This is default featured slide 1 title
This is default featured slide 2 title
This is default featured slide 3 title
 

Ways to Germinating Seeds

germinating-seeds# Buy Your Seeds

One of the great perks of growing your own plants and vegetables from seed is the fact that you’ll have so many choices to choose from – and you’ll be able to find the perfect seeds to suit you and your garden online or at your local garden centre. Remember to take note of your environment and pick seeds wisely, keeping in mind the environment you have on offer. You will need to pay particular attention to the seeds requirements –look out for water requirements, soil temperature, nutritional requirements, and desirable lighting for each species you consider.

# Learn About Your Seeds

Now, that you’ve got your seeds ready – you will need to plant them. It is possible to plant seeds both straight away directly in your garden soil or alternatively in containers that can then be transported outside further down the line. This decision depends hugely on the specie you wish to plant as some require more sensitive care than others. To do so, you will need to know the ideal growing conditions for your plant; the germination time, and also the earliest time from which you can transport your plant outside.

Garden soil can contain high levels of disease and insects that can cause harm to your seeds. Therefore, it is the safer option in most cases to start your seeds off indoors in ‘seed and cutting’ compost. Obviously, these conditions will vary from plant to plant, so make sure you check thoroughly before beginning the process.

# Pick Your Container

You will need a container that is two to three inches deep and features holes at the bottom, for drainage purposes. The width of the container can vary – it all depends on how many seeds you wish to plant. However, remember to ensure you leave enough room for the seeds to germinate. You can buy trays from your local garden centre or online, or you can even use an egg carton. Now that you have your container ready, you will need to line your seeds with your growing medium. Do not fill your container right to the top with this combination, instead leave approximately half an inch at the top. Lightly wet with water to provide a good environment for the seeds to grow in. However, do note that soil-less mixture contains zero nutritional value so it may be a good idea use a seed and cutting compost.

You can purchase propagators which are designed for growing multiple fruit or vegetables from seed. These containers are perfect for the task at hand.

# Check Whether Or Not You Should Soak Your Seeds

Some seeds may require soaking before you plant them, whereas others do not. Make sure to check all the information on the packet as previously mentioned. If your seeds do require soaking, you will need to do so for several hours before adding to your growing medium.

# Time It Right

Normally, you should plant your seeds between 4-6 weeks prior to moving them outside, however species do vary. Also, you may be required to plant your seeds indoors earlier than predicted or indeed later, all dependant on the weather at the time.

# Provide Heat And Lighting

Many seeds do not need lighting to germinate while others do. You may need a source of heat and light as sunlight will most likely not suffice. Pick up a plant lamp to keep your seeds happy with lots of lights and heat. Please note: You may use a fluorescent lamp without trouble but you will need a white bulb to provide the right heat and light for your seeds without burning them. A heat mat may also be a good idea for plants that require extra heat.

# Keep The Growing Medium Moist

We suggest covering your container lightly with plastic sheeting/damp newspaper. This will act as a way to regulate and trap moisture and temperature. This is important as if your seeds dry out they will not germinate properly.

Once you see the first shoot poking through, you will need to move the container into a sunny area. Ensure that the room temperature is above 70°F (21°C) and in bright light so that your plants can grow. You can now remove the plastic/paper covering, but ensure you keep the seedling moist by watering throughout the day. We advise you to water in the early morning and in the afternoon, but not any later in the day – as doing so can mean the water sits on top of the growing medium and can cause problems such as mould that are best avoided. At this point it is also important to feed your seedlings with the correct fertiliser once they’ve gotten a few inches tall.

# Transporting The Seedlings

First, if many of the seeds germinate, it is best to thin out the less-strong seedlings, so that the stronger ones can grow even more so. Aim to not exceed three seedlings per section of the container/egg box. Following this, when growing season starts you will be able to move your seedlings to larger containers outside. Continue to follow the instruction considering soil, lighting and drainage and enjoy.

