We have mentioned some of the intrusive plants that either creep into the garden un-noticed or have been left unattended until they take over completely and strangle other plants that could do with a little more room.
Let’s start with one of the simplest of all herbs, there is nothing we like more than a good healthy bed of mint for boiling in with a pan of new potatoes or to chop for a fresh mint sauce to go with the spring roast lamb. Here is where mint will take over, popping up through every crack in the paving stones as well as over-running anything that is near by.
For some reason we remember the old fashioned gardener planting his mint in an old ceramic garden sink where none of the roots could escape to invade the rest of the garden. Sometimes our parents and grandparents knew a great deal more than we gave them credit for. Maybe we don’t have an old sink on hand to plant up a mint bed but a really good deep containing wall is what is really needed, up against the garden wall or the house for example with a deep bricked in frontage. Some runners will surely escape but they can always be pulled up.
The fragrance of Honeysuckle on a summer evening will entice anyone out into the garden for a romantic supper under the stars but it has roots and long runners that seem to know no bounds. Wherever the runners touch soft earth they will put roots down and from there on it romps ahead , sometimes climbing up anything it can get a hold of or simply running for yards and yards along the ground strangling everything it comes across. So beware, keep it in check.
Bignonia surprises me just where that comes from or how it gets to the opposite corner of the garden to where it was first planted. We are frequently warned in gardening books as to its over-exuberance but assured that hard cutting back every year should help keep it in trim.
Morning Glory must surely be a wild climber as apposed to a cultivated one, it can be found climbing up any telegraph pole or right up through any tree that is in its way. Be warned, if you want it in the garden keep pulling up those long runners where you don’t want them, Passion Flower can can easily be included with this one even though, in both cases their wonderful flowers are a joy to see and you can even eat the fruit off the Passion Flower climber when it ripens so not all is negative.
The Bermuda grass lawn will just be showing signs of the blades of grass needing to be cut from time to time but here again, this grass has not exactly been asleep all winter. It is a creeping grass with yards long runners so be sure to keep the edges of the lawn neatly cut back to avoid the runners invading whatever it is next to.
The lawn of course is all a matter of your own choice, I personally like to see the edges cut back with an edging tool which does help to avoid the runners invading the flower beds and vegetables.
Spring/ Summer vegetables
So, on to the vegetable garden, we can continue to plant many of the spring/summer vegetables even though with a bit of luck we are already harvesting some of the peas and bean family. From now on they will all need just that little bit more frequent watering, there will not be that many more rainy days and of course there is much more heat in the sun as the days stretch out.
Tomatoes can be transplanted with care, remember they are a very hungry and thirsty plant so provision must be made for frequent watering and the soil prepared with some good compost. A mulch of grass cuttings can be a great help to keep the weeds down and to keep the soil cool.
Worms love cut grass and will come to the surface to pull strands of grass down. All of this is natures own cycle , worms aerate the ground as they burrow through and are no danger to what is planted unlike other wild life, slugs, snails, and all the fungal diseases the ground can hold and infest our plants. Wood ash is of course a good deterrent for some of these and is a nutrient in itself.
The longer sunny evenings do seem to invite us out into the garden to do all those little chores that get put on to the ‘round to it’ list and frequently roll over for weeks until we finally do ‘get round to it’ so enjoy your garden whilst you can.