Gardening Tips Week Ending April 4rth 2014.
Gardening Tips Week Ending April 5th 2013.
Tips For Week Ending April 1st 2011
At last the weather is improving and the gardens have started to
come alive with lovely Spring bulbs. We have two lovely clumps of Dwarf
Tulips that came out before the Daffodils next to them, which have only
just, suddenly started opening. I think they must have overslept!
of our established shrubs havenít started shooting yet, but we are
leaving them a bit longer to see if they are going to come back to life.
are making good use of the plastic milk containers by washing them and
putting one or two holes in the bottom before sinking them into the
ground, next to the trench, where the Runner Beans are to be grown. Then
when we water we will pour the water into the milk bottles so that it
will go straight down to the roots instead of all over the ground and
compacting it. Watering deeply like this should also help to keep the
slugs from coming to eat the tops of the Beans off as the soil wonít
be constantly wet on the surface. You donít have to use milk bottles
as any large plastic pop, or squash bottles can be used the same way.
another couple of weeks Sweet Peas can be planted out, but watch out for
slugs as they love them as well as beans.
flowers seeds should be in by now and germinating. Hardy annuals can be
sown thinly inside in modules, or some can be sown thinly in situation
if the soil is fine and weed free.
can go in now and they should be firmed in so that birds canít pull
them out, but do not completely cover them. If their old brown tops are
long they should be trimmed back so that the birds arenít tempted to
pull them! Towards the end of the month Tomatoes can go out into a cold
greenhouse. When you plant them though, do not be tempted to use the
same grow-bags, compost, or soil that last years plants grew in, in case
there is any infection.
sowing flat seeds such as Cucumbers, Squash, Courgettes and Marrow they
shouldnít be put flat in the compost as they are prone to rot. Instead
they should be placed on edge in the compost. None of the different
types of Bean seeds are so bad, but even these will often do better on
sowing seeds I like to sprinkle Pearlite instead of fine compost over
the seeds, because if your eyesight is poor like mine, the young
seedlings show up better against the white when they emerge and make it
a bit easier to see them. Be careful though when opening a new bag of
Pearlite as it is very dusty.
you lined your greenhouse with bubble polythene last year for the
Winter, it should be removed now to allow plenty of light in which is
needed for the rapidly growing young plants.
trailing and upright Begonias should be sprouting quite well and ready
for planting into baskets and tubs, but donít put them outside without
protection too early in case of late frosts.
tips week ending April 2nd 2010
Things are looking better now after a late start. Bulbs are coming
into flower everywhere and the birds are busy singing, nest building and
feeding themselves up. A lady came to cut my hair this week and I put my
hair clippings out on the grass, but they were gone very quickly, so
some little birds have fur lined nests to keep them warm. Waste not want
or Dog Woods should be cut back very hard as it is the new stems and new
growth that colour up, not the old and Summer flowering Clematis should
also be cut down low as well. Summer flowering bulbs can be planted now
and if you had Hyacinths in pots and they have finished flowering they
can be planted in the garden, but do remember to leave the foliage on to
go on feeding the bulbs to make next years flowers.
you havenít already tidied up last years border plants such as the big
showy red Seedums, they can be cut back now, along with all the other
Herbaceous plants, to let the new shoots see the light.
Trim and tidy Alpines and Winter flowering Heathers as well.
is the time to think about putting in many of your vegetable plants as
packs of young seedlings are available in garden centres. Do remember
though that some are tender. However, we did see some Tomato plants for
sale in a covered walkway, but the sides were open and the plants could
have got frosted unless they were covered with fleece at night. If the
leaves of any Tomato plants are very dark or look nearly black then
donít buy them. Indeed if the leaves of any plant donít look in the
best of health then donít buy them.
the ground has started to warm up it is time to plant Onions sets and
shallots and sow many more vegetable seeds. Some seeds, like Beetroot
and Carrots, are best sown directly in prepared ground, but ďCarrot
root flyĒ can attack the young Carrot plants as they develop. Covering
the ground with a strip of polythene pegged down round the Carrots will
keep Carrot root fly out, or you may prefer to put alternately a row of
Onions, then Carrots, then Onions, etc. Both will benefit as the Carrots
are said to deter Onion Fly and the Onions deter Carrot Root Fly.