The Proper ways to Watering Plants

watering-plantsOrdinary precipitation will keep most plants developing in open air quaint little inns glad for the majority of the year. Just in hot, dry summers supplementary watering is required. Plants developing in pots, hanging crate, tubs, window boxes and different holders will require watering routinely.

# Water roots not surface

In the event that your garden is experiencing dry spell, water plants altogether once per week as opposed to damping the surface each day. Every day spills that simply wet the surface simply urge roots to create close to the surface. On the off chance that you sink a pot or tube next to plants the water you convey will go a few centimeters subterranean level where it goes instantly to roots bypassing the surface.

You can get a specialized extension to convert any standard hose into a versatile and useful watering device. They have a switch for either watering only or watering and feeding, and a rotating rose head that gives three different spray patterns; a soft and easy sprinkler for delicate flowers; a high volume jet for established shrubs, plants and lawns and a flat wide spray pattern for beds and borders.

# Plants growing in outdoor beds and borders

Shrubs, trees and herbaceous plants: Most permanent trees, shrubs, fruit bushes and plants that appear every year have a good deep root system. You can help water retention of the soil with a

 mulch 

of organic matter applied around the root area each year. This reduces waste from surface evaporation and will gradually be pulled down below the surface by worms to increase the water-holding capacity of all soils. Apply in early spring when soils are thoroughly wet.

Flowering bedding plants: Flowering bedding plants and vegetables growing in garden soil will need watering occasionally as they have a limited root system. Depending on the weather, they may need watering once a week in a normal year, and more frequently in a summer drought.

Fruit and vegetables: Moist soil conditions are top priority when plants are small and again when the crop is swelling. See that seedlings and small plants are well watered just after they have been transplanted. If you add a dose of soluble plant food to the watering can you will also be feeding the young plants when they need it most. Watering fruit plants and bushes as the fruit swell is beneficial if rainfall is lacking. Some vegetables including runner beans, tomatoes, marrows, courgettes and sweetcorn will produce a heavier crop if they are given supplementary watering.

# Plants growing in pots and containers

Flowering bedding plants: Plants growing in hanging baskets, pots, window boxes and other containers will need watering as the compost dries out. In the height of summer this may mean watering daily. To reduce evaporation from terracotta pots, line them with polythene before planting. Planting in good potting compost will help watering because the material will absorb twice as much water as ordinary multi-purpose composts. For thorough watering a saucer below each pot will retain water for some time and be gradually absorbed by the compost from below. Tip out any excess that sits in the saucer for more than 1 hour.

Vegetables: Plants that appreciate good drainage and regular feeding will produce a good crop when grown in pots and containers. Tomatoes, chilli pepper, sweet peppers, French beans and aubergines are guaranteed performers when grown in an assisted vegetable growing kit. While runner beans need a larger container such as a half barrel to provide the cool root run that they prefer. Again use the best compost you can afford and keep the compost moist at all times.

Roses and shrubs: Keep the compost moist at all times as dryness at the roots will tend to encourage powdery mildew to form on rose leaves.

Acid-loving plants: If you are growing rhododendrons, azaleas and other acid loving plants in containers plant them in an ericaceous compost and try to use rain water stored in a water **** to keep the compost moist at all times. Rainwater is naturally acid whereas some drinking water is generally more alkaline. If your kettle furs up, then your tap water is hard and not really suitable for use on acid-loving plants growing in pots.

# Feed your garden in just 15 minutes

Watering patio pots, hanging baskets and flowering garden plants is an essential part of modern-day gardening and most of us have a hosepipe to help with the job. Now it is possible to purchase an extension feeder that can be quickly fitted to the end of any standard hose and turns it into a valuable watering and feeding tool.

These feeder extensions come complete with a free hose connector and is filled with plant food so it is ready to use when you buy it. Features include an on/off trigger set into the easy-grip ergonomic handle with locking device, a switch for either watering only or watering and feeding, and a rotating rose head that gives three different spray patterns; a soft and easy sprinkler for delicate flowers; a high volume jet for established shrubs, plants and lawns and a flat wide spray pattern for beds and borders.

