Gardening: Seven jobs to do right now to keep your spring garden thriving

Gardening expert on how to keep your garden free of weeds

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Gardens across the UK are beginning to look full and vibrant, with plenty of evergreens and seasonal flowers in full bloom. While your garden may look enticing and colourful right now, you may be wondering how to keep it thriving beyond April and into the warm summer months. These are the seven things to do in your garden this month according to Harry Bodell, gardening expert at PriceYourJob.

Prune fruit trees and peonies

Pruning is essential during spring when a fresh flush of flowers and fruits begin to appear in the garden.

While pruning should be done to encourage healthy growth, it is also essential to prevent and limit the spread of infections or diseases.

Harry said: “Fruit trees are susceptible to fungal infection known as blossom wilt in springtime, and tree peonies can also suffer from a similar problem.

“If new shoots and blossoms turn brown and wilt unexpectedly, this could be the cause.”

To inhibit any further spread of the disease, carefully prune and remove the affected areas to avoid spreading spores.

Always dispose of the problem vegetation in your bin rather than the compost to control the spread of the fungus.

Tackle aphid infestations

Aphids are a common problem at this time of year, but they shouldn’t cause too much damage if you keep a close eye on them.

According to Harry, most established plants can survive a temporary infestation of these “sap suckers”, but it is important to get rid of them as soon as you see them.

He said: “If you find them on your seedlings or young plants, simply pick them off.

“Attracting birds and insects such as hover flies, ladybirds and lacewings into your garden will help control them naturally.”

Change your watering routine

Spring can be a tricky time for garden plants, with a mixture of late frosts and scorching temperatures to contend with throughout April.

The unpredictable weather means that your watering routine will need to change regularly, so keep a close eye on the soil in beds, pots, borders and baskets.

Harry said: “Plants in hanging baskets and pots can start to dry out quickly as the weather warms up, so check container soil regularly and water daily during dry spells.”

Over-watering your plants can rot plant roots, so hold back on feeding your beds and borders and check how the soil feels below the surface before watering.

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Use plants to prevent weeds

Weeds start to become a problem during spring and early summer, but they can be easily prevented by changing the way you plant in your garden.

Harry recommended planting your flowers and shrubs closer together or adding a low, wide, ground-covering plant to stop weeds from growing in any bare soil patches.

Use a sharp hoe over larger areas to dislodge and chop up the root of young weeds.

Harry added: “Topping soil with a layer of mulch will also help prevent weeds forming.”

Give young crops a boost

Thinning out and potting your vegetable seedlings will help them grow and stop them becoming stunted.

Growing the seedlings in pots rather than planting them straight into the ground should help avoid any lingering cold weather killing them off too.

When you are ready to transplant young seedlings, it is crucial that you prepare the ground properly to increase your chances of a “bumper crop”.

Harry said: “Start by removing weeds, large stones and clumps of soil first, then finely rake over the bed.”

Don’t rush your lawn seed

To get lawn seed to grow successfully, you’ll need to make sure the ground is 8C or warmer.

While now is a good time for southern regions to begin sowing grass seed, gardeners in northern parts of the UK should wait a little longer.

Grass seed will only be successful if the ground is moist – not wet.

Harry said: “If the ground feels dry, use a fine sprinkler or watering can to lightly dampen it.

“Heavy watering may wash your seed away.”

Clean your greenhouse

For successful crop growing, give your greenhouse a good clean before the end of April.

Cleaning the glass will help maximise the light for your seedlings to thrive; while sweeping and washing down the floor will remove algae and pests.

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