Posts Tagged ‘flower garden’

June Gardening Advice

June 3rd, 2019 | News | 0 Comments

June Gardening Advice

Summer has barely begun, yet already garden borders are filing with colour, and allotment beds are beginning to swell with growing vegetables.

With a warming soil, you can now sow directly into the ground. Any remaining plants can go outside into their final growing position, without the risk of a late frost. You may need to thin out newly-established plants to give everything an opportunity to grow.

So, whatever you get up to this month, there really is no excuse to enjoy those longer days, and warmer nights. So, get outside and grow!

In the flower garden

Sow

With the frost now a fading memory, you can sow directly outside. If it’s colour and blooms you want, consider direct sowing sweet william, coreopsis or sunflowers. Ensure the soil has a fine tilth, sow where you want your flowers to grow, and water.

Summer bedding

Time to get the last of your summer bedding out of cold frames and greenhouses. Harden off, and plant up into their final growing positions. If garden borders aren’t an option, try using containers, troughs or hanging baskets. A basket of trailing blooms suspended beside a front door gives a warm welcome to any visitor. But with balmy days ahead, try planting up with water retention gel, and ensure a regular watering and feeding regime throughout summer. Irregular watering may cause certain plants to bolt, or dry-out and die.

Staking

Perennial and lily plants will have taken on a lot of growth and height, so now’s the time to stake them. Not only will this prevent wind damage, it’ll ensure you see the full benefit of those newly forming blooms.

Sweet peas
Ensure you pick your sweet pea flowers daily, and remove any that are going to seed

By now, these flowers will be looking their best, producing blooms daily. To prevent them from going to seed, ensure you pick flowers daily, and remove any that are going to seed.

Roses

Some roses will now be looking past their best, so consider deadheading. Not only will this keep your rose bush looking fresh, it will encourage new blooms. Ensure all weeds are removed from the base of the plant, add a slow release fertiliser and water in well.

June gaps

Most spring flowers will have come and gone, leaving you with gaps in your borders. If you’re in need of a splash of colour, consider dahlias. There’s no end to the choice of colour, shape and size available. Or if it’s height you’re after, nothing says ‘summer’ better than a vibrant sunflower. Whether you want tall, small, yellow or orange, there are now so many varieties to choose from.

Lawns

With warmer days and brighter evenings, the garden centrepiece at this time of year will be your lawn. Keep it looking good by mowing at least once a week, and trim the edges. You may want to consider raising your lawnmower blades to decrease the stress on your grass. It’s also good to apply a lawn feed. When those hotter spells do arrive, either water first thing in the morning, or later in the evening when temperatures aren’t so high. There’s less water loss due to evaporation, and lawns won’t be scorched by the searing sun.

Cuttings

This is the perfect month to take softwood cuttings from garden favourites, such as lavender, forsythia and fuchsia. Take 10cm cuttings from the tips of your chosen shrub, making a sharp horizontal cut just below a pair of leaves, and remove any lower set of leaves or buds. Fill a small pot with gritted compost, and push the cuttings in, parallel to the side of the pot. Space cuttings equally, water and place in a greenhouse or on a warm windowsill.

Second flourish

Delphiniums, lupins and ornamental poppies make a lovely addition to any garden, but their blooms can fade all too quickly. Once flowered, cut away the fading stem. Not only will this make the plant look tidier and bushier, it will encourage a second bloom later in the season.

Look our for pests like lily beetle, vine weevil and aphids in the garden in JuneMaintenance

Pests and diseases will be at their worst, so keep a lookout and remove all culprits. Red mite may start appearing in greenhouses, so it’s a good idea to dampen down the paths each day, and keep doors and windows open for plenty of ventilation. Introducing shading to your greenhouse will ensure plants don’t burnout on particularly hot days. Other culprits to watch-out for in the garden, are lily beetle, vine weevil and aphids.

Autumn planting

It’s hard to fathom, but in a few months, autumn will be knocking at our door, so now is a good time to get some of those autumn plants germinating. From pansies to polyanthus, sow seeds onto a tray of fine compost, water and cover lightly. Then place in your greenhouse. Check them regularly to ensure germination, and don’t let them dry-out.