Saw Fly is another pest that can easily be deterred. The year before
last they stripped my bush of leavers almost overnight, so last year I
put some of the tough, black ground cover membrane down, cut a slit in
it so that I could spread it tightly round the stem and then weighed the
membrane down with stones. Of course there is a spray you can use
instead if it is easier for you.
Beans can be started off in the Green house, or cold frame now, with the
seeds planted eye side down. The seed of Courgettes and Squash are best
sown on edge if you want to grow them because otherwise they have a
tendency to rot.
vegetable plants, there are plenty of young bedding plants about now as
well, but most of them must be kept inside for a while yet. If you want
to make an early start, hanging baskets can be planted up, but must not
be put outside for some weeks. When planting mine I like to add, a few
water retaining crystals as they do help and I also add some slow
the garden centres are full of Pansies, Primroses and Bellis that look
very nice and cheerful and make a splash of colour for a while, but do
remember that Bellis, which belong to the Daisy family, are not
thatís all for now.
Tips Week Ending April 4th 2009
seem to be a lot of discounted Summer flowering bulbs about at the
moment. The Dwarf Tulips in the garden have been very good, but taller
ones are better planted between shrubs to give them a little protection
from the wind. Early flowering Forsythias are making lovely splashes of
bright yellow along with the red Flowering Currants and we have a white
Flowering Currant that is flowering although it was a small one only put
in last year, as well as a smaller yellow one.
centres are really full of young bedding and vegetable plants now.
Tomatoes should be all right in a cold greenhouse, but if a very hard
frost is forecast and you have no heater to put on, put an old fine
meshed net curtain, or a sheet of newspaper, over them. If Geraniums,
Sorry, Zonal Pelargoniums, are growing strongly you can take a few
cuttings off them. The cuttings should be 2-3 inches long and have any
bottom or large leaves taken off, but do not use rooting powder. I
usually put Silver Sand on top of the compost and as the cuttings are
pushed in they take some sand with them in to the holes.
is almost time to plant up your hanging baskets, but if you do, donít
hang them outside yet because we are still having some cold nights.
Traditionally Sphagnum moss was used to line hanging baskets and looked
very natural with plants pushed in half way up, which isnít easy to do
with many liners.
Migrant workers used to collect the moss mainly off the Welsh mountains,
but they started grumbling saying they werenít being paid enough. This
is going back about 25 years now, so alternatives had to be found. One
year, when we had the garden centre, there was no moss at all, but my
husband managed to get some off cuts of carpet felt and cut we 60 or 70
pieces, which had to be done with heavy scissors, to line the baskets
that customers had ordered. That was hard work, but gradually more
different types of liners started to become more available and more
to plants; Courgette, Cucumber, outdoor Tomato, Aubergine and most other
seeds can be sown in the next few weeks, and a trench if not already
done, can be made ready for planting Runner Beans. I usually put a
fairly thin layer of newspaper, then a layer of compost, some slow
release fertiliser and water retaining crystals and then top up with
compost. After all of this it is ready for the young Runner Bean plants
to go in at the end of May.
Thatís All For Now.
Hints April 1st 2006
Another month has gone by and it is nice to have daylight a bit
longer, but I have noticed the trees are not leafing up yet, not even
the Hawthorn which was starting to flower in April last year. Bulbs are
coming through though and I have a pot of Scillas on the patio that have
little blue flowers, a bit like a Blue Bell, but the flowers edge is
slightly frilled. The pretty red Dwarf Tulips are also coming into
flower. Most of the Hebes in the garden look alright, but if any have got
burnt with the frost and cold wind, give them another week or two and
then cut back to green wood.
early April Sweet Pea plants can be stood out in a sheltered spot,
against the house wall is a good place. They will harden off, then be ready
for planting out about the third week in April. Tomatoes should be all
right in a cold green house then as well. If a hard frost is forecast
just drop, either a piece of horticultural fleece, an old net curtain, or
a sheet of newspaper over your tomatoes, but not polythene.
lot of very pretty Primroses are now on sale with some beautiful colours
amongst them, but harden them off before planting out as they have had
some form of shelter to keep the flowers and leaves clean and to bring
on the bushes in the garden are starting to break but spring is a little
late this year. A sign that it is now coming can be seen with the birds
getting very active building their nests. It is lovely to hear them
singing as they sound so cheerful.
Well all for now, Cheerio
Tips Week Ending April 5th.
