What to do in the garden this Easter time
Looks like good weather at the weekend so here are some gardening activities to be getting on with while the sun shines.
Author: Patrick Wiltshire
Prepare for a luscious lawn this summer
Now that spring is in full swing take a look at your lawn and assess its needs. Four jobs you can do over the Easter weekend will put your lawn in good stead for the summer. The jobs are cutting the lawn on a high-cut, weeding, moss-killing and feeding.
Fix bare patches with Westland Lawn and Turf Dressing.
Make this year your best year for a garden full of colourful and fragrant roses. Roses are the quintessential UK flower, much-loved and forever fragrant.
Prune stems now of mature plants to get the best display for summer and into autumn. Prune out thin and lanky stems, old and dead branches plus any stems that are growing into the shrub rather than outwards. Train very vertical stems to grow horizontally if they are young enough to bend.
Prune late-summer-flowering clematis
It's time to prune those clematis plants that were in flower from mid-summer to autumn last year. Cut all the stems that flowered last year right back to the lowest bud on the stems.
Start your summer bulbs
Plant the bulbs of lilies, dahlias, begonias and cannas now in pots for an impressive display in the summer for your patio or balcony. Use a bulb-flower compost. For a 20-30cm (10-12in) diameter container use three lily bulbs or five begonia bulb-like tubers or three dahlia tubers or one canna bulb-like rhizome.
Prevent slug attack
Now that slugs are waking up and making an appearance during wet and mild weather your plants will be quickly destroyed if you don't protect against those hungry molluscs that are the bane of gardeners.
Sow hardy annuals
Designate just one square metre (square yard) of your garden to wildflowers and make a huge impact on helping the local bee and butterfly populations. Not only do wildflowers offer pollinating insects pollen and nectar, it gives you natural colour and a meadow-effect not out of place in a Monet painting. Sow now on prepared soil, raked out but not fertilised.
Pot on seedlings
If you germinated seeds in the greenhouse and your seedlings are now around 7-10cm (2 1/2- 4 in) it's time to pot them on into individual pots to grow on until late April when they can be transferred into the garden.
Use a compost suitable for seedlings, which has a balanced but low-level dose of nutrients. This is the perfect-formulation for young plants to develop well at this stage.
Plant vegetable plants in the vegetable plant
Broad bean plants and salads like lettuce can go in the ground outdoors over April. These tasty crops are easy to care for whether you plant them directly in raised beds near the ground or in waist-height containers like VegTrugs.
If frosts or snow is predicted on an evening consider covering your young plants with a layer of horticultural fleece.