On the veg patch

June drop

Fruit trees holding heavy crops of fruit will drop a certain amount in June. This improves sunlight, air circulation, reduces the spread of pests, prevents heavy branches snapping, and it means the remaining fruit get all the nutrients they need to grow and ripen. The ‘June Drop’ occurs in apples, pears, plums and peaches. So, if you come across scattered fruit below your tree, fear not, it’s Mother Nature’s way of giving your fruit tree a helping hand.

Strawberries

As you start enjoying this season’s harvest, think about producing additional plants by propagating the runners off this year’s plants. Or, to retain the plant’s energy for next year’s fruit, cut plants down to 5cm. This will encourage new growth and help prevent grey mould. Also, give the plants a feed with a general fertiliser.

With flowers on the plant, it’s time to start giving your tomatoes a twice-weekly potash feed to encourage the fruit to swell.Tomatoes

Whether you’re growing cordon or bush varieties, pinch-out side shoots, and ensure your plants are secure, and cordon tomatoes are tied in. With flowers on the plant, it’s time to start giving your tomatoes a twice-weekly potash feed to encourage the fruit to swell. This also applies to peppers, aubergine, and chilli plants.

Harvest

Crops you planted back in early spring may now be ready for harvesting. Peas, runner beans, broad beans, chard, potatoes and salad, should all be ready to go. If you notice your onions or garlic foliage is dying back, then these are also ready to harvest. Once lifted, leave them out on the bed to dry, preferably on a sunny day.

Plant

Greenhouse grown squashes, pumpkins and sweetcorn will now be ready to go out onto the plot. Give these crops plenty of space to grow, and ensure the soil is rich and moist. Once planted, give a heavy mulch to help retain moisture. These are greedy crops so they will require regular watering.

When planting out sweetcorn, arrange the plants in a fairly tight grid formation, as this will encourage the pollination of all plants.

Maintenance

June is a a good time to turn your compost heapsNow’s a good time to turn your compost heaps. The warmer weather will help the process of breaking down matter.

Weeds will be thriving, so maintain beds and remove with a hoe, ideally on a warm day, when the soil isn’t as moist, as weeds can easily be removed.

Some vegetables, such as brassicas, will need netting to prevent birds attacking them, and to stop the white butterfly from laying their eggs.

Carrots are often affected by Carrot Fly, so create a fleece or mesh barrier at least 50cm high. This pest can only fly so high, so a netted barrier will prevent them from attacking your young carrots.

Another method of discouraging pests is companion planting. Plants such as marigolds, should be planted around tomato plants as their smell discourages pests.

Other jobs

  • Blanket weed should be removed from ponds, to help both fish and plants breathe. Try to do this at the end of the day, when temperatures are cooler. Also, leave any removed foliage at the side of the pond overnight. This will give any caught animals and insects a chance to return to the water. Check water plants for pests and remove. Pond fish may need feeding.
  • With increased light levels, you could consider setting up a herb tray on a windowsill. Herbs such as basil, and coriander are worth considering, and make a wonderful addition to any meal.
  • If you have lavender flowering in the garden, then why not take cuttings and bring indoors. Simply bunch together, tie and suspend somewhere where you can enjoy its fragrance. Or, consider drying it out to create lavender sachets for your drawers and pillows.

May Gardening Advice

May 1st, 2019 | News | 0 Comments

Mr Fothergill's May Gardening Advice 2019

This is the month of the Chelsea Flower Show, where we see gardens and gardeners come together and celebrate the horticulture industry. For over one hundred years, it has showcased new and exciting plants, designs and pioneering growing techniques. Whether you’re looking for something for the garden, something for the allotment or something that will make your green fingers twitch, you’ll find it at this glorious event.

May is also the time for the ‘Chelsea Chop’, when we can take our perennials (such as Phlox, Sedums and Heleniums), and prune, or reduce them by 50%. This helps create a bushier plant with more blooms. Also, if you have a border of perennials which you want to flower simultaneously, then the Chelsea Chop is often the answer as it can help delay flowering.

With the ground warming up, we can begin thinking about both sowing and planting out directly into the soil. The plants you’ve been nurturing in the greenhouse can be hardened-off and planted into their final growing positions. Seed-grown vegetables can be brought out from the polytunnel, planted into their final positions, and then protected with either fleece or netting. But May can be a fickle month. Your garden can be basking in sunshine one moment, and drenched in a heavy downpour the next. So, keep your eye on the weather forecast, keep horticultural fleece handy, and be prepared to act if the weather takes a turn for the worse.