The plant feeding extension is designed to automatically dissolve and dispense soluble plant food and soluble lawn food. Feeding or watering the whole garden in just a few minutes is now effortless and fun – it can take only 15 minutes to treat the average sized garden.

Know more about Pruning Roses

pruning-rosesKnowing when to prune roses is must be a standout amongst the most well-known cultivating pickles ever. To some less experienced planters it may appear to be irrelevant when you choose to make that cut, and in reality, where. Nonetheless, the minute you prune your roses can be the contrast between a solid dependable plant that delivers various buds and blooms, and one that won’t not last the winter.

This chomp measured guide will ideally go some approach to clarifying the significance of rose pruning, dissipating a few myths and help you to better deal with your rose plants.

# Why Do You Need to Prune Roses?

Before we go into when to prune roses and how to prune roses, we should first explain the reasons why it is important to prune roses at all. You might think roses and many plants in general can fend for themselves without much human intervention, and this is true on the whole. However, pruning and other small maintenance tasks can help plants to grow to their optimum and possibly last longer than they would if just left to their own devices.

The act of cutting a rose branch helps the plant to produce a hormone called auxin. This growth hormone is present in the main stem of most plants and pruning sends it to the freshly cut stem and encourages it to produce new shoots.

Pruning roses also helps to control the size and shape of your rose plant while ensuring it’s health and flowering capabilities.

# When to Prune Roses

The majority of roses are pruned between late winter, during February and early March, but this normally depends on your climate and where you are in the UK.

In the south you are safest to prune roses in late February just as the new growth begins on rose plants. If you live in the north and other colder areas of the UK we would recommend waiting until March after last frosts before pruning roses.

If you are deciding when to prune a ground cover rose for example, it is always prudent to wait until after it has finished flowering. Miniature roses or shrubs can be pruned during the summer months.

# Climbing & Rambling Roses Are Different

You can’t tar all rose varieties with the same bush though. Different types of rose will need to be pruned at different times of the year and in slightly different ways.

Climbers are happy with a late autumn and/or early winter pruning to keep them neat and tidy and flowering well. Whereas ramblers prefer pruning in late summer after their flowers have died out.

During autumn and winter there are less leaves on your climbing and rambling rose plants, making it easier to prune more accurately.

# How to Prune Roses

Make a cut up to 5mm above an existing bud with a clean pair of sharp gardening shears, any more than this and your plant might find it difficult to produce new growth from this stem. It is very important to angle your cut away from the plant as this prevents rain water from collecting and dripping towards it causing disease.

If you are looking for an open shape then concentrate your pruning on the outward facing rose buds. If you would prefer an upright growth shape then prune above the inward facing buds.

On an older, well established rose you can afford to use a bit of tough love. Cut out the woody stems that do not produce flowers. You can use a small saw for this if the stems are very thick.

# What if I Don’t Know What Type of Rose I Have?

If you are unable to identify the type of rose plant you are about to prune there are a few ways around your dilemma. Climbing or rambling roses tend to have long stems and you should aim to cut the older woody stems low down at the base of the rose plant.

The smaller rose bushes and shrubs have much more delicate stems and pruning should again be as low to ground level as possible. You can prune newer or greener stems and these bark covered shoots should be cut at the sides.

Either way, if you are in any doubt about when to prune roses, stick to February to March, the most common pruning time for roses.

Split Perennials using These Tips

You can without much of a stretch proliferate herbaceous perennials by isolating them. Just lift the plant, cut it into littler segments and re-plant in very much arranged soil.

You can without much of a stretch spread herbaceous perennials by separating them. Just lift the plant, cut it into littler areas and re-plant in very much arranged soil.

This is a strategy for engendering, as well as an awesome method for reviving drained and exhausted plants that are not performing admirably, keeping them youthful and lively.

The best time to partition most perennials is in fall or early spring or, for a few, quickly subsequent to blooming.

