Newswire » Lifestyle » The warm weather is here time for some gardening!

The warm weather is here time for some gardening!


The warm weather is here time for some gardening!

In this article, Jacqueline Spain uses her encylpedic knowledge of gardening and gives us some tips!

I love everything about spring, because the sun visits us more often and the swallows and their friends return. There is nothing as beautiful as the dawn chorus to wake you from your slumbers. Yet, this is cold and rainy Ireland, but sunny days are definitely here more often when it is spring. Why else do I love this time of the year? Because it is time for the flowers to bloom again and the trees to grow back their leaves and the lawns to get greener. Perfect for those days that you want to lie on your back and count the clouds and decide if it’s your pet dog or an ice cream you are looking at. Gardening is such a Zen understanding and hobby to keep yourself busy with, it most definitely brings calm to the soul, playing with earth, air and water, but please I recommend you stay away from the fire; it would ruin your brand new garden arrangements!

For most people who have never gardened before, it could be puzzling and frightening to figure out where and how to begin. There is quite a lot involved with the art of gardening. God definitely knew what he was doing when he created the Garden of Eden, he had no garden forks, compost, flower feeds or seeds ready, for him it was a question of letting evolution take its course. We, the gardeners of this planet, are forced to consider things differently, we need some advice and hands to do the job.

Where do you begin then, to get your perfect garden ready for this spring? Here is some really good tips and advice to help prepare you for your spring gardening.


General tasks and maintenance

If you are going to be planting new plants and shoots you need to stay cautious of late frost. The middle of May is a better time to put out tender bedding and continue covering them until the end of May.

Taking out weeds this time of the year is very important. Hoe your borders to keep annual weeds such as bitter cress and groundsel from growing over the edges. It is advisable that you do your weeding on a dry day. Dandelions come back at this time of the year and chopping their heads off will prevent it from seeding.

With the water charges now in place, it is good practice to use your kitchen and bath water, make sure there is little detergent or soap in the water and collect rainwater and other recyclable water to water your garden. You do not have to water your garden every day, once or twice thoroughly a week will suffice, but containers do need water every day.

Mulching is very important now, use leaf moulds, well-rotted manure, the contents of out-of-date grow bags or ready-made soil conditioner. Add general purpose fertiliser before you start mulching.

Pest control should be done with the use of little amounts of chemicals in order to protect ladybirds and hoverfly larvae.  Carry on removing moss and weeds from pathways, terraces and driveways, get rid of those slugs and snails, they will destroy your Tulips and Delphiniums. It’s recommended you use pet-friendly slug pellets or utilise biological control (you can just pick them up and move them somewhere else). Keep a look out for the other garden pests like the beetles, caterpillars and gooseberry sawflies.



Birds should be welcomed to the garden, they are very good pest controllers. So put out bird food, bird feeders and bird houses, they will attract them to the garden. Planting trees and fruits also attracts these beautiful flying creatures and they add life to the garden.


Trees, shrubs and climbers

Always try to clear the earth in a circle around trees and shrubs and then feed with mulch and compost in order to prevent moisture from getting to the roots of these plants.

Rose bushes should be sprayed with fungicide every fortnight until autumn to prevent mildew and black spots. In the event of your rose bushes getting an infection burn the leaves and don’t throw it on your compost heap. Feed the soil around your roses, they are heavy feeders and May is the time for them to start blooming.



Lawns will have to be mowed now that spring is here and you will have to do it weekly during spring and the summer months. Lawn feed also helps lawns look greener and thicker. If you are planning to sow a new lawn, May is the deadline.

Lawnmowers need to maintained and it is a good idea to sharpen the blades, change the spark plugs, oil and air the filter and give it a good tune-up before you start the lawn mowing.


Bulbs, flowers and containers

Your new spring shoots need to be protected against frost and slugs and covering them and using pest control methods will save them from cold nights and hungry pests. When you are planting your seedlings leave a gap of 6 inches between them.

Cut back spreading and trailing plants to encourage fresh growth and erect supports for crawlers to prevent herbaceous plants, like poppies from collapsing. You can make supports using hazel or birch twigs, this will give your garden a natural look.

You don’t have to sow your hardier flowers in a coloured co-ordinated way. When you are sowing Nastrium, Calendula and Poppies you can mix the seeds, but always keep the taller plants behind the shorter ones.

Tidy up spring flowering perennials by cutting off old foliage, lifting and dividing large clumps and replanting adding plenty of water and organic fertiliser. When the Narcissi and Tulip heads die sprinkle with bonemeal or liquid foliar feed, or if you are patient enough you can let them die naturally and then clean away old and dead foliage towards the end of May.

If you desire flowers with longer stems you should remove tendrils and side shoots and if you are going to plant sweet peas this spring use rings and soft twine to tie them up.

You can also start adding you summer bedding and make sure you always water your pots and containers that are next to walls and in sheltered areas. Use tubs, containers and hanging baskets to make your garden more colourful, but harden them well before exposing them to the elements.


Kitchen garden

If you are into planting vegetables, fruit and herbs you have to remember to water regularly when there is little rain and warm days. Strawberries are always good with cream in the summer and these can be planted in the ground, in planters or in hanging baskets.

It is good and beneficial to have the birds come to the garden, but if you have fruit trees and gooseberries growing in your garden they will inevitably be attracted to developing fruit buds, so to prevent this from happening, use netting.

Most garden centres sell seedlings of vegetables, salads and herbs. This saves time and is an easier way of getting them ready for planting; good for gardeners who find it difficult to grow their own seeds. When you do replant them into your garden, make sure that they are strong enough for the weather and watch those pests!

May is a good time to sow vegetable seeds; you can try broad beans, carrots, lettuces, spinach, salad leaves, leeks and chard. Planting your own veggie garden is economical and veggies fresh from the garden always tastes better too.

Salads can be sowed continuously and you can do this every two weeks; divide your packets up for re-sowing. If you have a greenhouse at home you can also start planting your summer crops. Sweet peppers, tomatoes, aubergines and salads can be grown from seeds or you can by the seedlings from your local garden centre.

Potatoes should be protected against sunlight getting to the tubers, because when this happens they will turn green and become poisonous. To prevent this wait until your potato plants are about 6 inches tall and then hill up soil over the plants and then repeat again after a month and then again 2 or 3 weeks later. Also treat your potatoes with nitrogen fertiliser when you hill it with soil, doing this will give you more potatoes.

There you have it, many good ideas and tips to think of when you get your spring garden ready for this season. Spring and summer is the time we want to sit out in the garden and watch the sun go down, enjoying sundowners and good friends. It is always more comforting having the garden smile back at you with colour and life; it creates a homely atmosphere and makes the average human happier.

#hashtags logo Hashtags: ,

Leave a Reply

© 1991-2014 Fountain Resource Group Ltd. · Registered Company Number: 193051C · RSS · Website designed by Solid Website Design