May is a great month to be a gardener. So, enjoy the warmer days, lighter evenings, and get out there and create something special.

In the flower garden

Spring bulbs

Now that they’ve flowered and the foliage has died back, this is the time to lift and divide your spring bulbs. Before your summer plants dominate the flowerbeds, think about where you want to see your spring bulbs to appear next year, and get them into the ground.

Summer bedding

Give your plants regular water and liquid feed to encourage large, long-lasting bloomsWith the chance of frost now waning, towards the end of the month you should think about getting your summer bedding plants into the ground, hanging baskets, pots or containers. Once planted, ensure you give them a regular water and a regular liquid feed to encourage large, long-lasting blooms. If you’re using containers, or hanging baskets, consider planting them up with water-retaining granules. If you already have established plant pots, then give them a top dressing, or re-pot with fresh compost and soil.

Dahlias

The dahlia tubers potted on back in early spring should now be producing sufficient foliage for them to be hardened off, and planted into their final growing positions. If you’ve just bought tubers, the ground should be warm enough for them to be directly planted into the soil. Remember, plants are now growing quickly, so highlight where you planted them with a label or bamboo cane.

Lawn

Grass will be thriving, so mow your lawn weekly. Also, trim edging and remove any weeds. If you do decide to use chemicals, always consider who uses the lawn, and where the liquid runs off to. You wouldn’t want to damage a flower bed, and you definitely wouldn’t want to harm a family member or pet.

Pests

Pests, such as the lily beetle and greenfly, will be making an appearance. Check all plant foliage regularly, and dispose of any unwanted visitors. A good time to spot slugs and snails is first thing in the morning, around dusk, or after any rainfall.

Maintenance

The garden is putting on growth daily. However, with the risk of a late frost, it’s good to keep horticultural fleece handy. For your climbers, such as sweet peas, roses and perennials, ensure they are staked and tied into a support. You wouldn’t want all your months of hard work to be damaged by As temperatures continue to rise, be sure to get into a regular watering regime with all plantsa single bout of bad weather. Keep an eye out for blackspot on roses. Remove any affected foliage from sight, or treat with a fungicide.

Weeds will be competing with your plants for both water and nutrients. Remove immediately, or they could strangle and starve your plants.

Over the next few months, temperatures will continue to rise, so get into a regular watering regime with all plants, especially ones grown in pots, containers and hanging baskets. A regular liquid feed is also advisable.

On the veg patch

Fruit

Strawberries, gooseberries, raspberries and currants will now be developing fruit. Water regularly, and keep free of weeds. Check plants regularly for pests, such as sawfly and aphids, dispose of them and net plants. If you’ve been growing strawberries on open plots, or raised beds, then place dry straw around the plants to protect fruit from rotting, and help suppress weeds. Ensure you water at the base of the plant only, not overhead, as this will encourage mildew.

Continue to pick rhubarb, but take no more than half from the plant. Ensure you hold the stem at the base, then pull it away from the plant. Otherwise, you could damage the crown.

Broad beans

Stake broad beans with canes and lengths of string, as this will take the weight of developing pods, and prevent wind damage. Keep an eye out for blackfly, and spray any affected plants with diluted soapy water, or remove by hand. Once pods start growing upwards from the lower part of the plant, pinch out the growing tips at the top. Not only will this help reduce blackfly, it will encourage healthy pods.

Planting out

Ensure brassicas, french beans and runner beans are planted in well, watered and mulchedChances are, you’ve grown vegetables from seed earlier this year. By now, they’ve hopefully grown into strong plants and are ready to go out. Brassicas, French beans and runner beans can be planted out. Ensure they are planted in well, watered and mulched. As the temperature rises, they will need all the moisture they can get. If cabbage root fly is a problem on your plot, think about fitting your brassicas with collars at the base of the plant. This will prevent the flies laying eggs, which will hatch into hungry larvae.

Depending where you are in the country, pumpkins, squashes and courgettes may need to be delayed until warmer temperatures. Otherwise, plant out into rich soil, or compost. These are hungry plants, and will need plenty of watering, and nutrients for them to help set fruit.

