Hints and Tips for the new year

The weather may be cold, wet and windy, so there will be some days when your best gardening can be done by finding a comfy chair by the fire with a cup of coffee and getting online to order some seed and plant catalogues. 

You can of course do all your browsing online, but there’s something still very appealing about leafing through an old-fashioned paper edition! There are lots of new varieties to try and we will try to pick out some good ones in our blog as the year continues.

Lawns

Should your lawn or lawns be getting too much for you apart from mowing perhaps, there are a number of national companies who specialise in providing a regular monthly treatment for fertilizing, weed control etc.

Flowers

Should you start begonias from seed, they are not the easiest as they have to be started in a heated propagator in a greenhouse in a tray on the surface of a quality, firmed compost as they need light to germinate. Its so easy on a bright, windy day for the surface to dry out killing the germinating seed. A good tip then is to cover the seed with a light covering of fine grade horticultural vermiculite, which not only absorbs moisture and releases it gradually as vapour around the seed, but also lets the light through for the seed to germinate. Always water from below the tray.

Vegetables

Sowing early broad beans or peas? A few weeks before you intend to sow, warm up the soil with cloches or black plastic laid down the row. Alternatively, sow in the greenhouse and plant out later.

Fruit

Are the yields from your strawberry patch declining? Experts say this happens three years onwards from planting as virus builds up in the plants. Think about re-planting, but choose a different site. Why not plant up a new patch this year and dispense with the old one the following one – that way you maintain cropping.

Happy New Gardening Year!

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