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7 gardening jobs for the weekend

With Spring in ull swing, there’s never been a better time to get out in the garden. Hopefully we’ll get a bit of cooperation from the weather which will give you time to get those essential garden jobs done: jobs which will serve you well when summer finally arrives. So what garden jobs are we talking about here? Well, here are 7 Ladybrook Nursery recommends you have a go at this weekend.

Clean up the patio

After a prolonged wet and dreary winter, your patio is no doubt in need of a little TLC. So give your patio the once over with a stiff brush and some cleaning fluid, and get rid of any grime and algae. Do the same thing for any stored garden furniture.

Weed between the stones with weedkiller or use a blunt knife to scrape it all out. Brush sand over to fill in the gaps. If your patio is seriously filthy, try using a jet washer, and while

Trim and tidy

Grab your sharpened shears and give the hedges a quick trim. Cut back ornamental grasses and other perennial plants that were left for winter interest. They might still look good, but you need to make way and create space for the new growth.

Deadhead winter-flowering pansies and other winter bedding plants. If you look after them and allow them to pour their energy into fresh blooms, your pansies will continue to bloom well into spring and even early summer. Prune clematis varieties that flower from July onwards to the ground

Control your borders

No – that’s nothing to do with the upcoming referendum. We’re talking about garden borders here. So, if your borders are really compacted, give them a proper going over with a Dutch hoe or fork. Lift any perennial weeds now, keeping as much of the root system as possible intact. Getting on top of weeds before the set seed will save you hours of toil later on.

Plant spring bedding plants like pansies, violas and primroses and fill in any gaps in your borders. Once planted; mulch around these and existing bedding plants with compost to help prevent weeds returning. This will also insulate roots against late frost.

Growing plants need support

A lot of plants will be actively growing in early spring, so make sure they’re properly supported, especially while we’re still getting strong winds. At the same time give your plants a good feed using a general purpose fertiliser. Spread granular fertiliser over the surface as this will break down slowly during the season and give your plants a real boost.

Take care of your containers

Check whether your containers need watering. April might be renowned for its showers, but pots that have been sheltered under the eaves or up against the side of the house could have missed the rainfall. They’re the most vulnerable to drying out.

You should also check the soil to determine if it is dry and flaky. If it is, water immediately but don’t drown the plants. There won’t be a lot of evaporation at this time of year to take away excess water. If the soil’s looking a bit tired, now’s the time to scoop out the top layer and replace with fresh compost and some pelleted chicken manure. Be careful not to get the soil surface any higher than it was previously.

Pest Patrol

Plants aren’t the only things actively growing in spring: pests are too. Green and black fly particularly can multiply rapidly during mild spells, so keep spraying your plants. With slugs and snails, removing populations early can prevent them spreading later.

Keep an eye out for pests and you’ll deal with problems before they become serious – they are easier to treat before they become serious infestations.

Lawn care

Give your lawn a haircut. Set the blades a bit higher if it’s the first mowing of the year to avoid scalping the lawn and weakening the grass. Don’t bother if it’s been very wet – rather, give the grass a chance to dry out before you mow or you’ll risk turning it into a mud bath.

Liberally sprinkle grass seed on any bare patches. As a general rule, you’ll need more than you think for a good covering. Or buy a special product that’s a mixture of seed and compost to really help the grass germinate.

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