Sowing

In some parts of the country, the soil will be warm enough for direct sowing. As well as beetroot, peas and carrots, sow successional lettuce, spinach and radishes. As these seedlings develop, thin out accordingly, water well, and keep weed free.

Greenhouse

With all the seedlings you have growing in the greenhouse, remember to prick out and pot on. If you don’t, they will be starved of nutrients, or grow too big for their plug/tray and die. However, there will be plants that are ready to be taken out. Some may need hardening off, but they will be ready for their final growing positions.

Keep on top of your greenhouse this monthAs space becomes available in both the greenhouse and polytunnel, think about potting up your summer greenhouse plants, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, chillies, and melons. Place these into their final greenhouse positions, and establish a regular water and feeding regime. As these plants develop, they will need staking.

With temperatures rising, consider providing shade in your greenhouse, to prevent plants being scorched. On warm days, damp down the floor to increase humidity and help prevent red spider mite. If your structure has vents, use them.

Other jobs

If temperatures are rising outside, they’ll also be rising inside, so consider the best place for your indoor plants. A south-facing window may be too harsh for some plants, so consider moving them to a shadier spot.

Remove duckweed from ponds. Lay debris to side of pond overnight. Giving a chance for any caught wildlife to return to the water. Next day, remove waste from site.

Some plants will need extra watering and feeding to cope with the warmer conditions, and some plants will need less, so consider their needs and avoid stressing them.

If you have a tropical plant, make sure you give it a daily misting. Dust plant foliage regularly, and check for infections and pests.

April Gardening Advice

April 1st, 2019 | News | 0 Comments

April Gardening Advice

Spring has sprung! We have more daylight, which is just as well, as we’re going to need as much time as possible to get our gardens and allotments summer-ready. But don’t be fooled into thinking winter has completely gone. Those sharp frosts are the sting in a waning season’s tail. Hold off planting what can’t be fleeced, cloched, or protected, until the last of the frosts have gone.

In the flower garden

Deadheading

The once-glorious daffodils will by now have seen better days, so deadhead them, before they go to seed. The energy will transfer to the bulb, in readiness for next year’s display. But don’t cut away the foliage, let it die back naturally to harness the sun’s energy, fuelling the bulbs for future seasons.

Winter pansies, will be keen to set seed, so regularly remove faded flowers to encourage new displays.

PrimrosesLift and divide Primroses for bigger displays next year

Another flower that has probably passed its prime is the primrose. If you’re hoping for bigger displays next year, then this is the time to lift and divide them. Whether it’s with your hands, or a trowel, prise the plants apart. Don’t worry about damaging them as they’re quite tough, and will respond quickly. Re-plant where you would like to see them appear next year, and water in well.

Support

The roses you finished pruning last month will now be full of life, sending new shoots skywards. You may need to stake and tie-in new growth. This also applies for other tall, climbing perennials. Not only will this help support the plant, but it’ll help prevent high winds from causing windrock to the rootball, or damaging young stems.

Weeds

With plants and borders springing into life, weeds will also start flourishing as they feed off the nutrients given to your flower borders. Ensure you weed regularly or they could smother young, emerging plants. Remove tap roots entirely or they will re-grow. Finally, mulch around your plants to suppress weeds and help retain moisture.

April is the time to get those summer bulbs in the groundBulbs

It’s time to get those newly-bought summer bulbs and corms into the ground, or into pots. If you’re planting in pots, ensure the compost has plenty of grit, so water can drain off easily and not cause the bulbs to rot. It’s also a good idea to place crocks at the base of the pot to improve drainage.

If you’re planting bulbs into beds, think about how the final display might look. Make sure there’s sufficient space and plenty of sunlight. If you haven’t planted bulbs before, then the rule of thumb is to plant the bulb at a depth of three times its height. If your soil is heavy, add grit to the base of the hole, and then fill with a gritted-compost mixture.

Sweet Peas

After pinching out your sweet peas last month, they should now be bushing up. Towards the end of the month, depending on weather, these can be planted out into their final growing positions. Whether it’s directly into the ground, or container, make sure you use a support so the tendrils have something to latch onto and push the plant up. Keep an eye on their growth, as they will quickly need to be tied in.

