When should you start preparing your rose garden for the onset of spring and summer? Well, if you live in an area where you can start seeing the promise of spring in late March or early April, then you’re an “early spring” rose gardener. However, if you live where March and April still brings icy rain and snow, then just keep waiting out old man winter until your turn at spring arrives and then follow the tips in this article.
Early spring is a time of great activity in the rose garden as you prepare for the beautiful buds that will be sprouting almost any day. Here’s a summary of what needs to be done in order to prepare your roses for the tough growing season that lies ahead.
When planting potted perennial bushes and flowers it is important to first select a compatible location based on the type of garden plant you are planting. To determine this, either look at the plant’s tag or inquire with the nursery where you are purchasing the garden flower or bush to find out whether the plant grows better with more sun or more shade.
Sometimes there may be a specification as to whether the garden plant will grow better with a northern exposure, eastern exposure, etc. Once you have determined a suitable location, the next step will be to dig the hole for the plant.
In favourable areas late winter can be almost spring-like, especially in a mild period, but don’t be lulled into sowing and planting outdoors too soon. If the weather turns cold, seeds will not germinate, and seedlings and plants may receive such a check to their growth that they do not do as well as those sown or planted later. Concentrate your efforts on indoor sowing, but make the most of frames and cloches, too, for early crops.
One way of getting plants off to an early start (tomatoes and lettuces, for example) is to sow them in small plastic containers, clearly labelled, in a heated greenhouse. This means that when the spring temperatures do pick up, they can be moved outside, under cloches especially at night when the temperatures can suddenly drop.
New gardeners are so often put off gardening at the thought that it has to involve hours and hours of hard work in their garden. The popular idea of a low-maintenance garden is one of covering the space with decking and gravel, planted with a few grasses and pots of evergreens.
When you consider the tenacity of weeds, it’s a wonder any of us win the pitched battles we wage with these pesky invaders. It seems like there is a never-ending battle between you and all the plants that you don’t want to be growing in your garden.
Of course, there are many gardeners who enjoy the time spent weeding the garden, and we admire them tremendously – there are great physical and mental benefits to spending time outdoors among your plants.
Without water a house plant must die. This may take place in a single day in the case of a seeding in sandy soil, or it may take months if the plant has fleshy leaves. But in the end the result is always the same. Because of this obvious fact many gardener beginners give daily dribbles of water, they fail to reduce the frequency of plant watering once winter arrives and they immediately assume that the plant is thirsty whenever leaves wilt or turn yellow. This produces a soggy mass in which practically no house plant can survive. Waterlogging kills by preventing vital air getting to the roots and by encouraging root-rotting diseases. More plants die through overwatering than any other single cause – they are killed by kindness.
Many fine gardens evolve gradually through the loving attention of their owners with little or no outside help. But when it comes to creating a new garden design, or taking over an existing one that has fallen on hard times or that does not suit your taste or needs, it is well worth seeking advice from a professional garden designer.
The issues involved can be surprisingly complex, from drainage and construction through to siting trees and planting a border. How to deal with slopes and levels? How to forge a harmonious relationship between house, garden and surrounding landscape? What materials to use? How large to make a patio or pergola, how to site a water feature, pond or lake? How and where to incorporate outdoor lighting? Might planning permission be needed for any of this, and what order of costs might be involved?