The Spring Equinox has just passed us by which means we are entering a time of new growth and energy in our gardens. We can all give Mother Nature a hand at kick-starting herself by undertaking a few simple tasks in our outdoor spaces. The RHS recommends the following spring activities:
- Protect new spring shoots from slugs
Slug control doesn’t have to endanger other animals. You can use physical barriers (such as carpet offcuts placed under plant pots) or implement a biological control such as ‘Nemaslug’ – a form of microscopic nematode that you water into the soil and which keep the slug population down by infecting them with disease.
- Hoe weed seedlings to keep them under control
Spring is the perfect time to attack garden weed growth. Cut it back before it’s had a chance to establish itself pre-summer. Choose a dry day to hoe between beds to kill off weed seedlings. The dryness will prevent the unearthed seedlings from re-rooting into damp soil. Hand-pull bigger weeds directly from the soil.
- Clean your pond out
Pond maintenance is a must at this time of year. Preventing ponds from turning into overgrown swamps is relatively simple. After removing your fish and other pond life to holding tanks, you can remove decaying plant matter. Place this waste to the side of the pond initially as it might contain pond life such as newts and they need time to return to the pond after you’ve cleaned it. Clean your liner with a scrubbing brush and water, bailing the dirty water out with a bucket.
- Prune bush and climbing roses
When pruning roses, cuts should be no more than 5mm above a bud and should slope downwards away from it. Any dieback needs to be pruned back to the healthy white pith to encourage growth. Remove dead and diseased stems and, once finished, feed with a good rose fertiliser before adding a mulch of compost or manure.
- Clean your decking
Get your Millboard decking into top condition and ready to use over the coming summer months. Simply brush it down to remove leaves before using warm soapy water and a mop to bring it back to its best. Easy!