Gardens up and running at Glamis
Spring seems to be here at last, only a month late! The grass has turned from a sickly shade of yellow green to a nice lush green, the horse chestnuts are bursting into leaf, daffodils are out and the birds are singing. Oh…and the weeds are also growing.
Now is usually my preferred time to buy perennials for planting out in the borders, one reason is the soil is now warming but still moist, encouraging the roots from the new plants to venture out from their own compost. Better root development will cut down on the need to water during the drier months. Another reason is you can see if the plant is healthy by the new growth it is putting on and finally for a penny pinching gardener like myself you can find allot of young perennials growing in small pot at a fraction of the price of the 2 litre pot that can come in at an eye watering £9-£10 each. Try multiplying that by 50 plants for some of Glamis’s borders.
Last week, with the help of our volunteers we planted 200 Dahlias in our Italian Garden for our summer to autumn display. The tulips in this area are now coming on fast to fill that late spring gap with their yellow and reds.
This month we will be pruning our Cherries and Plums, it’s never a good time to prune before April as this open up the risk of being infected by silver leaf disease which will devastate your plant. Closer to June is more ideal but I am looking to do some renovation work so don’t want too many big open cuts during the hot months, also I am looking for a good bit of new growth so I can prune some of this a second time before the end of the season, helping to get a good uniform shape back into the trees quicker. In general for pruning plums new wood should be shortened by two thirds. Crossing and diseased wood should be removed and in dense areas of branches consider removing some of these. Remember as with a lot of fruit pruning, less fruiting wood can often mean more and better quality fruit.
As with the rest of our time it’s on with the maintenance jobs, weeding, grass cutting and the endless grass edging. We do use a small strimmer for this with the head turned around, in the past I’ve used a cordless strimmer that is ideal for quickly doing a small garden, it does involve a certain amount of stooping so can be tough on the back but so can doing it by hand.
Jobs for the coming Month
- It’s a good time to feed shrubs with a slow-release general fertilizes such as grow-more or chicken manure pellets.
- Half-moon tired grass edges to really freshen up the lawn.
- Weed and feed lawns to give them the best start for the growing year.
- Scarify lawns to reduce the build-up of moss and let air and light into the root system.
- Protect young bedding from frost, aim to plant out late May unless you can cover with fleece.
- Prune Forsythia’s after flowering keep a good shape.
- Don’t forget to keep harvesting Rhubarb, it freezes very well.
Head Gardener, Des Cotton