Just gardening: what to do in spring

Just Recruitment’s credit controller earned his horticultural degree in Garden & Landscape design. Here are his spring tips

By Gary Hardman

Another winter has passed with barely a hint of the arctic conditions that meteorologists predicted last autumn. With the temperature rising, nature commences its cycle of life for another year. Spring has finally sprung, so it’s time to get out in the garden and enjoy the fresh air.

    Caring for the ecosystem right on your doorstep can help arrest the effects of climate change...  

There are loads of reasons to make the most of your garden. Caring for the ecosystem right on your doorstep can help arrest the effects of climate change – a topic that has received a huge amount of attention recently, thanks to the David Attenborough documentary on the BBC.

What’s more, getting out in the garden provides wonderful exercise – something that can help you achieve the 150 minutes of weekly activity recommended by the NHS.

So, to inspire your gardening in the weeks ahead, here are some jobs to be going on with.

Home composting

A number of local authorities no longer collect kitchen waste for composting, because it’s too expensive to treat. Along with the ongoing threat to natural peat bogs, there’s never been a better time to create your own compost at home.

Just put all your garden and fresh kitchen waste in a suitable repository (you can buy a plastic compost bin or make your own heap in a quiet corner of the garden) and pretty soon you’ll have your own supply of nutrient-rich compost.

For further advice, check out this handy guide to composting from the Eden Project.

Flower power

Now is the time to plant your summer flowers. Now the threat of frost has largely passed, so you can put them straight into borders, pots or hanging baskets. If planting in borders, dig in a generous amount of compost beforehand, so they have plenty of nutrients to help them grow.

Keep your new flowers well watered and be sure to remove any weeds that grow around them. If you’ve planted in pots or baskets, you should aim to water twice daily, in the morning and evening. That will give your colourful plants every chance to thrive amid the burgeoning heat of summer.

Harden off half-hardy plants

If you’ve planted some stock from seed, now is the time to get the seedlings accustomed to life outside the greenhouse or cold frame.

Over a period of a week, give seedlings around three hours of exposure to sunlight each day. Reduce the amount of watering so that, by the end of the period, the plants are watered first and last thing. Make sure they don’t wilt, however, and be sure to bring them back into shelter if the sun gets strong or the temperature drops.

Gradually leave the seedlings out later in the evening so they get used to the colder temperatures. Within a week or so, you should be able to plant them out, making sure to give them a good feed and keep them moist as they adjust to life in their new home.

Get on top of weeds

It’s a simple fact of a gardener’s life: if you don’t tackle your weeds at the start of the season, you’ll spend the whole summer trying to beat them into submission.

    ...if you don’t tackle your weeds at the start of the season, you’ll spend the whole summer trying to beat them into submission.  

Get down on your hands and knees to clear weeds from borders, beds and pathways. Be especially assiduous in areas where you’re planting new flowers or seedlings. Every weed left in place will reduce the chances of new planting thriving, by sucking energy and moisture from the soil.

Once you’ve completed your first battle with the weeds, go back to where you started and remove any new arrivals. You’ll never stop weeds from growing, but by keeping on top of them, you can minimise their impact as the summer progresses.         

Look after your lawn

Show your lawn some love by applying lawn weed killer and removing any humps or divots. It’s easy to take out an unsightly lump: just dig around the edge and peel off the turf. Then remove the surplus soil and fold the turf flap back into place. Press the edges into position and give it a slug of water.

Meanwhile, use the surplus soil to fill in divots. Sprinkle grass seed over the top, taking care to match the species with your existing lawn. Cover large areas with netting to keep the birds at bay.

Then, voila, you’ll have a flat, green lawn. Anyone for croquet?

Seek inspiration

If you want to get hands-on advice from the experts, check out BBC Gardeners’ World Live on 13 – 16 June at the NEC in Birmingham. The show is a celebration of all things horticultural. You’ll even have a chance to meet some of the nation’s best-known gardeners, including Monty Don, Carol Klein and Joe Swift.

In the meantime, enjoy the spring. And happy gardening!

Published: 7 June 2019

© 2019 Just Recruitment Group Ltd

If you enjoyed this article, you may like – Just testing: Renault ZOE Dynamique Nav R110

You may also enjoy – Just thinking aloud: the lost art of letting go

Jobs currently available

Marketing Executive
Sector: Marketing, Advertising and PR
Salary: £19,000 - £22,000 per annum
Location: Colchester
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 908800
About the role

Are you target-driven and enjoy creating and implementing marketing strategists? 

Are you a people person who enjoys developing relationships? 

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Marketing Executive on behalf of a company based in Colchester. 

