Category Archives: Plant

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How To Grow Veg

When you receive your plants they are at a stage in their development when they’re itching to get growing once they’re planted in the veg plot.
Read our guide for planting so you give them the best start once in the ground.

1) The first thing to check is the suitability of the site. Is it as sunny as the crop demands, overly exposed or affected by wind tunnels. If you’re confident that you’ve ticked the check-list then you can collect your spade and fork for the all-rewarding planting.

2) Prepare the area before planting by adding bulky compost or manure into the soil and mixing in to improve both the nutrient content in the soil as well as the soil texture.

3) Raking the soil over before sowing, will create a nice ‘fluffy’ bed so that the roots of developing plants can easily penetrate the soil so the plant can get its share of water and nutrients.

4) Plant young vegetables quickly and so you are not exposing the roots to the sun for any longer that is necessary.

5) Firm the soil around the plants so that if you tug the leaves, they provide enough resistance not to move.

6) Water the area with a watering can fitted with a rose (sprinkler- effect) so you get water to the soil without disturbing it too much.

7) Remember to add a label with the crop name and date of planting as a useful guide and record for future planning.

 

Aftercare

Once you’ve planted your young vegetables, it pays to keep an eye on them as they are at a vulnerable stage when fresh in the open ground.

Weather

Late frosts are all too familiar to vegetable growers and it’s not unheard of to experience a frost as late as the end of May. So be very mindful of this and consult the weather forecast whenever you can. You can protect young plants with glass cloches or plastic structures. If you have a row of young plants it may be more economical to cover them with horticultural fleece, on evenings before a possible frost.

Water and food

Water twice daily, in the mornings and the afternoon. At this time of the day the young plants are most-ready to take up moisture and nutrients for good growth. Watering in the midday sun can scorch the leaves of some crops and a lot of the water is lost through evaporation rather than getting to the plant roots.
Feed plants with a general liquid fertiliser that you can add to one of the day’s waterings. Apply a high-nitrogen feed for leafy crops such as lettuce and cabbage, and a feed high in potassium for fruiting crops such as tomatoes and beans.

Protection against pests

Young plants tend to have leaves that are sweet and tender and this is a delicacy for pests such as slugs and snails. There are a number of slug and snail controls you can use, chemical (pellets) or organic (copper rings), depending on your preference. Birds such as pigeons are partial to lush green leaves too so netting might be necessary to avoid damage.
And mice are fans of seeds that they can unearth – sweetcorn and sweet peas are favourites for them – again protective netting may prevent this degree of rodent damage.

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Garden Care

How to simplify garden care

Garden care doesn’t have to take up all your spare time. Perhaps the main reason some new gardeners fail is that they don’t pay attention to the garden often enough.

You need to know the how, why and when of taking care of your garden, but you also need to stroll through your garden every few days and just look around. That way you will notice if seedlings are parched or the hostas are getting eaten by slugs.

Garden care

The key is to discover problems in time to do something about them – before they get out of control and turn into major chores that take over your weekend. Here are links to answers to many garden care questions.

Basics – climate, tools, shopping for plants

Buying Plants

Beginner gardening: Helpful tips if you’re just starting out

Hardiness: Zone information, zone mapsEssential garden tools: What you need to have

Buying plants: Finding a good garden center with quality plants

Soil – the foundation

Soil basics: Dealing with sand and clay

Soil preparation: How to remove grass and weeds before planting

Soil in the shade garden: How to improve it and deal with tree roots

Compost how-to: A treat for your soil and plants

Soil pH: What it means and why it’s important

Perennial garden care

Mulching: Reduce garden care chores

Organic gardening

Gardening organically: The natural way to grow plants and garden safely

Organic fertilizer: Feeding your plants naturally

Perennial gardening

How to plant perennials: Step-by-step instructions

perennial garden care

Deadheading 101: Which plants to cut back and when, techniques

Dividing perennials: Why, how and when to do this job

Easy-care perennials: Plants that don’t need staking or frequent division

Watering the garden: Making every drop count

Lawn care tips

Lawn care: Try these lower maintenance techniques for a greener lawn

 

Garden edging: How to keep turf grass out of planting beds

Dogs and lawns: How to minimize problems with your pet

Tree and shrub care

How to plant a tree: Step-by-step instructions and care tips

Pruning: A useful real world guide for every gardener

Winter protection: Cold weather tips for trees and shrubs

 

Low maintenance lawn care

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