Tuesday, October 17, 2017

16 May

May Garden – Tidy, Protect & Maintain!

Now is the time to cut back old growth on trailing plants such as Aubretia to make the plants more prolific and encourage new blooms.  This month remove faded wall flowers and clear out spring bedding to make space for new summer bedding plants.

Twining climbers, like Honeysuckle and Clematis, need to be tied in and around their supports. Also, support herbaceous plants before they are too tall or for heavy blooms like Peonies.

Prune spring flowering shrubs such as Berberis once they have flowered and evergreen shrubs such as Vibernum Tinus.  Trim evergreen shrubs that may have been damaged by frost.  Cut back tender shrubs such as Penstemon and hardy Fuchsias after danger of frosts have past.

May Garden Maintenance:

Dead head any spring flowering bulbs so that the plant stores energy in the bulb rather than wasting it on seed production.  Allow daffodil and other spring bulbs foliage to die down naturally.  Apply liquid fertiliser once bulbs have flowered.  Spring flowering bulbs need maintenance to ensure good flowering next year.

Lift and divide overcrowded clumps of daffodils and other spring flowering bulbs.

Also, support herbaceous plants before they are too tall or for heavy blooms like Peonies.

Pot on plants that are showing signs of being root bound.  Root bound plants will look ‘unhappy’, you might be able to see the roots growing out of the drainage holes, and it might wilt quickly after watering as there is no soil in the pot to retain the moisture.

Apply liquid feed to containers every 2 weeks and ensure tubs and baskets are well watered.  Use rainwater or recycled grey water where possible.

Protection:

May can still produce a frost so make sure you protect tender garden plants.

Pests such as Vine Weevil larvae can cause serious  damage to containerised plants.   If you suspect Vine Weevil tip out the rootball and inspect for the creamy orange-headed maggots, which will tend to curl up into a ‘c’ shape.  Try biological control for Vine Weevil, safe for your vegetables too!

Other pests like aphids can multiply rapidly during mild spells.  Remove early infestations by hand to curb the problem.  Failing that try biological control products such as Ladybird Larvae – a natural predator of aphids.


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