With most of the world currently on lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, gardening is fast becoming a new interest for those seeking to keep busy and spend more time outdoors. Here are our top tips to help you avoid some of the pitfalls many new gardeners make.
1. Sowing your seeds
Despite the warm weather during the day, April can still have frosty mornings and chilly winds, so don’t sow your seeds too early. Also, leave adequate space between plants and seeds, planting neither too close or too far apart.
If you are transplanting seedlings, protect them with a fleece membrane until warmer weather arrives. Look to utilise your garden space throughout the year, adding in some summer planting for a continuous crop or year-round colour.
2. Feeding and watering
A good covering of compost mulch should enrich your soil with most of the essential nutrients it needs. Natural plant food will then occur through the growth of mycorrhizal fungi working its way through the soil. Overfeeding plants can result in an imbalance between leaf growth and fruit production. Try not to swamp your new seedlings with water, as new roots will struggle to find air if they are sitting in pools.
3. Start a compost
A good compost heap will reap the rewards for you in the long run. Don’t be too picky about adding garden waste, rhubarb leaves, bindweed roots and blighted tomato stems and leaves, as they will soon die under a growing mound of composting matter. Build solid sides to keep the warmth in, and only turn once for the best results.