Late spring is the perfect time to give your borders a little attention, in order to keep them in good shape throughout summer. At this time, there’s still room between plants to negotiate a way through, so you can access plants at the back of the border before everything grows and knits together.
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.
Start staking large-flowered plants such as peonies or tall delphiniums. There are many types of supports available, including grids or simple bent metal supports to stop them drooping forwards.
Tie in climbers
Tie in climbers to their support framework as new growth develops, and ensure you cover the space evenly. Most climbers flowermore profusely if you tie them in horizontally.
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
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.
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