Hello folks another monthís gone by and everything seems to be flowering early. I have a white flowering currant that is out now and looks nice by the side of an evergreen Viburnum Tinus. I found it on one plant hunting trip along with a yellow one which are different from the usual red ones. If you want a change from bedding plants there is a wide choice of Summer flowering bulbs which can be grown in tubs or planted in the garden. If you have heavy clay soil and want lilies of which there are some lovely ones about, when planting them it is wise to put a handful of grit under each one for drainage, but most other bulbs will be alright.
do grow a lot of Geraniums each year and fill a nicely raised round bed
which I cut out of the lawn about 4 years ago. I usually start my
Geraniums in the house by buying the plugs and just potting them on, but
this year I am growing some from seed. The seed is quite easy to handle
with the aid of a magnifier and needs starting in early December. I have
now put the Geraniums in a cold greenhouse, but I have covered them with
Horticultural Fleece. The Fleece may seem expensive to start with, but
it will last for 3 or 4 years with care and if it gets a bit dirty you
can hand wash it carefully as it will soon drip dry. Whatever you do
donít cover plants with Polythene as if it is left on all day it will
sweat and cause Mildew on your plants.
son and I have taken some prickly shrubs, (Pyracantha, Berberris and
Eleagnus) out of the garden this year as I canít see the prickly bits
when I am tidying up and I have to keep getting him to dig thorns out of
my fingers. We are experimenting with small growing fruit trees in place
of the prickles in view of the success of the Brown Turkey Fig last year
that produced about 40 good sized juicy fruit. Some of the fruit trees
are on dwarfing root stock that is ideal for a fairly small garden, such
as the little Miniature Apple. We have planted an Apricot and a Peach
against a South facing fence along with a Kiwi and a small Olive tree in the hope
of a good Summer, but have also planted a fully hardy Mulberry and
Medlar, which are both old fashioned fruit trees that have gone out of
favour. Along with Gooseberries, Red and White Currants, a Thornless
Blackberry, Red Raspberries, we have planted a yellow Raspberry,
Blueberry, Bay Trees and also put a Cranberry in the fishpond.
We are trying other weird fruits including a Josta Berry, Persimum and
the supposedly hardy Chinese import, a Goji Berry.
We are trying other weird fruits including a Josta Berry, Persimum and the supposedly hardy Chinese import, a Goji Berry.
back to the usual now as there is plenty of potting up to do, Tomato
seedlings should be ready to be potted into 3 Ĺ inch pots now and
onions about the second week of April. Hereís hoping the weather will
be settled by then.
that's all for now.
Gardening Tips week ending April 30th
It has been lovely Spring weather, but very dry. When we do have
some rain it is an idea to put a good layer of mulch, such as bark
chippings or coco chips round shrubs and herbaceous plants. It is best
to give the mulch a watering as well because this will keep the ground
moist and then the plants shouldnít need watering for a long time.
any flowering shrubs such as Forsythia and Flowering Current have
finished cut them back and tidy them up.
should be growing now, as should Garlic, Fennel and many more early
vegetables. Spring Onions, Radishes and early Lettuce can be sown
directly outside now as well. It is too early for Runner Beans yet
although I have seen them for sale. Tomatoes can be set out in a cold
greenhouse but it is still a bit early to put them outside yet. If your
greenhouse has been lined with bubble polythene for the winter it should
be taken down now to let plenty of light in.
donít use insect sprays in the greenhouse as there are other
alternatives. Some people grow Marrigolds in their greenhouse to prevent
aphids, but I prefer to hang up the sticky yellow cards that catch
aphids and flies. The cards do not trap our friendly Lady birds though.
to harden off bedding plants by standing them against the house wall,
but if a frost is forecast drop some horticultural fleece, or old net
curtains over them if you can, and if you only have a few, pop them back
in the greenhouse for the night.
it has been so dry lately I gave my Daffodils and early flowering bulbs
a liquid foliar feed instead of the normal dry, slow release, fertilizer
this year because it might have been sitting there for weeks until it
rained and got washed in else. Liquid Organic Seaweed is one such,
ďeasy to mix and use,Ē fertilizer.
waste water by watering the lawn as it doesnít need it, because even if
it goes brown, it will soon recover when it rains properly. Watering only
encourages surface roots instead of making them go down to look for
water. This means that when it is dry it will suffer more than it would
otherwise if you had not watered it. Donít forget to put water in a
clean dish out for the birds though and possibly a small bowl for them
to bath in.
thatís all for now.