Your duties will include: 

  • Effectively implement subscription marketing plans and renewals to meet the agreed targets. 
  • Develop and agree cost-effective promotional activities, with an agreed expected revenue return. 
  • Use information and systems to prepare pre-activity forecasts, track performance and undertake post-activity evaluation to supply to the Senior Marketing Executive and Marketing and Promotions Manager. 
  • Identify potential problems and propose solutions. 

You will be: 

  • Able to think laterally, to make use of all our marketing channels to leverage subscriptions through promotional content across print and digital, email marketing, social media, exhibitions and much more. 
  • Analytical, and keen to monitor and evaluate the success of marketing initiatives through weekly reporting to feed back to the Senior Marketing Executive. 
  • Detail-orientated and able to take responsibility for the day-to-day management of all campaigns, including setting up promotions, briefing studio, building web pages, setting up media requests for our subscriptions bureau, photography, briefing the warehouse, managing the e-commerce website ensuring all offers are loaded for relevant brands. 
Read more
Sales Administrator
Sector: Public Service and Administration
Salary: Negotiable
Location: Witham
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 908761
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a well-established manufacturing company based in Witham.

You will have the ambition to succeed and the ability to work on your own initiative with good customer service skills.

Duties include:

  • Following up quotes by phone and email
  • Checking quotes and emails and adjusting prices to win business
  • Prospect calling
  • Booking meetings for the Business Development Managers
  • Warm calls to existing calls
  • Technical queries, quotes and orders
  • Customer service and query answering
  • Incoming calls

Working ideally 9.00am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday.

20 days holiday per year (3 to be taken over Xmas) + bank holidays.

Read more
QC Technician
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: £15.00 per hour
Location: Sudbury, Suffolk
Role: Full Time
Contract: Temporary
Job ref: 908368
About the role

Calling all QC Technicians

Do you have a degree in chemistry?

Do you have effective communication skills?

Do you have experience and working knowledge in a Chemical and Biological Analytical Technique environment?

Do you have experience in dissolved gas analysis and blood gas analysis?

Just Recruitment is looking to recruit on behalf of a busy company based in the Sudbury (Suffolk) area for a QC Technician on a temporary ongoing basis.

Responsibilities:

  • QC testing, data collection, analysis, interpretation and reporting.
  • Preparing for customer, regulatory and notified body audits.
  • Quality Related Training.
  • Quality testing related improvement projects and quality initiatives.
  • Understanding of GxP requirements.

Working hours:

Monday to Friday, 7:45am to 4:50pm.

Benefits:

  • Free tea and coffee.
  • On site parking.
  • Weekly pay.
Read more
Machine Operator
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: £8.40 per hour
Location: Haverhill
Role: Full Time
Contract: Temporary
Job ref: 908151
About the role

Just Recruitment is looking for an experienced Machine Operator on behalf of a company based in Haverhill.

Working hours are:

Monday to Friday, 8am until 5pm.

Read more
Operational Support Engineer
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: Dependant on experience
Location: Gillingham, Kent
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 908799
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for an Operational Support Engineer (Automotive) on behalf of a company based in Gillingham, Kent.

Your main duties and responsibilities:

  • Deliver projects and process improvements from concept through to completion.
  • Provide practical problem solving on the process.
  • To support the operation in terms of providing the means and process to manufacture product to the correct quality, volume as well as cost.
  • To actively reduce costs of manufacture (MEIT) whilst maintaining product quality and volume.
  • Support the hourly needs of the operation by monitoring and responding to process output signals such as OA performance, Traffic light charts, FTQ data etc.
  • Monitor daily reject returns, gather data and implement robust fixes.
  • Work closely with operations to ensure production output targets are sustained.
  • Be responsible for ensuring that all equipment used in manufacturing or assembly processes is functioning and in specification.
  • Create operational standard work and line balance, understanding process constraints.
  • Be responsible for ensuring that all gauging equipment used in manufacturing or assembly processes is functioning, working within specification and calibrated.
  • To provide structured problem-solving activity and liaise with internal and/or external individuals on problem resolution.
  • Carry out FMEA process documentation and implement improvements.
  • Ensure that the work environment meets the requirements for environmental, ergonomic, health and safety considerations.

Essential requirements:

  • Hands on experience of CNC machining processes in a manufacturing environment – grinding, turning, milling etc.
  • Ability to work in a structured, organised manner and mindful of standard work – both as applied to the manufacturing process and in the engineers’ approach to workload.
  • Analytical and data literate.
  • Current IT knowledge of MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, project etc.

Desirable requirements:

  • Ideally (Mechanical) Engineering Degree or ‘time served’ or relevant industry experience in a broad spectrum of activities.
  • Various shifts including day shifts are available.
Read more