Gardening: Monty Don reveals jobs you can do over Bank Holiday
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Gardening is most enjoyable when the sun is shining and the ground is dry, so there’s no better time to get stuck in than on a bright, May weekend. Whether you’re looking for things to plant and sow, or you just want to spruce up your lawn, there’s plenty to get done right now. Here are the Five gardening jobs to do in your green space this weekend.
Cut back faded shrubs
Shrubs are a sight to behold when they reach the peak of their flowering season, but they can look far less impressive once it comes to an end.
The mild weather means that many spring-flowering plants will start and finish sooner, so now is a good time to take a good look in your garden.
Shrubs such as Japanese quince, choisya and ribes should be ready to cut back.
Tender fuchsia plants can also be pruned now the risk of frost has passed, along with congested clematis.
Style your lawn
While you are probably already mowing your lawn regularly, now is a great time to let some of it grow out in certain areas.
Creating small patches of longer blades can be hugely beneficial for local wildlife to nest and hide from predators.
The best places to start doing this are behind the shed, around lawn edges and even under trees.
If you’re not willing to grow entire patches of turf, start small by leaving a neat border around the perimeter of the lawn a little longer instead.
Sow fresh annuals and perennials
Summer flowers are a staple for any garden, and the warm weekend weather is the perfect time to begin planting them out.
It is best to only plant out the ones that can stand a little frost if you’re in a chillier part of the country, but if your garden is generally frost-free, tender plants such as dahlias can be put out too.
Gardening company, Dobbies said: “By May, the earth is getting warm enough to sow many types of flower seeds straight into the garden, including old cottage favourites like primrose, cornflowers, calendula and sweet William.”
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It is crucial that you take the time to keep mulching before the plants grow too much, as it is easier to get in between them and see what you’re doing.
You can also direct sow hardy annuals such as nasturtiums, poppies, nigella and cosmos into your garden soil now too.
They can either be mixed up together or sown in drifts, or they can be planted in pots for use in window boxes or hanging baskets.
Keep your soil free from weeds as the plants establish for an even brighter display.
Nourish fresh turf
Mowing is crucial to encourage fresh blades of grass to grow, but it is just as important to treat your lawn as it continues to grow taller.
Start by weeding out any unwanted plants, and following up with a lawn feed.
As it’s growing so well, the grass should fill the gaps left by any weeds that are killed off.
Choose a dry day and follow the packet instructions.
Support climbing plants
Stakes and supports are vital for climbers and trailing plants, so make the most of the dry weather and get yours up to scratch this weekend.
It is a good idea to do this early in the month when the plants are still emerging, as it is easier to prop them up without causing damage.
Look at putting in canes or pea sticks next to sweet peas, climbing roses, runner beans and peas, while tying the plants in where necessary.
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