# Fibrous roots

Many herbaceous perennials produce fibrous roots, which are very easy to divide into sections. As they grow, they produce the newest, strongest growth around the edge. The older centre becomes woody, less vigorous and, as a result, is usually best discarded.

Carefully lift the plant with a garden fork or, for smaller plants, a hand fork.

Break off strong, healthy sections from the edge of the plant, or carefully prize them away with a hand fork. Very large plants may have to be divided with a pair of back-to-back garden forks or even cut into sections with a spade.

Replant immediately in well-prepared soil, making the sure they are replanted at the same depth as the plant was originally growing.

Water thoroughly to settle the soil around the roots and again during hot weather for the first few months at least.

# Fleshy roots

Some perennials, including Astilbe, Hosta and Kniphofia (red hot poker), produce fleshy roots that are not easy to pull apart. The best time to divide these is towards the end of their dormant period, when their buds begin to shoot and you can easily see the most suitable sections.

Carefully lift the whole plant with a garden fork and then cut it into sections with a sharp knife. Make sure each division has at least one, well-developed bud, but two, three or more are preferable.

Caring Indoor Plan

Dismissed houseplants may not pass on, but rather at some point or another they can look exceptionally miserable or wiped out, get to be untidy and secured in clean or vermin. Standard thoughtfulness regarding cleaning, vermin control, preparing and trimming will pay good looking profits.

Disregarded houseplants may not kick the bucket, but rather at some point or another they can look extremely pitiful or wiped out, get to be untidy and secured in clean or vermin. Standard consideration regarding cleaning, vermin control, preparing and trimming will pay great looking profits. Consistent prepping ought to incorporate the evacuation of leaves that hint at sickness, have turned yellow or kicked the bucket. With blossoming plants, evacuating blurred sprouts will urge new bloom buds to open and proceed with the show.

# Solving pest problems

A number of pests can attack your houseplants. Common ones include scale insects,whitefly and mealybug. Control can be quick and easy – simply spray an effective insecticide solution onto your plants to protect them for up to 3 weeks. A systemic insecticide spray controls root pests and those on stems and leaves and is watered onto the compost.

# Keep plants clean

Plant leaves that are kept clean and free of dust will absorb all the available light and so ensure your houseplants remain strong and healthy. Dust the leaves of smooth-leaved plants with a soft, damp cloth. Support the leaf with the palm of your hand and gently clean. A hand shower fitted to bath taps is a useful tool for washing down large plants or plants with many small leaves.

Cacti, succulents and hairy-leaved plants should not be sprayed or washed. Instead use a soft, dry brush to remove the dust.

# Add an extra shine

For an extra glossy finish you can find leaf shining products that add a sparkle to your display. Don’t shine hairy-leaved plants, only those with thick, leathery leaves. Only shine mature leaves, not the new ones.

# Room to root

As plants grow, their roots will gradually fill the pot and the plant will need very frequent watering, as there is little free compost available. If you want the plant to get bigger it’s time for a larger pot and repotting.

But flowering houseplants usually flower much better if they are kept slightly potbound, but in time these will probably need repotting too.

# Repotting

The best time to repot houseplants is when they are actively growing – usually in spring, but also in early summer.

  1. Water the plant thoroughly before you start.
  2. Select a pot just one or two sizes bigger than the existing one and put a layer ofPotting Mix into the new pot.
  3. Knock the plant out of the existing pot and place the rootball into the new one.
  4. Fill the space around the rootball with Potting Mix Root Boosting Compost and lightly firm.
  5. Water thoroughly to settle the compost, and then place out of direct sunlight for a few days.

If you don’t want the plant to get bigger, trim off some of the outer roots at stage 3 and and gently scrape off some of the compost. Repot with fresh Potting Mix into the original pot.

Potting Mix Root Boosting Compost is specially designed for houseplant care. It readily absorbs and retains water, but allows free drainage and air retention – essential for strong root growth.

