Attached pix plus sweet peas for roundell

Time to re-pot.

Late spring is an ideal time to pot all types of plants, from house plants to trees, shrubs and perennials growing outside in containers.

The reason now is a good time to move plants into larger pots is because the temperature is warming up and plants are actively growing. This means that when an established root ball is potted into fresh compost, the roots will quickly grow out into the compost to take advantage of the nutrients and moisture. One plant that benefits from being grown in a container is agapanthus. Not only does this mean the plant can be moved around for winter protection, the restricted root growth encourages flowers and very often the best flowering specimens are those grown in pots in a sunny position. Even though agapanthus grows well when the roots are pot-bound, eventually the plant will need to be re-potted into a slightly larger pot and now, just as the plant is starting into growth, is the perfect time. The pot needs to be strong and several inches wider in diameter to allow room for new compost to be filtered around the existing root-ball. As for compost, because the plant is being grown permanently in a container it is best to use loam-based compost such as John Innes. This provides a steady supply of nutrients and is fairly heavy so will help to prevent the plant from blowing over in windy weather. Once potted, water thoroughly and wait for the plant to make new growth.

Salad days!

Lettuce and salad leaves are very easy to grow and to keep a regular supply of fresh salad crops through the summer you need to be sowing seeds every two or three weeks. For ease of planting out I always sow the seeds in small plug trays and when the seedlings are a few inches tall they can be planted into the garden to grow on. At this time of the year the plants will grow quickly as long as you keep them watered in dry weather. Planted now, you will be picking fresh lettuce leaves in just a few weeks’ time.

Jobs for the week.

Lawns are growing well now after a slow start and to keep them in good condition they need to be trimmed on a regular basis. A lawn feed will also help the lawn by encouraging strong growth from the base of the plant.

Runner bean seeds can be sown now. You can either sow directly into the garden or the seeds can be started off in trays or pots in a cold greenhouse or on a bright windowsill.

Dead head daffodils as the flowers start to fade and do not be tempted to cut back the foliage until is naturally starts to die down.

Readers’ Questions

Marian from Knaresborough has emailed to ask me if it is too late to sow sweet peas seed?

It is late, but as long as you don’t mind having sweet peas in late summer there is no reason why you can’t sow now. The advantage of sowing at this time of the year is the plants will grow quickly. I’d sow in small pots and then plant out the seedlings into the garden where you want them to flower.

If you have a gardening question for Martin Fish please email him at martin@flowershow.org.uk and we’ll print a selection of questions and answers for readers to share. Or, write to Ackrill Media Group, 1 Cardale Park, Harrogate and we’ll pass on your question