August 31, 2007 Weekly Garden Guide

  • Spring is upon us so it is panic time in the garden. It is time to sow everything – annuals and most vegetables. Keep sowing successions of potatoes and peas.
  • Those with glasshouses can contemplate starting their special crops like melons and tomatoes in preparation for planting out in late spring.
  • Do not delay any longer in pruning deciduous fruit trees and getting a winter copper spray on to them. They are poised to spring into growth.
  • Sow main crop onions. If you have not yet sown your garlic, this is your last chance. Buy proper garlic cloves from the garden centre. The word on cheap Chinese garlic is that it is not virus free and it should not be grown for fear of spreading the virus further.
  • Deadhead hellebores to prevent a future explosion of competing seedlings.
  • If you are planning on sowing new lawns, you are running out of time. Preparing the ground in advance gives you the opportunity to deal to the germinating weed seeds by raking them off or spraying before you sow the grass seed. If possible, this should be done several times. However, unless you have already prepared for this, it is getting late to get it all established before summer. A lawn will only ever be as good as the preparation.
  • If you have a magnolia opening its flowers to reveal a very distorted form, it is a safe bet that you have a possum with a taste for the buds. They eat out the centre and can do a great deal of damage. Similarly the bright and gaudy rosella parrots can do huge damage and reportedly took every bud off an established magnolia tree in Cambridge.