GARDENING: Jobs for the Weekend

Daffodil
Daffodil
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•SUPPORT peas sown last autumn or earlier this year, using twiggy sticks, or wide mesh netting. Prepare runner and climbing French bean supports if you want to save time later in the year.

•Deadhead daffodils, but let the leaves die down naturally, to store food for next season’s display.

•Tie in honeysuckle, clematis and other climbers as new growth starts to sprout.

•On variegated plants, prune out shoots that have reverted to green. If left unchecked, they will eventually take over from the variegation.

•Perennials should be staked early so they can be tied in unobtrusively before they start to flop. Use prunings from around the garden to make your own supports.

•Feed the soil after the excessively wet winter. Use home-made garden compost, or well-rotted manure, around established plants, and in planting holes for new plants.

•Tear off rose suckers. Cutting leaves a growth bud, but tearing rips it off.

•There are lots of annuals you can sow now including Californian poppy, Nigella and poached egg plants, which are good for pollinators.

•To prevent algae build-up in your pond, add a small bale of barley straw, available from most garden centres, at £6-£7. As light levels and temperatures increase, this triggers algae growth in the pond, making the clear water go green. Have plenty of plants around the pond’s sides for moist shelter, essential if your pond is set in gravel.

•Divide clumps of herbs that have become too large. Plants, such as bay, that are difficult to propagate otherwise, can be layered now. Refresh herbs growing in pots by scraping off the top 5cm/2” of compost, topping up with fresh and finishing off with a layer of horticultural grit to retain moisture.