Sunday, 27 September 2015

Garden Checklist ...

Good Morning!
Am I the only one who is starting to feel the chill of Autumn all of a sudden this week?
This morning we were greeted by mist, a chilly breeze and illuminated cobwebs all over the garden. I don't mind though, it is one of my favourite times of the year.
Back to today's post and here's a few things you can be doing in your garden over the coming days.

1. Greenhouse - This week's chill has kick started me into getting the Greenhouse ready for the changes in temperature. We've had lows of 6c on a few nights so I've been putting up some insulation in the Greenhouse this weekend. The best way to do this is by Bubblewrap, simply fix to the the inside of the Greenhouse and it will help keep the temperatures inside a few degrees higher than outside over the colder months. I also have an electric heater that is set to come on if it drops below 5c which if you are wanting to over winter tender plants, is something that you need.

2. Winter Bedding - The Viola's I received a few weeks ago have been potted on into larger 9cm pots from trays this week. Another thing you can do to help your bedding plants produce stronger growth is to pinch off any of the first flush of flower heads. It may seem harsh but it will help focus the plants energy on stronger roots and a larger bushier plant. 

3. Onions & Garlic - If you are planning on growing either of these, now is the time to plant your Autumn sets. When planting make sure you plant the onion sets with the top part peeking through the top of the soil and the Garlic about an inch below the surface. Make sure that when you plant both of these the pointy end is at the top. 
TIP - If you want to plant these but currently have no space, you can plant the bulbs in module trays, leave over winter, then plant them out in the Spring.

4. Cuttings - If like me you took some Cuttings a few months ago which were potted on once they'd rooted, they should be ready for their final pots before Winter. 
For example this Pelargonium cutting was potted on into a small pot about 2 months ago and when I checked it this week the roots had pushed through to the bottom. I have now potted it into a small Terracotta pot for the winter in a mix of John Innes no.2 and Grit.

5. Potted Plants - On the subject of 'Potting On' now is also a good time to freshen up those plants that live permanently in pots. I like to refresh their compost every 2 or so years and maybe pot them on into a pot which is the next size up. For plants that are already in the largest pot possible you can root prune them.
For plants that live in pots I use John Innes no.3 with a small amount of slow release fertiliser mixed in. Don't forget to add some crocs in the bottom to help aid drainage. I like to cover the top with a layer of Grit to reduce weeds / moss growing on the top and to help keep moisture in during the warmer months.

Abutilon - Megapotamicum

Thanks for stopping by, don't forget you can find all the previous Checklists on the page tab above.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Garden Checklist ...

Good Morning!
As promised at the start of the week I am back today with my Checklist!
Here's some bits and bobs you can be getting on with in your garden ...

1. Roses - Now is a good time to take cuttings of your favourite Roses!
First off you need to make sure that you select a fresh healthy stem from this years growth to use as your cutting material. Make your cutting approx 25cm long, cutting with your secateurs above a bud at the top (removing the shoot tip) and just below a bud at the bottom. You can insert 3 or 4 cuttings into the same pot filled with gritty compost, leaving in a shady spot for about a year until the cuttings have rooted.

2. Leaf Mould - Leaf mould is fantastic for mulching plants, Hellebores love it, and it's also great to include when making your own Compost mixes. However it's not that easy to come by and the best way of getting some is by making it yourself! All you need to do is to collect fallen leaves and place them into a tied black bin bag, with some holes pierced through by a garden fork. Store somewhere out of view, e.g. behind a shed or Greenhouse and in about a year all of the leaves will have rotted down. If you want to collect pine needles it's a good idea to keep them in a separate bag as these will adjust the acidity level. Making them great for plants that need Ericacious conditions!

3. Winter Baskets - Yes it's time to start planning your Winter Baskets! You will have noticed that Summer baskets are starting to look a little tired now so it's time to make your mind up about what to put in them next! I always like to plant up a variety of Bedding and small Shrubs to provide varied interest. This year I am thinking of using some small Conifers, Broze Carex, Skimmia, large Cyclamen, Primroses and Violas ... to name just a few!
Winter baskets can also be used as "Evergreen Baskets" where they provide interest all year, only needing a tidy up every so often and the compost replacing each year to two, depending on what you use. I have some myself containing Ivy, Box and Primroses, with some Dwarf Daffs thrown in to. However I am tempted to replace the box with small conifers sometime soon.
This is what they looked like in February this year when I planted them up.

4. Under Cover - Now that the temperate is dropping it's time to bring tender plants under cover, such as citrus and potted Agapanthus. Check the plants over for any signs of pests before bringing in. If storing in an un-heated greenhouse it's always a good idea to insulate it with bubblewrap to help keep heat in. Before you do this however it's wise to give the GH a good clean to help get rid of any pests that want to over winter in there too!

