As the weather warms, more and more jobs will need doing. Here a few to consider in late March/ early April.
Layering mulch onto borders will prevent weed growth, preserves moisture and protects from cold snaps. Darker compost is best for preserving heat in the soil, while some gardeners prefer wood chippings. Remember to avoid direct contact with the plants, and to thoroughly scour the soil for weeds before layering the mulch. Once down you can leave the mulch until it has rotted away completely- adding more too soon can form a membrane that keeps water and fertiliser off the ground. 4-6 inches of mulch will stifle those weeds before they can invade your borders.
As the green of spring starts to appear in every direction, remember to jump on those weeds early. While weeding is going to be a part of life for the next few months, setting up barriers now can help save you time and strain later on.
Hoe, pull, cut or even burn weeds away proactively and stay on top of it. However you can also install more solid solutions to weeds. Mulch has already been mentioned above, and can be an excellent defence against weeds, alongside its other advantages. Sheeting, either plastic or spun, can be a superb way to isolate plants from weeds, though ensure it doesn’t degrade or dry out the soil.
Sow summer crops:
Strawberries, salads, beetroot, chard, leeks, radish, turnips, spring onions and peas can be sown now into prepared ground. Plant out potatoes in grow bags.
Clean up the greenhouse & prep any new kit:
Your greenhouse is probably looking a little grubby after the muddier months- and you won’t know what might have been incubated in that damp weather. So give it a scrub with warm soapy water to ensure your plants get plenty of light. Set up any raised beds or water butts needed for the coming year. You’ll need to start thinking about transplanting beans etc out of pots into the ground- so make sure you’re stocked up on bamboo and ready to go.
Add 5cm of compost to your beds in preparation for the coming year. There are many specialist composts available so ensure you use the best one for your plants- or a reliable multi-purpose compost. Compost you’ve been preparing over winter should be about ready now- if not remember to check out our great range of effective composts.