Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland




Spruce up for Spring

THIS week's weather has been the first real taste of spring. The evenings have become noticeably lighter and the days brighter, but be sure to watch out for night frosts. The lawn is beginning to grow and, weather permitting. can receive ifs first cut.

Preparation to seedbeds may be carried out in order to sow herbs such as chervil, chives, parsley and basil. Sow out small amounts at six-week intervals in order to maintain a fresh supply of leaves which will come in useful for cooking or barbecues throughout the summer.


Winter-flowering pansies coming info bloom need to be frequently watered and fed using a liquid hot-en fertiliser. Keep a look out for aphids or greenfly and treat with an appropriate insecticide. Remove any spent flowers to keep the pansies looking fresh and encourage more new flowers.

Seedling weeds are beginning to emerge as the ground warms up. So act now and nip a potential weed problem in the bud. Avoid walking loo much on wet areas in the garden at this time of year as this will compact the soil and damage ifs structure.


Pests and diseases on roses may not be visible just yet, but be ready for them. As soon as the leaves begin to emerge apply a preventative spray against black spot. This is the time to evaluate your borders and assess winter lasses. The cheapest way to fill any gaps is to fake divisions from your own perennials and replant them.

Alternative visit your local garden centre and select plants that are fully winter hardy and have been raised outdoors. Think carefully of colour when you select your replacements. Will your new introductions improve your planting?

The spring garden is coming to life with carpets of crocus, snowdrops and daffodils creating a splash of colour. Flowering shrubs such as forsythias, ribes, skimmias and viburnums are coming into their best, so enjoy them while they last.