Monthly Archives: May 2020

  • Hints and Tips for June

     

    The days are longer now and the sun higher with temperatures rising, so don’t neglect the watering.

    Watering

    In dry conditions water in the evening and don’t just spray round with the hosepipe. Watering like this just evaporates the following morning and does not reach plant roots. Rather, choose different areas of the garden each time and give it a good soaking. Don’t forget that house plants use more water in the summer.

     

    Grow your own

    If space is a problem for you, you can grow tasty, healthy leaf salad mixtures in seed trays or pots on the window sill or on the patio. Leafy vegetables can lose 70% of their vitamins in as little as 2-3 hours – so it makes sense to ‘grow your own.’

     

    When choosing Runner Beans, try the new Runner/French bean crosses. They extend the picking season by cropping earlier and later and produce larger crops. Try ‘Snowstorm’ (white-flowered), or ‘Firestorm’ (red flowered).

    If you have not chosen your Tomatoes yet, look for ‘Grafted’ plant varieties online with seed companies or in garden centres. They are more disease resistant and produce much higher yields.

     

     

    Don’t forget to feed plants.

    Look for ‘slow release’ granular fertilizers. These are formulated to supply the plants requirements right through the summer – they certainly make life easier!

    Remove the ‘runners’ from strawberry plants, they take energy from the plant and reduce yields.

     

    Bloom and Bloom

    ‘Dead heading‘ bedding plants can be an arduous task, but a necessary one to keep the plants blooming. Plant breeders are coming to the gardeners' aid by introducing varieties that do not produce seed yet continue to try to, hence they bloom and bloom until the first frosts – and you don’t have to ‘dead head’. Look for Begonia Non-Stop or Marigold Zenith as examples. We are all for making gardening easier!

     

     


  • It's Mow-hican May!

    Give your lawn a Mow-hican haircut this May and help boost the bees and wildlife in your garden.

    The idea is to leave a strip of longer grass when you cut your lawn this month, allowing nectar-rich flowers to grow – providing valuable nectar for our friends the bees and other pollinating wildlife.

    Superlawns

    Plantlife, a wildlife charity, is promoting the Mohican style of grass cut this May explaining that typical lawns can support over 200 different types of wildflowers. The average lawn can support 400 bees a day however ‘superlawns’ cut leaving some longer strips of grass can support over 4,000 bees!

    And it’s not just the long grass that is supporting those all-important nectar-producing wildflowers. By having both shorter and longer areas of grass in your garden tall species of wild plants can grow in the longer grass alongside short species perfectly suited to growing in shorter grass – thereby maximising the number of different sorts of wildflowers in your lawn.

    Short back and sides

    Wildflowers such as the humble daisy, self-heal, birds-foot trefoil, white clover and dandelions thrive in shorter grass – continually producing lots of flowers on shorter stems. These low growing plants produce lots of nectar – this increases when their flowers get cut off by the mower blades stimulating them to produce more flowers – just don’t cut them too often. Plantlife advises a monthly mow on the short grass areas for best results.

    Mow-hican long grass

    The heroes of long grass include flowers such as oxeye daisies, cow parsley, field scabious, cuckoo flowers and meadow buttercups.
    Long grass supports a much larger range of flowers however these tall species take several months to flower and produce fewer flowers on taller stems. Therefore, avoid trimming the longer grass areas too frequently – only once every two months or ideally leave these longer grass areas to grow uncut over the summer months if practical.

    Every Flower Counts

    So why not take part in Mow-hican May and do your bit to support the bees and local wildlife in your garden! Join in with Plantlife to record all the different types of flowers found in British Lawns this May by taking their on-line survey #veryflowercounts – you can find more information here: https://www.plantlife.org.uk/everyflowercounts/

    And don’t forget to upload photos of your Mow-hican lawns onto our social media platforms – we would love to see your lawn’s May haircut

     


     

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