This growing medium is enriched with all the essential nutrients and trace elements to sustain strong, healthy growth for up to 8 weeks, depending on the vigour of the plant. After this regular feeding with a good houseplant fertiliser is important, such as ready-to-use plant food or, for long-term feeding, continuous release plant food.

# Top dressing

Top dressing is ideal for plants that are too big for you to move or which you would rather not disturb. All you do is carefully remove the top inch or two of old compost and replace with fresh Potting Mix Root Boosting Compost and water well.

All about Cactus

Incomprehensible and assorted, it is difficult to give general minding tips to the prickly plant and succulent gathering. Rather, we should start by distinguishing your species. From little and fragile to bigger and all the more striking, there is a desert plant to suit each home. The most ordinarily known identifier of desert flora plants, is their capacity to store water for drawn out stretches of time. Prickly plant are referred to numerous as one of few plants that can make due in the dry situations of pastry land. What individuals don’t know is that it isn’t as easy to take care of a prickly plant as you think.

# Identifying Your Cactus

All types of cacti are succulents, however the defining factor of cacti are there areoles, which are not found in succulents. It is important to identify the specific species of cactus you are planning on keeping. For example, while many succulents grow in low moisture, high temperature, sunny climates, as seen in wild west films accompanied by cowboys and tumble weeds, some succulents actually grow in the rainforest (such as Epiphyllum). Therefore, it is important to be mindful of the native environment in which your succulent thrives, to provide the best possible growing conditions and achieve the best results.

# Different Cactus Types

  • Aporocactus Flagelliformis – Rat’s Tail
  • Cereus Peruvianus – Peruvian Apple
  • Opuntia Microdasys – Bunny Ears
  • Schlumbergera Bridgesii – Christmas
  • Hatiora Gaertneri – Easter Cactus
  • Disocactus Ackermannii – Orchid
  • Echinocactus Grusonii – Golden Barrel Cactus

# Creating the Ideal Environment for Cactus

Once you have identified your cactus type, you need to create the right environment for it. You are looking for an open and free draining pot, this will prevent waterlogging and best recreate the ideal habitat for your succulent. Cactis and succulents can be stored on a window sill all year round in the most part, however certain species such as Rhipsalis need to be positioned in a semi-shade environment, so ensure that you adhere to the requirements of your cactus. In terms of temperature, it is ideal to have a minimum of 8-10°C (46-50°F) at night time.

# Watering & Feeding Your Cactus

The appropriate ways to care for your houseplant varies depending on the time of year. From April, water frequently and allow excess to drain away. In winter however, watering can be reduced. The key is to allow the compost to dry out between watering sessions, this applies all year round. If possible, water using tepid rainwater as the minerals in tap water can build up and cause deposits, damaging the leaves of succulents.

Some species of dessert-cacti can be left without water between November and February, so do your research to ensure your water correctly. During this time, winter-flowering succulents will need to be keep warm and be watered regularly, followed by a resting period in the summer. In the summer months try to provide adequate ventilation for your succulent(s). Finally, in terms of feeding, do so once a month throughout April to September.

# Pruning Cacti

Depending on the specie of houseplant that you have, pruning can help you make the most out of your cacti. Not always a necessary process, but when needed pruning can help maintain a fresh shape and look to your cactus. The occasional tidy can neaten outgrown specimens and thin over crowded areas. To further look after your cactus, the occasional dust can help keep the houseplant looking fresh, use a clean dust cloth when necessary.

# Potential Cactus Problems

There are a number of things to look out for when growing cacti and actions you can take to limit potential problems. Here are the most common:

# Cactus Planting Conditions

As emphasised throughout this article, the conditions in which you grow and care for your cactus greatly affect their health. Watering especially deserves particular attention, for example, too heavy watering can cause stunted growth and cause blistering. While, not watering enough can result in limited growth and shrivelling.

As well as temperature and watering routines, humidity and brightness should also be monitored to prevent potential problems. In situations where humidity is too high or the area is too bright, Cactus Corky Scab can be a result. Signs such as brown patches are an indicator, these then gradually shrink and form a scab. To prevent further scabbing, subtly reduce the humidity and light – however do not do so abruptly as this can cause undesirable affects.

