Weekend Work: Re-plant primrose and polyanthus
Saturday 02 May 2009
What to do
Various forms of primrose and polyanthus can be split and replanted as soon as they finish flowering. Set the new divisions in ground refreshed with bonemeal and compost. Each rosette of leaves can be prised away from the mother clump, with roots attached. Keep the newly planted pieces well watered until they are settled. Wilting plants may be victims of the dreaded vine weevil. Dig up affected plants and search through the roots for the fat white grubs. Then jump on them.
Early flowering shrubs such as forsythia can be pruned, taking out some of the old flowered branches at the base. Over-tall mahonias should also be reduced, by cutting down one or two of the tallest stems by half.
Grass is growing strongly again, but not strongly enough in our garden to gain ground from moss, which had a field day this wet winter. Fortunately, I like moss. If you don't, treat your lawn with a medicine that combines fertiliser with weed and moss killer.
Harden off bedding plants such as petunia and ageratum before planting them out when the weather warms up this month. I have not sown any flower seed outside yet, but with luck we can all catch up this month.
If you put on a thick layer of mulch now, you will be helping the soil to retain the moisture it has accumulated over the winter. A thick layer of organic matter on top of the soil also discourages annual weeds from germinating. Garden compost, mushroom compost (except around shrubs such as rhododendron which hate lime) or a ground bark mulch are all useful. So are untreated lawn mowings.
What to see
Twelve hopeful garden designers have made it through to the last, testing stage of Chris Beardshaw's Mentor programme, but only one can win a scholarship. All 12 will be building gardens at the Malvern Spring Gardening Show which runs from 7-10 May at the Malvern Showground, Worcestershire WR13 6NW and will also have to pitch to a 'Dragon's Den' of professionals at the show's Design for Living Theatre on 7 May. Entry for 7 May (£28) is by advance booking only, call 01684 584900. Tickets for 8 May (£16) and 9-10 May (£14) are available on the gate. For more information about the show, visit threecounties.co.uk/springgardening
Life & Style blogs
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 3 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 4 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star, dies aged 45
- 5 Businessman charged £75 for three small bottles of water in London hotel
£26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful international media organ...
£35000 - £41000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: QA Manager -...
Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: LONDON - BANKING / PROPERTY FINANCE - ...
£28000 - £30000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: An ambitious...