Four Easter days to get garden looking perfectBy Linda Fort
March 20, 2008
Most gardeners will be looking forward to doing some serious jobs outdoors over the Easter weekend.
However, the weather forecast suggests this week will be cold – so holding off on sowing vegetable seeds outside for a little longer would be a good idea.
Easter is also very early this year so the traditional Easter planting of potatoes should certainly be delayed unless you have warmed up your soil with fleece in advance.
I am inclined to be cautious as at this end of the season and since I grow a fairly small number of vegetables, a delay of a week or two never seems to matter much because once the warmer weather begins everything seems to catch up and – more importantly – grow happily away without check.
Instead, I will take the four days of the holiday to get the garden looking perfect – or at least that is the plan.
Now my eldest son has left home, I shall attempt some serious lawn repairs.
With only one car – with one careful owner – parked in the drive, the danger of wheels crushing the edges of the front lawn should have receded.
The soil, which had had the life crushed out of it, will have to be replaced before I think of sowing grass seed to repair the edges.
Although this is a good time of year for lawn repair as turf is readily available and seed should grow away quite quickly as the weather warms, if I were sowing a whole new lawn I would not do it now. Mid-September is the best time for that when the ground is still warm, the weather will work with you and you can keep off the grass over winter.
Last-minute pruning, tying in and tidying will be the main jobs as well as weeding.
I have been keeping the edges of the borders – where you can see them – well weeded all winter but now is the time to get right into the borders with a hand fork and loosen up the soil around the plants.
I shall also be mulching with compost on the borders to make preparations for the possibility of a hot dry summer.
Finding places to transplant the spring bulbs – now making a pretty display in pots – will also be something to do as I work my way round the borders.
I have a mixed shrubbery which fronts the road and realised recently that it looks a bit dull at the moment and would benefit from some under-planting with bulbs. When my container display of spring bulbs is over, I will transplant them under the shrubs which should look very pretty this time next year.
Some of my garden furniture could do with rubbing down and restaining and there are one or two containers with longstanding permanent plantings which should probably be replanted.
Then there is the agonising over whether or not to put seedlings planted on the window-sill indoors out in the cold mini-greenhouse.
Careful attention to the weather forecast will be needed before that decision is made.
The more I think about it, the more jobs there are to do this weekend. I am already beginning to wonder whether four days will be enough.