Container Plants

With new growth appearing daily, you may need to introduce a regular watering regime to your container plants. Make sure you remove weeds, and top up the soil with fresh compost or general-purpose fertiliser. Check that plants aren’t pot bound, and are free of pests. Finally, place them in the appropriate growing area, to ensure they respond successfully.

Hanging Baskets

If you’re looking forward to big floral displays this summer, then get your plug plants into your hanging baskets. Use fresh compost and a slow-release fertiliser. Water retention gel is a good option, to help them through those long hot summer days. Once potted up, keep them in the greenhouse until the last frost has passed. This will also give your plants a chance to grow on and settle into their hanging baskets. Next, place them in a cold frame, or outside during the day, for a week or two. Finally, place them in their final hanging positions and ensure a regular watering regime. Bear in mind they will require extra watering and feeding during the summer months.

April is the time to establish a regular lawn mowing routine

Lawn

It’s time to begin a regular mowing routine. Place the mower’s blades at a low level for a clean, sharp cut. Scarify and fork over any thatched areas to help with drainage. Keep borders strimmed, and cut edges with an edging tool. If your lawns aren’t seeing too much action at the moment, this might be the opportunity to give them a gentle feed, or sow grass seed onto bare patches.

Greenhouse

If you haven’t done so yet, clear and tidy your greenhouse. After a hard winter, there will be items stored that can be removed. Overgrown foliage needs to be cut away to ensure maximum sunlight, and it’s advisable to give the greenhouse a thorough clean, inside and out with warm soapy water.

Hardening Off

Towards the end of the month, you may want to start hardening off certain plants to get them ready for planting out in May. By hardening off, you’re simply getting indoor-sown plants acclimatised to cooler, outdoor temperatures. For example, if you’ve been growing sweet peas, they will grow all the better for a few weeks in a cold frame before planting out into their final position. If you don’t have a cold frame, then place your plants outside on a bright day for a few hours, then bring them in before the temperature drops, or the weather takes a turn for the worse.

On the veg patch

Sow

Now is the time to sow crops such as salads, radishes, beetroot, chard, kohl rabi, carrots and parsnips. If the ground is too cold, sow into modules, trays or pots. Keep them somewhere warm, with plenty of sunlight, such as a greenhouse or polytunnel.

If the ground is too cold then sow seeds into module trays or pots

Any seeds sown back in March may now need thinning out, or even re-potting. As you do so, remember that it’s important to hold the seedling by their ‘true leaves’, not their stems. While a damaged leaf won’t hamper the plant’s growth, a damaged stem will leave the young plant helpless.

If your ground is prepped and ready to go, think about sowing peas, leeks, carrots, broad beans or cabbage. Remember to sow little and often, otherwise, in a few months’ time you could end up with a glut.

If you have sown onion sets, make sure you net them. Birds will see them as a potential food source and remove them from the ground.

Potatoes

You should have now planted your chitted tubers. If they produce substantial foliage, earth up as this will both protect the plant, and encourage it to produce more potatoes. However, it’s a good idea to keep horticultural fleece handy, as a sharp frost could burn the plants, destroy the foliage and potentially kill the plant.

Structures

If you’re growing beans and peas, then think about setting up your runner bean poles. Peas will also need a support structure, such as netting, poles or twiggy hazel sticks. Prep the beds and get your structures ready.

Soft Fruit

Fruits such as strawberries, raspberries and gooseberries should be mulched. This feeds the plants, helps retain the moisture in the soil, and should give you better-tasting fruit. If you grow blueberries, make sure you use an ericaceous compost.

Remember to keep bird feeders topped up

Other

  • Keep an eye on weather reports, as sharp frosts can still occur, and potentially damage or kill young plants and seedlings.
  • Warmer temperatures will also encourage indoor plants to grow, so step-up their watering and feeding regime.
  • Continue to keep bird feeders topped up.

March Gardening Advice

March 1st, 2019 | News | 0 Comments

March Gardening Advice - a time for new beginnings in the garden

We can finally say goodbye to winter, and hello to spring. The clocks going forward on the 31st of the month means more daylight and more hours to spend in the garden, which is just as well, as March is a busy month for gardeners. We need to prepare, clean, and more excitingly, start sowing. All those planting lists and plans we drew up over the colder months can now be put into action. This is the month for new beginnings.

