Give your garden a spring cleaning
Well spring at last seems to be almost upon us. It is still a bit too early to be doing a lot of gardening, but one thing that should be done now is a good clean and tidy up.
Starting in the greenhouse, conservatory or potting shed, it’s essential that you give the glass a good clean with something like Jeyes fluid or a good detergent or soap. This will kill off algae, fungal spores and some overwintering pests. It will mean lots more light will get to your plants enabling them to grow much quicker and sturdier. Any pests and diseases controlled now will also mean infection later is less likely and will be delayed.
So clear away dead or decaying leaves and twigs off plants you are overwintering, clean pots, trays and benching with a similar solution to the one you used for the glass. If these pests are not deterred they can quickly infest succulent new seedlings when you start growing them soon.
The damp, still conditions found in greenhouses encourage fungal diseases to thrive so start ventilating the greenhouse on sunny days. Try and keep your growing areas as sterile as possible at all times, but particularly over winter.
Check over all tools, sharpen your cutting tools, including your lawnmower blade so that you’re ready for action once the weather improves. But of course take great care with sharp items.
Algae, moss and weeds will also have grown on your paths, steps and patio. You can use a narrow wire brush to get the detritus out from the cracks in the paving, use a weedkiller where you can’t get access to their roots and a path and patio cleaner on all the stone areas to clean and restore the colour. Decking will also need a vigorous sweep and treatment with an algicide as when wet these areas can be very slippery.
In the garden it is a good time to get your spring pruning done. So prune roses before they start back into growth. Newly planted roses should be pruned hard but established bushes only need a light prune, unless they are a weak growing variety, then its best to always prune hard to promote some strong re-growth. Feed with a good rose feed once pruning is complete. You should also now be completing the cutting back of buddleias, leycesteria and lavateras, trimming lavenders and other herbs, cutting all old growth off herbaceous plants and cutting back hardy fuchsias to where strong re-growth is visible. Again, once completed, give a good feed with either Growmore or Vitax Q4.