Get your garden looking great for summerWhat to do over the weekend
27 May 2016
The danger of frost has finally past so there's plenty to do in the garden to get it all set for a colourful summer.
The lawn provides the centrepiece to most gardens, setting off the surrounding flower borders and patio. Giving it some TLC will pay off by getting the grass looking lush and green. Which? research has shown that feeding your lawn about four times between spring and autumn will give it the nutrients it needs to grow well. If you need to kill weeds and moss, look for a product that can deal with these problems at the same time as feeding. The secret to making cutting the grass less of a chore is to do it once a week. This may seem counterintuitive but it'll keep the grass short so you have less clippings to collect and there'll be fewer trips to the compost heap to get rid of them, resulting in speedier mowing Longer grass is also more effort to cut. If you don't have time to cut before guests arrive, just trim the edges as it'll get them looking crisp and neat and won't take long to do. Our top 3 strimmers for edging the lawn are perfect for the job.
Plant summer bedding
Tender summer bedding plants, such as petunias and fuchsias, can be planted outside without the worry of them being killed by frost. They look great in the flower border and in pots and hanging baskets on the patio. When buying your summer bedding, look for plants with green, healthy-looking leaves and try to avoid ones that are already in flower. Before you plant them, give them a thorough soak with a watering can and leave the plants for 15 minutes or so to allow the compost to soak up the water. Most bedding likes a sunny spot, but for shade try begonias, New Guinea impatiens, lobelia and nemesia.
The warmer weather sadly encourages the weeds to grow too so it's a good idea to check your flower border and veg patch for weeds every few days. Most weeds will die if you pull them up or cut them off with a hoe, however weeds with tough roots such as dandelions will need to either be dug up root and all or treated with a weedkiller containing glyphosate. When treating weeds in the lawn, always use a product recommended for this use or you could kill the grass by mistake!
It's easier than you might think to grow your own veg. You don't even need a veg plot to do it as you can grow many fruit and veg in pots, including salads, tomatoes and strawberries. The danger of frost should pass in most areas by the end of May/the beginning of June so you're safe to plant out veg that doesn't like the cold such as tomatoes, courgettes and runner beans. The secrets to success with all veg are to only plant what you enjoy eating, don't plant too much, and water and feed the plants regularly.