But we’re not entirely out of the woods yet, as there’s always the chance of a short sharp frost, or even snow. So, it’s best not to get too carried away with the sowing. What can’t be protected in a heated greenhouse, or under cloches and horticultural fleece, should be saved for later.

This is a month of change, and everyday there’s something new to enjoy. Whether it’s the bold trumpets of a daffodil, or the emerging shoots of a keen tulip, it’s important to take the time to enjoy these moments, as they are all too brief.

In the flower garden

Dogwood

By now your cornus has done its job, so prune before it starts producing its leaves. Cut it down to ground level, so the energy can transfer to the root ball of the plant. This will help strengthen it and enable it to re-grow quickly. Come next autumn, you’ll have tall, strong, colourful whips that will brighten a dark winter’s day.

December-is-the-tiarch Gardening Advice - Now is the time to prune your rosesme-to-prune-wisteria-and-climbing-roses

Prune

As winter gives way to spring, you should be finishing all winter pruning. Fuchsias will now begin to show new growth. Cut to either just above where the new shoots appear, or back to one or two buds on a shoot.

If you haven’t done so, then now’s the time to prune your roses. With all roses, remove any shoots that are dead, damaged or diseased. Shrub roses with flowering shoots should be cut back by 8-12cms. The cut should be made just above a bud. Climbing roses should be pruned back by two thirds, cutting out old branches at the base, as this will promote new growth. Ensure all climbing shoots are suitably tied to a support. For all rose varieties, it’s advisable to disturb the soil at the base of the plant, and feed with a well-balanced rose feed, and water.

Summer bulbs

With the soil warming up, it’s time to plant your summer bulbs. Plant gladioli, freesias and alliums at a depth of two to three times the height of your bulb. Whether they’re going into pots, or straight into the ground, ensure they’re planted into well-drained soil. If not, add grit as bulbs can rot in waterlogged conditions. Place the bulb upright, then cover over and water in.

Dahlias

If you’ve been storing dahlia tubers over winter, it’s time to get them out. Disregard any that are damaged, or have succumbed to the winter weather. Using a good multi-purpose compost, pot them up, and water them in. Place them in a greenhouse or cold frame, and let them slowly respond to the change of season.

Mulch

With warmer temperatures comes warmer soil, which not only wakes your dormant plants, but encourages weeds. Mulching your borders will suppress weeds, and protect plants from those cold nights and sharp frosts. Wood chippings, compost or leaf mould, all do the job, and smarten up any bare border.

Summer bedding

If you’re hoping for a big floral display this summer, then sow now. Varieties to consider include, petunia, lobelia, marigold, larkspur and impatiens. Ensure you have somewhere bright and warm for seeds to germinate. Once they’ve become young seedlings, individually pot up and grow on.

Pests

The arrival of spring also means the arrival of pests. Slugs and snails will be arriving en masse, so be prepared. Check all pots, containers, and any lush new growth. Vine weevil may also be lurking. Remove all pests from site. If you choose to use pellets, ensure you are considering who or what else uses the garden as they can be harmful. Alternatively, use nematodes or organic methods.

Lawns

If you have an established lawn and it’s a dry day, this might be the opportunity to give it the first cut of the season. Nothing drastic, just a minimal trim. Remove weeds, and cut lawn edges with an edging tool.

Paths and patios

Winter may have encouraged lichen and slippery conditions. So, on a dry, bright day, pressure clean all decking and paths. If using chemicals, ensure the water doesn’t harm surrounding plants or wildlife.

Maintenance

Now’s the time to make repairs on any garden structures. Whether it’s fencing, walls, or sheds, inspect closely for any signs of decay and fix accordingly. With flowers only just beginning to stir, this is the time to stain a fence or paint a shed.

On the veg patch

Potatoes

Plant your chitted first earlies into the ground, or potato growbags. If planting them into a trench, tubers should be placed to the depth of 12cm, and 30cm apart.  Keep fleece handy, as frost will damage the emerging foliage, blackening them and possibly killing the tuber. If you’re growing potatoes in growbags, or large containers, place no more than four seeded tubers on a base of 10cm of soil, or compost, and cover over thoroughly. Again, ensure they are kept in a sunny spot, with good drainage.