# Cactus Pests & Diseases

White patches may indicate Mealybug, while bronzed patches may be indicative of glass house red spider mite. Scale insects can be spotted on sighting of patching visible on the stems and leaves. Rot is a common problems amongst the succulent family, with diseases such as Erwinia, fusarium and botrytis often causing infection in under or over watered plants. Another cause can be cold temperatures. If you suspect your cactus may have contracted one of these common diseases, treat with a fungicide as soon as possible.

Do-it-Yourself Raised Flower Bed

# What you need :

  • 2 x wooden planks for the sides
  • 2 x wooden planks for the ends
  • Wood screws suitable for outdoor use
  • An electric drill

Note: raised flower beds should be between 6 and 12 inches high to give your plants adequate space for the roots to grow, so as a guide, the width of your planks needs to fall somewhere in this region. For flowers, the shorter end of this range will usually suffice.

# Method :

  • If possible, use a flat surface such as a patio, driveway or garage floor.
  • Lay out your planks in a rectangle, exactly how you’re going to be fitting them together
  • Take one of your end planks and place it flush against the end of one of your side planks, to form one corner of your planter
  • Using your electric drill, pre-drill holes straight through your end plank and into the end of your side plank – for a six inch high planter one at the top and one at the bottom will be enough, but for anything taller add one in the middle too. (Pre-drilling reduces the chances that the wood will split, and improves the hold of the screw.)
  • Repeat for all four corners of your planter, until you have something resembling flat-pack furniture – four pre-drilled planks with a corresponding screw for each hole
  • Now, using the pre-drilled holes and your drill, screw the planks together, one corner at a time – and your planter is complete!

# Pefect Placement For Your Raised Flower Bed

Unless your raised flower bed is narrow enough that you can reach the far side easily, consider leaving a little space around it for access. Avoid any area of your garden that sees heavy footfall. When deciding where to place your raised flower bed, choose somewhere that gets a lot of sunshine year round.

Once you’ve decided where your raised bed is going, you need to prepare the area. This means clearing weeds and preferably any large rocks or stones. If using an area that is currently lawn, you can place your riased bed on top and score around it as a guide to show you exactly where you’re going to have to remove turf from.

How to Make Organic Compost?

Home-made garden compost contains heaps of supplements that plants love -, for example, nitrogen and carbon. When you add it to your garden soil it will enhance it and improve it notwithstanding to grow plants.

Treating the soil your kitchen and garden waste will give you an earth benevolent wellspring of natural matter – and it’s free! It will take around 6 months to create manure that is exquisite and brittle and prepared for planting your blooms, leafy foods.

A compost bin or old dustbin or similar with holes in the bottom and garden &/or kitchen plant waste. The worms and micro-organisms needed to break it down into compost will find you!

# You’ll need a sunny corner of your garden to put your bin (or you can build your own from recycled timber – look on the internet for ideas). It needs to be placed on the soil, as you want worms and other micro-organisms to come up through the soil to help, and for any liquid to drain away. And it will need a cover to keep the warmth in and the rain out.

# This is the most important part. You’ll need to keep adding equal amounts of nitrogen-rich green waste (grass clippings, green leaves, weeds, vegetable kitchen waste) and carbon-rich woody waste (prunings, wood chippings, torn-up paper, cardboard, straw or dead leaves). For every wheelbarrow load or bucketful of cut grass, you should mix in the same volume of sawdust, shredded cardboard or other woody waste. Avoid meat, fat and cooked food otherwise you’ll just attract foxes, rats and other vermin; also worms don’t really like an excess of citrus remains.

Any large pieces of material, should be cut into smaller pieces or even shredded; the smaller the pieces, the quicker they will rot down.

