Late spring is the perfect time to give your borders a little love and attention, in order to keep them in good shape throughout the summer. At this time, there’s still room between plants to negotiate a way through before they knit together, making access more difficult.
Find out how to prune spring-flowering plants.
Here are six key jobs that you can do to pep up your borders in spring.
Feed plants now as they come into strong growth. There are many feeds on the market, but good all-round organic products include fish, blood and bone, and pelleted chicken manure.
Deadhead spring-flowering plants such as bergenias to divert energy into leaf growth and establish stronger plants. If you want some plants, such as hellebores, to self-seed, leave the seedheads on. Read more about deadheading.
Start staking large-flowered plants such as peonies or tall delphiniums. There are many types of supports available, including grids to grow through or simple bent metal ones to stop them drooping forwards. Find out more about plant supports.
Tie in climbers
Tie in climbers to their support framework as new growth develops, and ensure you cover the space evenly. Most climbers respond to being tied in horizontally by flowering more profusely.
As you retreat backwards out of the border, hoe the soil where you’ve trodden and compacted it, to loosen it again. Hoe off any weeds you may have missed, too.
Mulch between plants while the soil is moist. This will lock in moisture, suppress weeds and improve the fertility of the soil, as well as visually set off your plants well for the season ahead. Watch our video on mulching plants.
Find out how to give your borders an autumn boost.
Set up an irrigation system
Be sure to keep any newly planted plants well watered. Watering during dry spells in summer can be a laborious task – now is the ideal time to set up a leaky-hose irrigation system through the border.
Great border plants to try
- Geranium ‘Ann Folkard’ – a magenta cranesbill
- Astrantia ‘Shaggy’ – white blooms light up a semi-shaded spot
- Clematis ‘Warszawska Nike’ – drape it through a large shrub
- Iris sibirica – an early iris, ideal for moist but free-draining soil
- Euphorbia x martini – acid-yellow bracts with red centres