Fruit

As there’s still a strong possibility of a sharp frost, any flowering or bud-forming fruit trees should be protected by fleece at night. Any frost damage could cause irreversible damage to your budding trees.

If you have strawberry plants, cut away old leaves, tidy the bed and apply a general fertiliser. However, if your strawberry plants are over four years old, or you’re thinking of growing strawberries for the first time, consider ordering bare root varieties.

Once your new plants arrive, place them, roots down, in a few inches of water. With your growing area prepared, plant, water and give them a top-dressing feed. Until they become established, keep fleece handy to protect them from the late frost. Strawberries will grow equally well in containers, pots or hanging baskets.

Raspberries need to be cut. If you have autumn-fruiting varieties, cut down to the base of the plant as this will stimulate the plant to produce new shoots. If you have a summer-fruiting variety, trim the edges to above a bud, and tie-in.

You may find early varieties of forced rhubarb, such as Timperley Early, will now have strong growing stems. These could be ready for harvesting by the end of the month. Once picked, refrain from forcing further as you’ll weaken the crown. Instead, mulch around the crown and leave to rest until next year.

Dig In

If you’ve used well-rotted manure to cover your beds over winter, or green manure, then dig in. To prepare for the growing season ahead, break the matter down until the soil is workable. Ensure any weeds and stones are removed.

March Gardening Advice - if the weather is bad, sow seed varieties in module trays until they're ready to be planted outSow

If you’ve been warming your plots and raised beds with cloches, sheeting or fleece, then you can think about sowing directly into the ground. Early varieties of carrots and beetroot, parsnips, Swiss chard, onions, sprouts and cabbage, are all fit for purpose. With unpredictable weather at this time of year, try to carry out your sowing on a sunny, dry day. Failing that, these seed varieties can also be sown in modules, and kept in cold frames, greenhouses and polytunnels, until you’re ready to plant them out as young plants.

Other Jobs

  • From now until the end of summer, introduce a regular feed to your plants.
  • Reduce water and feed intake on winter plants.
  • Warmer temperatures encourage pests and disease, so check all indoor plants regularly.
  • With new growth, indoor plants may require larger pots. Plant up accordingly.

Mr Fothergill’s Names its New Sweet Pea Capel Manor After Well-Known College and Partner

January 8th, 2019 | News | 0 Comments

Leading sweet pea seed supplier Mr Fothergill’s has introduced a new and exclusive large flowered variety for the forthcoming season which has been named after Capel Manor, as it was to Dr Robert Uvedale, a schoolmaster at the college, to whom Franciscus Cupani sent the first sweet pea seeds to arrive in England, back in 1699.

Sweet Pea Capel Manor has large, frilly two-tone, deep purple-blue blooms that are lightly scented. This classic Spencer type sweet pea will add colour and create perfect displays when planted over trellis or fences. A packet of 20 seeds of Capel Manor is priced at £2.35.

Sweet Pea Capel Manor

Capel Manor College educates new generations of horticulturists offering a range of courses for those who are interested in plants, trees and environment. Mr Fothergill’s has a long-established relationship with the College working together to produce spring and summer display gardens and providing an award for exceptional students every year.

Among other new Sweet Peas introduced in the 2018-2019 season is the gorgeous dwarf and compact Teresa Maureen, with RRP at £2.35 for 20 seeds. This highly scented variety stands out from other Lathyrus odoratus with a mass of small flowers in pink, white and lavender shades.

Sweet Pea Balcony Mixed is a stunning blend of large white frilly blooms with coloured markings in red, orange, pink, blue, purple and magenta. This versatile, scented variety is perfect for large patio pots. A packet of 20 seeds of Balcony Mixed is priced at £2.35.

Sweet Pea Terry Wogan distinguishes itself with an incredible warm salmon rose colour which is more intense on the petal edges. It produces large fragrant blooms that makes it one of the nation’s favourite cultivars.

Sweet Pea Teresa MaureenSweet Pea Balcony MixSweet Pea Terry Wogan

All sweet peas are available from Mr Fothergill’s retail stockists throughout the UK and from the company’s latest Seed Catalogue or online. Visit your local garden centre for the full range or head over to www.mr-fothergills.co.uk.