Thanks for stopping by, don't forget you can find all the previous Checklists on the page tab above.

Monday, 14 September 2015

It's Time To ... Plant Spring Bulbs!

Good Morning!
I thought I would give you a little break from the Checklist today (don't worry though it will be back later in the week) and write a post about something we all need to be doing right now. Planting Spring Bulbs! If your a little unsure on how exactly to do this then hopefully today's post will be of some help.
I planted my 'Narcissus - Thalia' Bulbs yesterday and this is the way that I chose to do it.

If you are planting some in your Borders then it's always best to dig a deep hole where the bulb can be planted about 2 - 3 times the depth of it's height. 
You can plant them at a distance of your choosing, but try to keep a width of at-least 1 bulb between them.
Ideally bulbs like to be in a well drained soil, which reduces the risk of them rotting. If you are unsure on whether you have this type of soil, add some grit to act as drainage when planting.

TIP - When deciding how to plant them, odd numbers is always more aesthetically pleasing. Also if you simply throw the bulbs onto the ground before planting, the positions that they land in tend to look more natural rather than a planned layout.

It's a good idea to plant your Nariccus bulbs in the Autumn, ideally by the end of September. 
When buying bulbs in person make sure you check them for any signs of mould or disease, if like me you have chosen to order online, then always try to buy from a good, well known supplier.

TIP - For bulbs such as Tulips it's a good idea to plant them in November, which reduces the rick of them getting the disease Tulip Fire.

Once you have finished planting outside, if you have any bulbs left over then you can plant them into pots to save them going to waste. 
Seeing as these are not their final pots (I will make my mind up about where to plant them in the Spring) I have used a mix of Multi - Purpose Compost with some added grit. Place the bulb at the bottom of the pot to maintain the ideal height then simply cover with the compost mix and a layer of grit on top. 
These can then be left over Winter while you decide where they can be planted out next year.

I hope this post has been helpful, thanks for popping by!

Monday, 7 September 2015

Garden Checklist ...

Good Morning!
I know it's been absolutely AGESSSSS since I last posted and I certainly didn't plan it to be. What with work, course work and rubbish weather I haven't really had the chance to get much done in the Garden recently apart from the occasional dead-heading over the past few weeks.
However I'm back today with my Checklist and a few other photo's for you!

1. Feeding - What with the low temperatures this Summer my Tomatoes haven't really got going until recently. There's still a few weeks left for them to ripen so don't despair too much! Carry on feeding them once a week and remove excess foliage to allow plenty of light at the fruits. If the weather turns and we have yet more cooler days keep an eye on your watering and make sure you don't give them too much.
You can also give your Chilli's a feed to help give them a bit of a boost too.

2. Pests & Foliage -Keep an eye out for Pests and Foliage problems. For example just yesterday I spotted Viburnum Beetle all over my Viburnum Tinus, the little blighters!
In a GH you may come across Aphids which can be dealt with simply by squashing them.
Make sure you remove any yellow / brown or mouldy leaves on plants as this can help spread grey mould. Don't forget to keep an eye out for Caterpillars too which can be found hiding between leaves!

3. Winter Bedding - If like me you ordered some Winter Bedding and planted it up in trays a few weeks ago they will soon be ready for potting on. All you need to do is pot them on into bigger trays to all the plant to grow and develop a good root structure before eventually being planted out.

4. Plan Ahead - You may not want to hear it but now is a good time to take note of what did and what didn't perform well this year. This will help you decide what to have in your garden next year. For example I really liked the Cosmos that I grew this year and although I have decided to cut back on the amount of Annuals next year, if there is only one that I grow it will be this one!
'Cosmos - Double Click Snow Puff'

My 'Agapanthus - Queen Mum' will also be sticking around as after sharing no flowers last year it made up for that with not one but three giant blooms this time around, they haven't stopped flowering for weeks! I have the plant in a pot next to the back door and is at a perfect height to greet me at eye level every time I go past.

5. Cyclamen - If you have been looking after last years Cyclamen then now is the time to start giving them a water after their Summer break.
TIP - With Cyclamen it's always a good idea to water them from below instead of the top as this can cause the corn to rot if it's left wet.

6. Bulbs - Now is the time to start thinking about buying and planting next years Spring bulbs!
As you know I bought 60 - 'Narcissa Thalia' which all need planting in the borders. I'm hoping to do this soon when I give the borders a good mulch!

Thanks for stopping by, don't forget you can find all the previous Checklists on the page tab above.