# Composting is a biochemical process whereby organic matter is decomposed by naturally-occurring micro-organisms. Keep the compost heap moist, warm (wrap with a piece of old carpet in winter) and aerated as these are the conditions that worms and micro-organisms love. Turn your heap occasionally with a garden fork to let the air in, making sure that you mix all the outside ingredients to the inside.

# When the mixture is brown and crumbly and smells a bit like a damp wood, then you’re ready to use in the garden!

Know These Hanging Baskets Guide

Hanging crate are extraordinary for little spaces and a splendid approach to add shading to generally boring dividers and wall. They are additionally spectacular for lighting up porches and around entryways.

They are likewise a definitive compartment for developing trailing assortments of intriguing plants whether they are blossoms, vegetables or notwithstanding fascinating foliage.

# Planting

  • Line the basket with fresh moss or a special liner made from cardboard, fibre or foam.
  • Place a saucer in the bottom of the basket to stop water draining straight through.
  • Half fill the basket with a good quality potting compost, such as Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Enriched Compost Pots & Baskets, specifically designed for containers.
  • Slip trailing plants through holes made in the side of the liner and cover the roots with more compost.
  • Plant up the top of the basket with upright bushy plants, making sure you have plenty of trailing ones around the edge too.
  • If you make the basket look full at planting time it will produce a much more colourful, dramatic display.

# Feeding

Good quality composts such as moisture controlling compost contain slow-release plant foods that will feed your plants for up to 6 months. Most other composts will run out of steam early and weekly feeding will be necessary if your plants are to flourish throughout the summer and autumn.

To feed just once a season push continuous release plant food tablets into the compost to feed your plants for the next 6 months. Use four in a standard 30cm (12in) basket, five in a 35cm (14in) and six in anything larger. If you prefer to feed your plants regularly and want fantastic results use soluble plant food or liquid concentrate. Regular feeding will reward you with big, beautiful baskets full of colour for months on end.

# Plants for hanging baskets

Flowers: Fuchsia, Petunia, Verbena, Geranium (Pelargonium), Impatiens, Lobelia, Tuberous Begonia, Bidens.

Foliage: Coleus, Cineraria, Felicia, Helichrysum, Lamium, Nepeta, Sage.

Vegetables and other edibles: Tomatoes (Tumbler), Strawberry, Chive, Thyme, Marjoram.

Pruning Wisteria, Here Its Tips

Wisteria, what an entrancing wonder. Exquisite pendulous sprouts trembling in the breeze, floating a powerful scent as you go underneath a course of brilliant green takes off. Then again a woody mass of foliage as firmly hitched as a bundle of fleece after a little cat has been playing with it. To guarantee that your Wisteria is a bounteous blossomer you should ace the specialty of standard pruning.

# When to Prune Wisteria

Wisteria needs to be pruned twice a year to avoid a mass of woody vine and tonnes of foliage. Twice yearly pruning will encourage maximum flowering and improve the overall health of your Wisteria. Below are the best times for pruning your Wisteria to take place?

Winter Pruning

The first pruning session of the year should be done in late Winter. February is the ideal time as the leaves are absent, the plant is deciduous and lying dormant. The aim is to prepare the vine for the growing season to come and ensure that any tangled stems are sorted and tidied before the leaf buds break open. The February Wisteria pruning also gives the opportunity for any support maintenance to be done to the arch, pergola, wall or any other support mechanism around which the Wisteria has been trained. Far easier to repair broken fence panels without the weight of leaves, than in the middle summer when the mass of flowers and leaves mean that you battle to hold the vine in place.

Mid Summer Pruning

The second pruning should occur in Mid Summer, sometime between July and August is the ideal time as this is the period immediately following the flowering season. The plant has expended it’s early energy and is ready to be refreshed and revived for new growth. Summer Wisteria pruning allows you to control its size and gives greater opportunity for training the Wisteria, to follow the path best suited to your garden, whether that is over a pergola or scrambling up a wall and delicately framing, rather than obscuring, the windows.

# How to Prune Wisteria

Wisteria is a hardy vine and will, generally, be forgiving if a spot of light pruning turns into a hard cut back. However here is our guide to how to prune your Wisteria.

