It’s ready, steady, grow for sum­mer

Rutherglen Reformer - - Homes & Gardens -

Spring is here and while the last re­main­ing daf­fodils stand proud and you be­gin to work out­doors, it’s time to plan ahead for sum­mer.

The first task is re­mov­ing and com­post­ing any dead an­nual plants that re­mained over win­ter.

Th­ese will not re­turn and any self-seed­ers will al­ready have done their job.

If you didn’t prune back your peren­ni­als last fall, they’re prob­a­bly look­ing pretty ugly as spring sets in.

And while it may seem too wet and cold to be even imag­in­ing the hot, hazy days of sum­mer, it’s time to start sow­ing ten­der an­nu­als un­der glass so they’ll be ready for plant­ing out­doors in May and June.

One thing to re­mem­ber when grow­ing from seed is to use seed com­post for best re­sults. Af­ter their ini­tial wa­ter­ing, cover with poly­thene or a piece of glass to re­tain mois­ture un­til the seedlings emerge, then re­move to avoid ex­cess hu­mid­ity which en­cour­ages fun­gal dis­eases such as damp­ing off.

Early spring is the time to take ac­tion against weeds with some pro-ac­tive weed­ing. Damp soil makes it much eas­ier t to pull young weed s seedlings. Don’t try to com­post weeds. They’ll come back to haunt you.

Some shrubby plants with woody stems in­clud­ing artemisia, bud­dleia, cary­opteris and laven­der need to be cut back each spring, be­cause they only bloom on new branches.

Th­ese are pruned i in the spring, to limit win­ter dam­age and to en­cour­age the plant to start send­ing out those n new flow­er­ing branches.

It’s best to wait un­til d dan­ger of fhda hard frost is past. So this spring it’s time to get or­gan­ised for the year ahead in your gar­den and make sure it is bloom­ing beau­ti­ful by the time sum­mer ar­rives in your gar­den.

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