HOW TO GET YOUR GARDEN IN TIP TOP CONDITION THIS SPRING

The weather may not be playing the game but spring has now ‘sprung’ as today (March 20th) marks the official start of springtime! So, what better time to plan for sunnier times and get your garden prepped and looking lovely for some al fresco dining and outdoor entertainment?

With the RHS Flower Show Cardiff taking place April 7th – 9th, we caught up with Show Manager Rose Gore-Browne, who gave us the top ten jobs you should be doing this month:

  1. Keep weeds under control – Really, this is an all year round job as you should deal with weeds as soon as they become troublesome, but it is more important during the spring and summer months.
  2. Protect fruit blossom from late frosts - Most top fruit and soft fruit are resilient but once they start to grow in spring, flowers and buds are especially vulnerable to frost and may need protection to crop well.
  3. Tie in climbing and rambling roses - Rose pruning ensures that plants grow vigorously and flower well each year. If left, climbing roses can become a tangled mess of branches with very few flowers.
  4. Sow hardy annuals, herbs and wild flower seed outdoors – Many vegetables, annuals, biennials and herbaceous plants can be grown from seed sown outdoors. The secret to success is to prepare a good seedbed, free of weeds and with a crumble-like soil-surface texture.
  5. Start to feed citrus plants - Oranges, lemons and limes are great container specimens, making it easy to enjoy the flavour and sweet scent of citrus in any garden. Overwintering them successfully is easy in a frost-free place, such as a greenhouse or conservatory.
  6. Increase the water given to houseplants – During the winter it’s best to reduce watering your indoor plants until the compost is almost dry between watering. Now spring is here, you can increase the waterings.
  7. Feed hungry shrubs and roses – You’ll need to start feeding your shrubs again, from now until late summer.
  8. Sow new lawns or repair bare patches - Patches in lawns can appear for a number of reasons, and when they do, it is always advisable to repair them. Re-seeding, or turfing bare patches will prevent weeds germinating in the patches, and of course, it looks much better.
  9. Prune fig trees - Remove any branches that spoil the shape, or which are crossing or damaged, along with any suckers appearing from the ground. If needed cut back one or two branches that have become too long and bare to a 5cm (2in) stub to stimulate new growth from the base of the branch.
  10. Divide bamboos and waterlilies – Mid-spring is the ideal time for this job; split clumps apart with a mattock or axe, or lift smaller clumps and cut them in half with a saw.

For more information or to buy advance tickets for the RHS Flower Show Cardiff visit www.rhs.org.uk/cardiff.