February Pruning

As February is the time you will be able to see all the stems of your Wisteria vine, now is the time to trace back to the main stem and sort out the shape of your plant.

Pruning Young Wisteria Plants

If your Wisteria has only had one or two summers of growth, February gives you the chance to create a strong framework in the plant. Cut back the main stem to a height of approximately 75cm and then untangle the side branches, before cutting back by about a third. Train the Wisteria to grow where you want it to, by tying into a supportive structure and removing any unwanted growth.

Pruning Mature Wisteria Plants

If your Wisteria is a more mature plant, February pruning keeps its size in check. Cut back new growth and main branches to just two or three buds to keep the plant neat, tidy and ready for the forthcoming growing period. Hard pruning may be required if there are dead stems to deal with, or particularly woody areas of the vine causing gaps in the foliage and flowering. In this case cut back to the first healthy stem you come to.

# Summer Pruning

When flowering has ceased, this is the time to untangle and reduce the amount of new growth. Mid Summer pruning controls the Wisteria and creates a strong plant that may even flower for a second time in the early Autumn.

Start at ground level and remove any unwanted growth at the base of the vine. This will give strength to the main stem and concentrate the plants energies into its core. Whippy side shoots should then be cut back to no more than 5 buds. This will control the size of your Wisteria and prevent it from getting out of hand and tangled.

If a second flush of blooms appears, you will need to prune the Wisteria again when they finish to retain control of the vine’s growth.

Improve Border Soil Tips

Relatively few of us are normally honored with a decent rich topsoil soil that is perfect for developing all plants. Fortunately, on the off chance that you have a poor soil, it is sensibly simple to enhance it, so that about all plants will flourish.

# In Brief

The two soil extremes are overwhelming dirt and light, sandy soils – both can be enhanced by including heaps of cumbersome natural matter to enhance the structure and extend the scope of plants that will flourish.

Burrowing will enhance the seepage of dirt soils, however is pointless on topsoil or sandy soils. While you are burrowing, consolidate as much cumbersome natural matter as you are capable. Your fertilizer store will give all around spoiled material made from vegetable peelings from the kitchen blended with grass cuttings and other plant material, for example, fallen leaves, dead yearly sheet material plants and yearly weeds. On the other hand you can make leafmould from fallen tree and bush clears out.

If you don’t have enough material from your garden compost for your needs, then you will need to buy in suitable materials. These include well-rotted manure, mushroom compost, composted bark, all-purpose compost or tree and shrub planting compost and soil conditioners.

Also remember to dig in any compost from spent growing bags, patio pots and hanging baskets once they are finished.

# Improving Light Sandy Soils

Light sandy soils soon run short of nutrients and water quickly drains out of them, which means watering is required frequently during summer. Plants will only establish a shallow root system.

The way to improve this type of soil is to add bulky organic matter in spring. Use plenty of farmyard manure, garden compost or organic soil conditioner when planting to give moisture-holding material at root level. Mulch all over in late spring to reduce evaporation and use ground cover plants to shield the soil.

# Improving Heavy Clay Soil

Clay soils are usually cold, wet and sticky for most of the year, but in dry weather they dry out and can turn into ‘concrete’, surface cracks appear or the surface cakes over. On the positive side, clay soils are inately fertile and hold a lot of moisture and plant food, which are not leached away by rain. A good clay soil will grow all plants well – a rubbish soil, will only grow rubbish plants!

Dig any unplanted areas in early autumn, and add a generous amount of organic matter as you go. Leave the clods rough so that frost can break down the structure. A dressing of gypsum and even sharp sand or horticultural grit will also help in this process of producing a crumb structure. Repeat the process each autumn to help produce a crumbly textured soil.

Soil in between plants can be gradually improved if bulky organic matter is forked into the top 15cm (6in) of soil each autumn. A mulch layer of material applied each spring around established plants, will also help improve the structure and the amount of worm and micro-organism activity.