After a nice, long-awaited spell of sunshine, it’s a joy to see the garden waking up and coming to life.
After what was a not very cold but a very wet winter, it’s now time to get back out there and start to enjoy those days when the temperature lifts and you feel like doing a spot of gardening.
One of my favourite jobs at this time of year is to get out and give a good spring clean, cut back any perennials that haven’t been trimmed down and remove the remains of old leaves and debris left behind from winter.
Pay attention to any shrubs that would appreciate a hair cut, like Potentillas, Spiraeas and other summer-flowering shrubs. Also winter flowering or early spring shrubs trim back after flowering as mentioned a few weeks ago.
Now pay some attention to the perennials that are sprouting up, does it appear there are any gaps or do you think any clumps need to be moved a little to the left maybe? Well now is the time! Lift out any clumps and divide and replant, if it is a large clump, discard the old woody centre as this is unproductive, the pieces you want to keep are the bits around the edge as these have the energy to produce strong clumps once replanted.
Look at maybe replanting one clump throughout the garden to give a balanced feel to the garden as when in flower it will highlight several areas in the garden rather than just one!
The biggest piece of advice I can share with you this week is to be feeding your garden properly, so often you might throw a bucket of chicken pellets on or splash out on the ‘Miracle Grow’ or ‘Growmore’ all in the aim to get your garden performing more, when all you will get is lots of lush green leaves and few flowers! Why? Because all these fertilisers are too high in nitrogen for any flowering hardy plants.
Tomato food is a great choice, but how laborious, with it being a liquid feed you would need to do it every two weeks for it to have the desired effect! So what is the answer?
We use a specialist feed called Vitax Q4 which really does the trick, it contains all the trace elements in a balanced amount, not too much nitrogen, but enough to enrich the colour of your leaves, it also contains potassium which will help root development and most importantly potash which encourages flowering and fruiting, with all these elements and applying this straight away now will help rejuvenate any tired shrubs and help bring back to life any clumps of perennials which may not have flowered for some time, always apply before a rain at this time of year when everything is just poking its head through the ground and then stand back and watch your garden really spring into action!