Professional gardener - Prepare to be busy

May bank holiday If you open to the public, check everything is ready for what should be a busy day.

Lawns Consider spiking any hard areas of lawns and grass walkways so any rain has a chance of getting into the ground rather than being lost as run-off. Reduce mowing height on fine ornamental lawns to 12mm unless conditions are very dry. Other amenity areas can be cut between 12mm and 25mm depending on conditions, location and function.

Watering It has been hotter and drier in some parts of the country more than others but, as thoughts turn to the prospect of a long, hot summer, now is a good time to review how plants are watered, when they are watered and what water source is used. Top up mulches.

Shrubs Lightly trim box hedging and edging to maintain shape. Prune early-flowering shrubs such as ribes and spiraea straight after flowering.

Kitchen garden Continue successional sowings of lettuce, peas, broad beans, cabbage, carrots, beetroot, salad onions and radishes. Consider sowing Swiss chard and leaf beet. Transplant winter brassicas sown earlier. Use pheromone traps to control codling moths on apples — one trap for every three trees. Prune out unwanted shoots on raspberries. Mulch all fruit bushes.
Flower garden Consider making fortnightly plantings of gladioli to bulk up the supply of flowers for decorative purposes. When they are about 4in high, plant out the sweet peas sown last month.

Algae watch Recent warm weather has started early blooming.

Staffing levels Consider hiring seasonal staff if necessary, particularly for mowing.

Staff health Check and refill first aid kits. Consider refresher courses for first-aiders. All staff should be up to date with tetanus inoculations and make sure everyone is aware of the symptoms of Lyme disease. Caused by a bacterium present in the digestive system of many animals — including mice, hedgehogs, foxes, pheasants and blackbirds — Lyme disease is transmitted by ticks and is now found across the UK in both urban and rural locations. In humans it affects skin, joints, the heart and the nervous system. Anyone finding a tick on their body should carefully remove it by winding cotton tightly between the tick and the skin or by lifting it off with a notch cut into a credit card. Never burn ticks off with cigarettes. Neither should they be squashed or covered with Vaseline.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

From The Editor - Urgent need to pool park ideas

One of the toughest jobs professionals working in the parks sector have faced over the years has been getting across to politicians just how critical green spaces are to the health and wellbeing of local communities.

IoG Saltex 2016 - show preview

IoG Saltex 2016 - show preview

This year's Saltex will be looking to build on the success of last year by packing in a multitude of exhibitors and sessions over the two days, Sally Drury reports.

According To Dunnett ... Horticulture needed to 'colour in' green infrastructure

According To Dunnett ... Horticulture needed to 'colour in' green infrastructure

It's now around one year since work started on Sheffield's groundbreaking "Grey to Green" scheme, one of the largest urban green infrastructure projects in the UK.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Contracts & Tenders

Sally Drury on professional gardening

Sally Drury

A monthly checklist of things to do and watch out for to keep your garden looking its best.