Make the most of the weekend! Spend a couple of hours in your garden now and you’ll reap the rewards in the coming months, with beds filled with flowers and huge harvests in the veg plot. We’ve put together our top tips on how to get your garden into shape for the summer.
Weekend gardening tips
- Make sure your garden is ready to party if the sun suddenly comes out, by filling pots and borders with summer bedding for instant colour. Surround seating areas with scented plants like dianthus, sweet peas and petunias for an instant mood-boosting effect every time you step outdoors.
- Get ready for great summer harvests by sowing courgettes, peas and French beans in pots in a greenhouse or on a sunny windowsill, ready for planting out next month. You can also sow basil indoors now and coriander directly outdoors for a supply of fresh leaves through summer.
- You don’t need a big wildflower meadow to give pollinators a treat. Sowing annuals like cornflowers, poppies, scabious and nigella now will give your borders a soft, informal wildflower look as well as provide nectar for butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects. Or for a simpler
- Give your garden birds a helping hand as they raise their newly-hatched young in spring. Hang a bird feeder in a tree or large shrub where birds will feel safe from cats and other predators, and remember to top it up regularly. Adding a birdbath will give them somewhere to wash and drink, bringing more birds into the garden and giving you hours of pleasure.
- Build a pond to attract frogs, newts and other wildlife into the garden. If you’re short on space, you can even create a mini-pond in a large bowl on a patio. Add a few aquatic plants and you’re good to go!
- Plant an alpine trough. Alpines are very low-maintenance once planted, and their delicate miniature flowers are a perennial delight. They need a very free-draining soil, so fill a container with a 50/50 mix of grit and loam-based compost and plant your alpines in this. Top-dress with a thin layer of gravel – as well as looking good, this stops compost splashing up onto the leaves when you water.
- Try some companion planting in your vegetable garden to keep pests away from your plants. Sow nasturtiums around the edge of veg beds to attract aphids away from your crop, plant French marigolds around your tomato seedlings to repel greenfly and sow Limnanthes douglasii (poached egg plant) to attract pollinators for a fantastic harvest.
Whether you’re sowing seeds, planting or simply planning for the summer, you’ll find what you need in our centre, and our friendly staff are always on hand to help and advise!