Don’t miss the buzz around Ruxley this springtime, there’s so many hardy plants to choose from and plenty going on – you’ll need a cup of tea in The Mulberry Tree to recover! When you are recovered, use every second to get down to some planting and preparation because you know those April showers are on their way! Here are some ideas and tips to get you started.
- Complete the transplanting of any evergreen shrubs or trees left over from last month. Give good aftercare to this group, as well as monitoring the establishment of bare root and container-grown material planted in earlier months. Water, mulch, mist over in the evenings, shade and erect windbreak material as required to assist successful establishment.
- Plant fruit bushes and trees. Cover early fruit blossom with fleece if frost is forecast.
- Continue with planting second early potatoes, followed with main crop. Earth-up rows as growth appears above the surface to protect from frost.
- Make the final planting of shallots and onions on rich but firmed soil. Plant out vegetables, sow sweet peas in pots or trays, having hardened them off first, along with hardy cottage annuals.
- A more extensive range of annual flowers and vegetables can now be sown directly in their final position, or in a nursery bed for transplanting later. This will give continuity through the season, brussels for Christmas lunch and purple sprouting broccoli next spring. Sow sweet peas, wild flowers and hardy annuals now in their final positions.
- Maintain heating in greenhouses or conservatories as temperatures can fall rapidly on a clear night. Frost is still possible until early June.
- ontinue growing seedlings, cuttings and plugs of summer bedding for planting out at the end of May. Plant up hanging baskets under cover ready for a sheltered position in late May.
- Put out supports for climbers, perennials and climbing vegetables, tie in climbing plants as they develop, carry out formative pruning if required.
- Check plants for pests and diseases whilst working in the garden, deal quickly with sudden infestations; if using chemical insecticides rather than an organic route, spray in the evening to limit the harm done to beneficial insects.
- Tidy up spring bulbs by removing spent flower heads, giving a general fertiliser and a good watering. Allow foliage to die back naturally.
- Prune the less hardy shrubs now like fuchsia, ceanothus, choisya and hydrangea.
- Continue to mow lawns no shorter than 40mm, reseeding bare patches and sowing new lawns. Turf can be laid on ground prepared last month, but keep moisture levels consistent to prevent turf or seedlings from drying out.
Of course, when it does rain (and you know it will) don’t just shelter in the shed, pop into see us at Ruxley. It is always good to see our gardening friends, old and new!