‘Spring into action’ in the garden!

Spring is emerging; the evenings are getting lighter, the sun has come out of hibernation, daffodils are springing up in Cornwall, and other signs of life are starting to appear across the landscape.

The pent-up angst and frustration of gardeners across the county following such a poor year in 

2012, is certainly ready for release, and ‘springing into action’ in the garden, encouraged by all with a passionate connection to the garden, and with hope of a better year in 2013. The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) is one keen supporter of kick-starting the gardening season with its national ‘Spring into Summer’ Campaign, aiming to encourage gardeners to transform their gardens through colour, scent and wildlife, through spring and into summer.
 

So what can we be getting on with in the coming weeks? Trevena Cross Nurseries near Helston tells us:

Managing lawn and weed growth…

Dig the lawnmower out in March and begin regular cutting on the highest blade setting, on dry days (when the ground isn’t wet or frozen). Now is the time to get on top of weeds that start to appear too. Assistance from Round Up or Resolva Weedkiller can help.

Planting potatoes, sets & bulbs…
We’re generally a few weeks ahead of the rest of the country with our sowing and planting here in Cornwall, due to milder temperatures, so if you haven’t got your early seed potatoes, garlic and onion sets planted out yet, do so now. Plant your summer flowering bulbs too.

Dividing and re-planting crowded perennials…
Perennials generally need dividing and re-planting every few years – it encourages healthy growth, and of course, gives you new plants for free! Signs that it’s time to interfere include a perennial that has grown too big for its space, has lost its shape, or that flowered poorly last year. Dividing should take place while the plant is still dormant, so now is a good time.

Pruning shrubs and bushes…
Improve shape and encourage new growth, blooms and fruits this coming season. Use sharp, clean tools and make clean cuts above new growth/buds. Excessively long shoots, weak or damaged growth should be a priority.

Treating pots, beds & borders…
Top dress pots and containers with fresh compost. Remove old compost and top up with new if there isn’t much room for more on top. A good mulch of compost or bark on beds and borders will also be appreciated once pruning, de-weeding and debris removal has taken place. The application of a balanced fertiliser like bonemeal root builder or fish, blood & bone feed will also benefit young, weak, damaged or heavily pruned plants in particular.

Kick-starting the grow-your-own garden…
Feed fruit trees and soft fruit bushes, applying nitrogen feed to hungry trees in particular, like plums, cherries, pears, and blackcurrants. Mulch all with organic farmyard manure. It’s also a key time for strawberries – cover established plants with a cloche, plant cold-stored runners, and pollinate strawberry flowers under glass by brushing them with your hands. Various veg can now also be sown outside, including lettuces, leeks, radishes, carrots and parsnips.

Regularly updated gardening tips, to assist you with your gardening activities this coming season, can be found in the ‘Knowledge Centre’ on Trevena Cross 

Nurseries website www.trevenacross.co.uk

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Upcoming Events

  • Day Trip by Coach to Kia-Ora Farm and Gardens, Cullompton and National Trust Killerton, Broadclyst

    Kia-Ora Farm’s peaceful ten-acre garden encompasses lawns, lakes and ponds, which, together with extensively-planted borders, a bog garden and mature trees, provide an environment in which nature thrives.

    Famous for its rare trees and shrubs, the garden at National Trust Killerton provides year-round interest. Beside the house, The Admiral’s Lawn is bordered by tender perennials whilst the Terrace Garden includes herbaceous flowering beds and obelisks for annual climbers. In the formal garden, a memorial to Sir Thomas Acland marks his favourite spot overlooking the Devonshire countryside.

    The booking form is available to download here or in hard copy, upon request, from the organiser.

  • Self-drive Visit to Trebartha, near Launceston

    We last enjoyed a visit to Trebartha in 2015 when many changes had taken place, such as the installation of a new hydro-electric plant and the large-scale removal of Rhododendron ponticum. Several years later and the area is gloriously settled. 

    Trebartha is located on the eastern side of Bodmin Moor and its gardens offer both natural and man-made features together with many fine views. Spanning 18 hectares, there is plenty to explore. This will be a full day visit so do bring a picnic lunch!

    Our group will divide into two for different guided walks in the morning and afternoon to view the ponds, cascades and terraces, and we shall stop to admire the beautifully-designed garden at Lemarne that is situated within the estate, en route. 

    The booking form is available to download here or in hard copy, upon request, from the organiser.