Image from the RHS
National Gardening Week starts next week (15-21 April). To celebrate we have have created a calendar for you to do something garden-oriented every day.
The lighter evenings means hopefully you have some time after work to dedicate to your garden, and a little time spent regularly is the best way to get great results form your gardens.
Browse through seed catalogues or search online and get planning for a riot of colour and a bountiful vegetable plot this year. Make a list of what seeds and plants you want to grow this year, if you have time you can place your order today too, and then things should arrive ready for the weekend.
Turn over the compost in your compost heap if you have one, if you don’t have a compost heap why not invest in a wormery – which will compost household waste quickly and easily for you, and can be kept in the smallest garden, or in the garage if you prefer.
Wage war on slugs and snails. The milder wet weather is ideal for breading slugs and snails so you want to make a concerted effort to get rid of them now, before they multiply.
You can lay orange skins around the flower beds to encourage them to cluster in one place to make collecting them easier. Place a layer of dishwasher salt in an empty can and drop the creatures in.
If you are squeamish about killing slugs you can just collect them and release them into open ground, but deposit them well away from other people’s gardens.
Remove all garden debris and dead leaves as these are places slugs and snails love to lay their eggs.
Before planting vegetables you should dig over your vegetable beds, removing spent tubers, stones and weeds, and adding well rotted compost. If you were very orgainsed you may have already done this in the autumn, in which case you are good to go.
Plan your planting for the growing season, using your list from Mondays wish list. Decide what you are going to grow and where . If you have your vegetable seeds you can start planting them today. See our growing plants form seeds project.
Pop into your local garden center or nursery to stock up on potting compost, moisture retaining granules, containers, hanging baskets and liners.
If you live in milder parts of the UK you may be confident to buy frost tender annuals, although it may be a bit early in many areas, unless you have a greenhouse to keep them insulated should the temperatures drop again. However you can keep plants covered with garden fleece in at night if you live in a milder areas.
Rather than spend a full day in the garden ease yourselves into physical activity spend half the day digging, planting and sowing in line with your plan. You may even want to mow the lawn if it needs it, and the ground isn’t too wet, set the blades high to avoid damage to the early growth.
Spend the rest of the day visiting a local open garden – there are lots of events happening around the country that you may like to get involved with. Start out by seeing what the Royal Horticultural Society are doing.
Like Saturday, do some physical work in the garden, you may want to aerate your lawn to encourage growth, now is also a good time to prune wisteria and some other flowering climbers. Gardeners World always has a list of jobs to do each week.
Spend the rest of the time visiting a garden event, pick up some ideas on what plants thrive in your area. Make sure you carry a small notebook to take notes, or take photos of plants and their labels using your camera or mobile phone.
On Sunday evening stay home and put your feet up – catch up with your favourite gardening programmes and feel proud of yourself for getting started.
The year ahead
DIY Doctor has opened a new gardening section, and we will be adding projects throughout the year, please go and see what we have there already and let us know what else you want to see.
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