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Published 1 May 2019
Summer’s officially on its way, and with the sun peeking through, our gardens are fast becoming beautiful, bustling spaces, full of life and vibrant colour. Read more for tips and tricks on how to prep, maintain and enjoy to the full.
Maintaining the lawn is a task for many homeowners, the transformation that a freshly cut lawn can give a garden leaves many feeling happy and house proud. If you’re new to lawn etiquette, or just a little out of practice, it can be tricky to navigate the change in season and weather, so we’ve compiled a few pointers for May to help you along the way:
For continued growth, reach for your trusty secateurs and tidy up any early flowering shrubs once they have finished their displays. May is always a good time to give your evergreen shrubs a trim too before a world of new growth can begin.
Remember newly planted shrubs only need a slight trimming to give them the best chance of establishing and rooting in their new home.
With established shrubbery, look out for any dead or damaged shoots and take these right back to encourage fresh, healthier roots to come to the fore. Where there are clusters of many stems, reduce these down also to allow the plant to focus its effort on fewer key support lines.
Garden pests, specifically weeds, can leave a garden looking and feeling unnecessarily unruly, and can become particularly troublesome in the warmer months. Although using only manual removal, including hoeing and repeated cutting, can be very effective for some, persistent, deeper rooted weeds can prove extremely difficult to tackle and may require on-going control and chemical treatment.
For those smaller manual jobs though, hand weeding with a specially designed fork or spiked tool can be performed on lighter soils, where it does not affect the health of surrounding plants. Hooked, spiral and narrow bladed garden tools are recommended for this removal method to help make the job a little easier, and when dealing with perennial weeds, you’ll want to dig out as much bulb as possible.
Whilst your garden may be brimming with plant life, it’s also important not to forget your little daily visitors that brighten up the outdoor space. Birds, bees and small insects like ground beetles are all likely to stop and say hello, so why not organise a warm welcome for them?
Ground beetles, centipedes and other insects help with pest control at night, keeping your plants happy and healthy. They tend to reside in woody habitats, so creating a deadwood shelter with borders of stones and sticks is one of the best ways to prepare them for summer.
Bees are also known for making themselves busy in your garden, and as pollinators, nectar-rich plants and herbs such as lavender and rosemary offer all they need to go about their day.
Leaving out wild bird food in feeders or scattering in the garden keeps blue tits, gold finches and other seasonal birds and their chicks well fed.
Top Tip: If you choose to scatter your feed, remember to mix up the space to avoid inviting unwanted vermin and only use as much is necessary without waste.