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16 October 2014
Gardener's Corner

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Winter 2009
 
John Cushnie On...
 

Spring Clean
16th May 2009


It has been a long hard winter with lengthy periods when it wasn’t possible to garden. Snow, frost and rain combined to leave the soil unmanageable.

Now we are into spring with long, bright evenings and good working conditions ahead so it is time to catch up on lost time.

The first jobs are those that will bring the garden up to scratch and involve a tidy up and spring clean.

Buds are turning into new soft growth and great care needs to be taken not to damage shoots when working through the beds and around plants.
Herbaceous borders and shrub beds can be raked over to remove debris and weeds. Watch out for seedlings of plants that worth keeping. Plants that spread by suckers and stolons should be curtailed to prevent them becoming dominant and weed-like.

The lawn is ready for a feed. It has had to put up with months of wet, cold ground and a feed of a proprietary lawn food will act as a pick-me-up and add colour to the pale green or yellow grass.
A selective weed killer to eliminate buttercup, daisy, plantain and other troublesome weeds may be given along with the nutrients as a weed and feed application.

Regular cutting will improve the quality of the grass.
The vegetable garden should be a hive of activity with regular sowing of salad crops along with thinning rows of seedlings and transplanting brassicas. Keep on top of the annual weeds such as chickweed that seems to appear overnight.

Support peas and beans before they need it. If you are using old pea sticks make sure they are free from over-wintering disease spores.
Weed around strawberry plants and apply a feed of Growmore at a handful per yard length of plants.

Tidy up loganberries, blackberries and tay berries making sure there are no loose canes to blow about in the wind.

The greenhouse will be bursting at the seams with plants waiting to be planted outside. As you clear space prepare the area for a summer crop of tomatoes, melons, cucumbers or peppers. Hygiene is crucial so remove all debris and diseased leaves. Wash the glass and walls with a fungicide before planting out the new crop.

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