Five quick gardening jobs for the bank holiday Which? shows how to get your garden in shape

02 May 2015

Choosing plants at garden centre

Garden centres will be full of special offers this weekend

Make use of the extra day this weekend to get your flower borders, lawn, patio and veg garden ready for a colourful and productive summer.

The garden is full of spring flowers and the grass is growing strongly, along with the weeds. The good news is that it's not hard to get your garden back in shape, even if this is the first time you've ventured outside this year.

1. Mow the lawn

If this is the first time you've mowed this year, set the mower on its highest setting. It can then be gradually lowered to the height you want over the coming weeks. If your mower is about to give up the ghost, check our Best Buy lawn mowers for hassle-free mowing.

To keep your grass looking lush, as well as weed and moss-free, use an all-in-one lawn weed, feed and moss killer. Lawns need to be fed about four times from spring until autumn. If you've no time to cut the grass, just trim the lawn edges as it will instantly make the lawn look neater.

2. Kill the weeds

You can kill weeds by pulling them up by hand or by using a hoe, but for fast results use a weedkiller. Be careful not to get it on plants you want to keep, as it will kill them too.

Weeds growing in the lawn should be treated with a lawn weedkiller as they kill weeds but don't kill the grass. Paths, decking, patios and driveways can be treated with a path weedkiller. These often contain an ingredient which stops weeds reappearing for several months afterwards.

3. Clean patios, decking and paths

While not a vital job, cleaning patios, decking and paths will make a big difference to the appearance of your garden, as it's surprising how grey and drab they can get.

A quick blast with a pressure washer will make all the difference. You can also clean your garden furniture at the same time. You can pick up a Best Buy pressure washer for under £130 and of course it'll also be great for cleaning the car.

Planting lettuce

Plant veg now for crops this summer

4. Sow or plant some veg

There's plenty you can sow and plant now, such as lettuce, salads, carrots and potatoes. The best tip is to grow what you enjoy eating and don't sow or plant more than you want to eat. For the tastiest veg, try our Best Buy vegetables and salads. It doesn't matter if you've only got a patio, as many veg can be grown in containers or growing bags.

It's too early for veg that doesn't like the cold, such as tomatoes and courgettes, to be planted outdoors yet as we might still get frosts at night. Wait until the bank holiday at the end of May to plant these.  It doesn't matter if you've only got a patio, as many veg can be grown in containers or growing bags.

5. Plant flowers

Like veg, there are some types of flowers, usually sold as 'summer bedding', that don't like the cold and it's too early to plant them outside. Wait until the end of the May.

For colour now, go to the garden centre and pick out some perennials or shrubs that are full of bloom. For a garden that has colour every month of year, visit the garden centre every month and buy a few things each time. Try putting the plants next to each other in the garden centre to find some combinations that will look great together.

The best tip when buying plants is to think about where you're going to plant them and if it's sunny or shady and then check the plant label to make sure what you're thinking of buying will be suitable.

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