Here are our top tips for gardening during April and May
- Spring is a great season in which to start growing herbs. Hardier types like chives and rosemary are easy to grow and require little tending. Plus, rosemary gives off a gorgeous scent as the sunshine passes over the plant. Beautifully-scented lavender's a good idea too - easy to grow, its colourful flowers attract bees and the more helpful garden insects.
- Slugs will begin to make their unwelcome appearance in May. I’ve found that a beer trap is the ideal way to reduce their presence. Simply sink a bowl or glass into the soil near to where they are doing damage, and fill the glass with beer. The slugs are irresistibly drawn to the beverage and fall into the vessel to their doom.
- Now is the time to prune any early-blossoming shrubs that have already finished flowering. This encourages future growth by storing energy in the plant, rather than expending it on seed production. Make sure you dead-head spring flowering bulbs, like crocus, for the same reason.
- If your lawn’s looking patchy, May is a good time to bring it up to standard, as grass seed grows so quickly at this time of year. Simply loosen the soil on the barer patches and scatter the lawn seed.
- Unfortunately, late frosts can still take us by surprise in April and May. If they’re forecast, it’s essential to protect more delicate species, that you may have just planted out, with a layer of horticultural fleece.
- Accelerated growth in spring means that potted plants are more likely to become root-bound. This is when the pot fills with roots and there isn't enough soil left to retain moisture. The plant then can't suck up enough water for its needs. The easy and obvious remedy to this is to move the plant to a bigger pot, or divide it into two similar-sized ones.
- This is a great time of year to plant salad lettuces, including interesting varieties like rocket. Most lettuces are