With what felt like a week and a half’s worth of summer last year, a lot of people are worried that those few sunny days we had last week is our quota for 2016. Nevertheless, as patrons of gardens we all have some work to do just in case the British sun decides to make a guest appearance.
Summer is one of the finest times to enjoy your garden; whether it be for barbecues on the patio, picnics on the lawn or pottering amongst the wildflowers. With lots of entertaining to be done, it’s imperative that we get the hard work done first. Ready? Okay…
Combat A Winter Of Neglect
First thing’s first is something to be expected for May, a spring clean. You’ll probably have spent very little time in your garden over the past few months and you’ve noticed the weeds creeping through the cracks, your grass beginning to spring up and debris strewn in the corners. Gather all of the twigs and deadwood to prevent your lawn from being suffocated and get rid of the weeds before they get a sunshine growth spurt. Use your trowel and your elbow grease before your resort to chemicals, weed killer should be a last resort as it can jeopardise the growth of plants that you do want to thrive.
Water Early, Slowly and Deeply
Obviously you want to use your own expertise and judgment on the volume of fluid that your individual plants need, but generally you want to begin watering slowly and deeply. This allows the moisture to penetrate deeper into the soil, the plants to stock up and the risk of runoff to be minimised. You’re guarding against lengthy dry spells and reducing the need to get the hosepipe out on a regular basis.
Mulching will also help to prevent runoff – and will insulate your soil against the heat and the sun, keeping it cool and more comfortable.
Ticking Off The Vegetable Garden
If you’re managing your country garden and have vegetables to look after, May will demand attention from you in;
- Root vegetables like carrots and beetroot can continue to be sowed; along with lettuce and dill.
- Beans need sowing toward the end of May, adding a short row every two weeks. When the weather settles, start with your squash, cucumber and melon.
- And if you’re really confident that the frost is gone, tomatoes can go in with peppers.
Preparing The Lawn For Use
Your lawn is probably getting some length for the first time in a while – and you’re probably seeing some wild grasses in there too from seeds that have been dropped over the winter. Give it a close mow, using the strimmer if necessary to take length off the thicker patches, but leave the freshly-mown grass out. The decomposition of this will return nitrogen to the soil – a habit you should stick to all year round. If you have kids and it’s likely to take a pounding, you can buy some lawn food that helps to strengthen the grass. Alternatively, you might consider re-laying your lawn with one of the more durable strains – one of the many things we consider during the garden design process.
Eden Restored is a team of passionate garden designers working throughout London, Kent and Surrey.
We deliver value-for-money on small and large projects, from urban courtyards to country cottages.
To discuss your ideas and how we can help throughout the entire process, get in touch.