If you have not yet pruned your roses and fruit trees, do not despair, there is still time. Prune well, donÂ’t be scared to cut back. Remember to seal the ends to prevent insects making their homes inside the cut off branches. Spray with an insecticide specially formulated for roses and fruit trees. Fertilise and water well. Within 3 weeks you will notice new growth and fruit trees awaken to spring.
Now is the time to plant your Begonias, Daisies, Poppies, Canterbury Bells, Marigolds, Larkspur, Delphiniums, Foxgloves, Impatiens and Petunias.
Prepare the soil well before sowing seeds. Trenching is essential; apply a dressing of compost to a depth of 120 to 150 mm. and fork this well into the upper layers of the soil. Once seeds have been planted, water well and keep up with regular watering, i.e. every other day. If you are the adventurous type and would like to sow your seeds in groups of specific colours, it is advisable to prepare your plan on paper and then transfer it to a bed. Mark out the pattern with a stick. Once a week fork over the soil between plants and remove weeds. Space small annuals about 100 to 150 mm apart and taller annuals at 200 to 300 mm apart.
The other alternative is to buy seedlings from your local nursery. Plant according to sun loving or shade loving plants. Once planted, cover the soil with a layer of compost and water regularly to prevent the seedlings from drying out.
Structural changes in the garden
This is a good time to make the garden changes that you have been contemplating. What about that sun deck you have always wanted? Or the paved barbecue area?
Create areas of interest; this can be done simply by means of paving areas or walkways using a mix of materials such as gravel, pebbles, pavers or railway sleepers. A water feature is a wonderful addition to a tired looking garden. What about some new pots at your front door or on the terrace? Or perhaps a coat of paint on the old ones? For inspiration, check the website at www.gardendesignbyrenaldo.com
Do you have a boring area outside your kitchen door or window? A herb garden is a great bonus to the garden, then install a sun dial, an upright fountain or statue as a central point. Play with shapes, round rectangular square, zigzag; the possibilities are endless. This is an ideal location for a bench to relax and enjoy the aromas of herbs such as basil, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, mint, marjoram, chives, dill and coriander. Do not forget lavender and verbena. If your area is paved, create the herb garden in containers, use all shapes and sizes for artistic appeal and interest.
What is a garden without a lawn? Time to give it a good mow, rake off the dead grass and cover with a layer of good top soil mixed with compost. Water well. This is really worthwhile, you will have a beautiful green, healthy lawn right through summer.