Garden chores | May 15

  • Clip any old leathery foliage from winter flowering hellebores. Top dress the root stocks with some finely sifted compost mixed with blood and bone plus one that includes potassium, and lay bait to protect new growth from still-active snails.
  • Give new plots in roughly turned clay soil a dressing of gypsum or liquid clay breaker, then allow winter weather to help soften the ground ready for the addition of organic matter before spring sowing.
  • If they weren’t done in late summer, clip formal evergreen hedges.
  • Photinia is one plant that will be admired for its fresh red tipped new growth in spring. Flowering hedges can have wayward shoots and old flower heads cut off.
  • Remove any suckers growing from below the graft on stone fruit trees, roses and ornamentals such as crabapples. Cut cleanly with a sharp knife close to the root or main stem rather than pulling or tearing off.