald centre. When you are dividing plants like these, it is the edge bits that will be best for replanting.
Now’s the time to cut back late-Summer flowering shrubs such as buddleia too; hard prune to get bigger flowers as a result.
Check round rhizomes such as bearded iris removing dead leaves and debris.
Hardy annuals seed can be sown directly into the ground where they will flower in due course.
Lift and divide clumps of snowdrops since they are much happier replanted ‘in the green’.
In the Veg Patch
This is a busy time in the veg patch – the ground should be prepared from last month.
Carrots, Brussels sprouts, summer spinach and broad beans can all be sown now.
Mulch your currant bushes and gooseberries.
Leeks can be sown in a seed bed for transplanting later in the season.
In the greenhouse, you can sew celery and celeriac.
If you get hit by showers and the wind’s too bitter to be outside, you can always spring clean your houseplants – dust their leaves, feed and repot where necessary.
Regarding your outdoor furniture, if you’ve stored it away for the winter, you can bring it outside now. Even if it isn’t warm enough to sit outside for long, the promising sight of a gleaming cast aluminium patio table and chairs will gladden the heart and remind us all of good times ahead.