Gardeners Diary May
 

THE LAWN 

Weed of the Month

The Ornamental Garden

Pest of the Month - Vine Weeval

Regular mowing will be required this month to keep the lawn at its best.

This is also a good time to apply weedkillers coupled perhaps with the first or second dose of mosskiller and fertilizer to keep the lawn in prime condition.  Evergreen Complete or Evergreen Feed & Weed Liquid can be used to kill most common lawn weeds, and where persistent moss is also a problem.  Mosskillers will only be truly effective however, if the moss is actively growing at the time of application, i.e. has not become dormant due to hot or dry weather.

If the lawn only requires feeding, then any Lawn Food (granular) or Lawn Food Liquid offer convenient options.  Alternatively if the gardener is reluctant to purchase different fertilizers for use in various areas of the garden, Miracle Gro soluble power is a very versatile feed for use all around the garden including lawns.

Water well during dry spells giving a few heavy waterings each week rather than little and often as the latter tends to bring the naturally shallow roots of the grass even closer to the surface making them vulnerable to any extended periods of drought which may occur.

Turfing can continue, weather permitting, but the gardener should be cautious with regard to using grass seed as very hot, dry weather shortly after sowing could cause serious losses.

Before turfing or sowing time should be taken to prepare the ground thoroughly both to eradicate weeds, particularly perennials, and to allow the soil to settle properly.  An application of Growmore at

The rate of 2ox/yd  (70g/m ) a week before turfing or sowing, will act as a base dressing, ensuring that the lawn gets off to the best possible start.

Weed Of The MonthDaisies (Bellis perennis).  A very familiar flower found growing in meadows and along hedgerows.  Most children will be fully familiar with it having spent happy hours making daisy chains, however in the lawn it is a very troublesome weed, quickly colonising large patches and smothering the grass beneath.

Treat now with Evergreen Complete (granules) or Evergreen Feed & Weed Liquid.  The latter would be the better option during hot or dry spells as it is less liable to scorching under these conditions. Both contain fertilizers to assist recovery of the grass once the weed is removed, but larger areas may require some assistance via reseeding at a later date.

TOPICAL TIP

Just a few lawn weeds to kill?

Then why not use one of the many ready-to-use sprays now available.  There is no mixing so no worries about measuring or spilling and no waste.

Concerned about safety to children and pets?

Just restrict access during use and for the drying time of the product (approximately 6 12 hours) and they can be allowed to use the lawn again immediately afterwards.
 

THE ORNAMENTAL GARDEN

What a busy month this is, as the borders begin to take shape for the summer the gardener can anticipate the colourful months ahead.

This is a month when many areas of the country will be losing the threat of frosts, allowing plantings of annual bedding plants in the border soil, baskets and tubs.

In containers, the use of Osmocote at planting means that the gardener need never have to worry about feeding for the life of the plants.  The appropriate amount of granules is placed in the container when planting and a slow trickle of nutrients will be released to the plants all season long.  Should the compost dry out at any stage, then thanks to the special polymer coat surrounding the granule, the release stops, preventing any fears about root scorching.

Couple this with Tub & Hanging Hanging Basket Compost with its special wetting agent and the problems associated with watering during the hot summer months is much reduced.

Sowings of quick-growing annuals can still be made in the border soil and will produce a late flush of flowers extending the life of the display, taking over from greenhouse propagated specimens sown early in the season under protection.

Before sowing or planting just a little Bonemeal, Growmore Vitax Q4 dug into the border soil will ensure plants get off to a good start.  Plants should be watered in well and a close watch kept on them during the early stages to prevent drying out which will in turn lead to a checking of root development and render plants more vulnerable to pests and diseases.

The planting of container grown trees and shrubs may have to be delayed if the weather is very hot.  Where planting is undertaken a generous layer of mulching material such as Levington Woodland Chipped Bark should be placed over the root zone to retain moisture.  Again, a dressing of Vitax Q4  or Growmore at the rate of 70g/m (2oz/yd  ), will aid establishment.

Pest of the Month:  Vine weevils. 

The wingless nocturnal adults of this troublesome pest will be active this month.  Females reproduce parthenogenetically, males are virtually unknown.  This factor alone encourages a rapid rate of increase.  Each female is capable of laying up to 1000 eggs over a 3-4 month period close to the stems of the host plant, giving the emerging larvae a readily available food source.  Under glass the adults will emerge in the autumn but delay until the spring outside.

All plants can be protected with Provado around the roots after setting out into flowering positions.  Do not use on salad or vegetable crops.

TOPICAL TIP

The soil around young trees should be kept weed free to prevent competition for water and nutrients.  Annual weeds can be killed with a contact weedkiller such as Weedol, perennials with Murphy Tumbleweed.  For effective control of annual and perennial nettles,  Roundup can be used.



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