Bank holiday gardening jobs

by Kate Bradbury

Like many gardeners up and down the country, I'll be indulging in a spot of gardening this bank holiday weekend.

Garlic chive flowers - Allium tuberosumLike many gardeners up and down the country, I'll be indulging in a spot of gardening this bank holiday weekend. And the next, and the one after that. The truth is, I'm really far behind and if I don't catch up soon, I'll miss this year's boat to a pretty garden and home-grown veg.

Starting indoors, there's a propagator, containing seedlings of basil and garlic chives, which are in dire need of transplanting. I also need to pot on the sunflowers I'm growing as part of the Gardeners' World sunflower challenge. They're tall, but only because they're leggy. What's more, the bucket of sludge I had planned to grow one of the sunflowers in has now been completely emptied by the marauding blackbird, Sid, in search of worms. Which brings me to the first of my outdoor jobs: sweep and scrub the patio.

The pond is full of duckweed and not much else, so I'll remove that and find out what happened to the watercress and water forget-me-not (bounced out by bathing pigeons, probably). Then I need to top up a few pots, transplant my display of Allium roseum and phacelia from one pot into another, and sort the herb pot out.

As much as I love my frogs, I'll be dismantling their grow bag habitat. There's plenty of dense foliage for them to shelter beneath now and, as soon as I get a moment, I'll be putting the new grow bag out with fresh tomato plants, so they can sit in there, if they like. It just won't have the attractive topping of dead foliage and Christmas tree branches, which I have lived with for long enough.

I'd decided to leave all the seedlings emerging in the borders to see what they'd turn into. Trees, mostly. So I'll be removing them, along with some plants I'm donating to some friends, and adding nicer ones I recently dug up and divided from my mum's garden.

Some plants need moving, some need supporting, some need feeding, some need pruning. Many just need sowing.

I need to cut the lawn (we don't have a mower so we do this on our hands and knees with shears.) Luckily it's full of dead patches so it shouldn't take long. Then I'll sow grass seed in the dead patches. I'm also cultivating a small wildflower meadow among the long grass, so I'll transplant some self-sown field poppies here and remove some ragwort I accidentally transplanted the other week.

If it rains, I'll be busy sowing fresh chives, coriander, flat-leaf parsely and cosmos seeds indoors, and encouraging the sole survivor of last year's overwintering chilli experiment to burst into leaf. There's also a theatre to make for the auriculas, which have just come into flower. I've only had a year to do that job...

What jobs will you be striking off your gardening 'to-do' list this bank holiday?

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Gardeners' World Web User 21/04/2011 at 15:29

I will be planting "In The Green" lots of lovely tulips. narcissi, fritillaries, pink chionodoxa, etc. brought to me by my friend who has a small garden like you, Kate, but likes to ring the changes in his pots every season. he knows they will have a good home with me. Watering is a top priority as the long, hot, dry spell is threatening the health of a lot of the perennials like primroses, primulas and epimediums I have divided this spring. I am keeping an eye on the potatoes now up and the newly planted leeks and broad bean plants water wise as well. Otherwise it is war on the dandelions and bindweed and gathering great bunches of lily of the valley and anemones for the house now that my beautiful Mother's Day flowers have wilted.

Gardeners' World Web User 21/04/2011 at 16:39

Hope to get out there at some point this weekend,probably Monday(as from this evening most of the weekend spent in Mass as we're practising Catholics, & friends round for dinner on Sunday), so hoping the weather doesn't break! If I'm not too tired to do anything other than enjoy watching the bees & drinking a glass or 2 of Pimms, have a mini lilac to re-pot & need to sow my runner beans. Plus a couple of euphorbias that need a new home. My little plugs have arrived today for my hanging baskets, so will definately pot them up. And am hoping my hubby will use Monday wisely to make me some window boxes :) Ooo. And I have to finish cutting out my material & machining my cushion covers for my garden chairs. So much to do! Now, where's that Pimms?????

Gardeners' World Web User 21/04/2011 at 20:43

Have been busy today emptying my compost bins - have changed the soil in greenhouses ready for my tomato plants -the rest to go on veg plots ready for all my plants which I am itching to plant out [but dare not yet in case of frost] I started my runner beans, courgettes and spaghetti squash in pots and they are all well away in greenhouse. I guess I am just going to have to content myself with weeding, tidying up and moving things around

Gardeners' World Web User 22/04/2011 at 04:36

Kate, you have just reminded me that I am always behind on what I should be doing, but I also have planted up loads of goodies and passed some stuff on to nieghbours and my daughter, heavy clay is my problem as I find it impossible to dig it so along with my home made compost I buy bags and bags of compost.Oh! well better get on with it then or I'll be getting nothing done and yes I will be out there this early in the morning. Keep at it all you gardeners.

Gardeners' World Web User 22/04/2011 at 07:26

Thought of a couple more jobs to do this weekend. I grow mainly shrubs and perennials[apart from veg] as my garden is small - except for companion plants. Just back from long walk with my dog and have pricked out a tray of marigolds specially for tomatoes. I also have another tray to pot on of nicandra [shoo fly] Then my bright orange honeysuckle has really gone to town so needs some serious attention as it is pulling down its support. I just remembered that my May issue of Gardeners World was delivered yesterday so sometime this weekend when it gets too hot I might sit under the willow tree and read it [along with a glass of chilled white wine]

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