The Gardener's Journal is a free monthly gardening guide delivered direct to your inbox.

Each month, receive tips on the top jobs needed in your garden as well as a wealth of information on a range of gardening topics. From sowing seeds to picking fruit, each month get access to information on the care and maintenance of your flowerbeds, vegetable plot and lawn. As with your own gardening diary, the journal is split into separate sections, each covering a different area of garden care.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

This Month in your Garden – May

Let’s mow

The warmth of May and nearing summer sees herbaceous borders spring into life and the grass keeps growing and you keep mowing. Bulbs have faded and you’ll be thinking about those you’re lifting to store, from both the borders and containers. Daffodils you leave in the ground will enjoy a good liquid fertiliser feed now the flowers have faded and let the leaves die back, don’t cut them down.

You can start sowing and planting bedding but keep an eye on the weather for any late frosts, where tender plants may need some protection. Propagate more shrubs by taking softwood cuttings – you can do the same with herbs such as Rosemary.

Lawn Care Guide – May

Daisy chain

What’s most noticeable in the lawn this month is the proliferation of weeds appearing and whilst not unattractive the lawn daisy, together with other broad leaf weeds such a plantains, need to be dealt with now. Leave them and they flower and seed, spreading through the lawn.

Applying lawn sand weed killer is a good remedy whereby the chemicals remain on the broad leaf, scorching and killing the plant, whereas the sand slides off grass blades. Hormone weedkillers or three or four in one treatments such as Evergreen will also do for treating moss and other weeds while feeding the lawn.

Lawn Care: Questions & Answers

Q. I have to let my dog out on the lawn and dog urine causes brown patches to appear. Is there anything I can do about it?

The Vegetable Plot – May

Sow be it

Now you can start reaping the rewards of earlier sowings and harvest spring onions and cabbages sown last year. Seedlings of carrots, onions, leeks and turnips should be ready for thinning and remove altogether what you take out, especially carrot which will attract carrot fly.

Early potatoes will need earthing up and check the supports for peas you’re growing, use peas sticks or netting for support.

The Big Glut Recipe – May

Asparagus and crab salad

Especially nice if you have an established asparagus bed and can harvest your own. This makes a great starter for a May meal for four people.

  • 20 trimmed asparagus spears
  • 50g (1.8oz) rocket
  • 100g (3.5oz) white crabmeat
  • Brown crabmeat (optional)
  • 3 tbsp crème fraiche
  • 1 tbsp Wholegrain mustard
  • A lime
  • Olive oil

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Lawn Care Guide – April

Cut, care and groom

By now you will mowing frequently and lowering the height of the cutting deck on the garden tractor or mower with each successive cut. By the end of the month this should reduce to 3cm (1.25”) cutting height but not lower for normal lawns.

Aerating will help to relieve compaction and get air to the grass roots and where there’s moss and thatch, light scarifying will easily lift the worst of it. It’s best done when it’s warm, sunny and there’s some rain due so April is a good time, when the grass can grow back quickly.