Friday, 16 June 2017

Tips for aspiring gardeners

Even if you’re not really a passionate gardener once the sun comes out we all appreciate being outside in the garden. And with the main part of summer just round the corner here’s a few quick tips to spruce it up!

Written by Charlie Dimmock
• Containers can add a real splash of colour, as well as being a focal point. Summer bedding is a quick and cost effective choice as well as there being a huge range of colours and textures. Rather than having lots of small pots go for two or three larger ones, not only will they have more impact but they'll be much easier to look after throughout the summer months.

• One of the quickest ways to make a garden look tidy is to mow and edge the lawn. Mow once a week, making sure not to cut it too short ideally set the height of cut between 3cm and 6cm – by leaving it slightly on the longer side you'll find in the dry weather it'll stay greener longer and by cutting it weekly you'll actually spend less time overall mowing, the lawn will look better as well as being in a healthier condition.

• Get borders looking tidy by weeding them, a really quick and effective method is to hoe the weeds do it on a dry sunny day as they will frazzle and dry out quickly. The other positive of removing weeds is that there's less competition for water and nutrients so your border plants will look better and be healthier.

• Regularly remove old blooms that have gone over (dead-heading) – especially on roses and summer bedding, this not only keeps things looking neat and tidy but will make the plant's produce more flowers for longer. Make sure that you take the whole flower head off and not just the petals as you're trying to stop the plant from setting seed.

• The other way to keep plants producing lots of flowers is to feed them – with containers and hanging baskets it's best to use a liquid feed (once a week or once every two weeks) the plants react much more quickly and by using a liquid tomato feed you'll get good results while saving a little money. However when it comes to roses do use an actual rose feed as the nutrient balance is especially designed for them. And with border plants lightly fork in blood, fish and bone round the base of each plant then ideally put on a layer of mulch like garden compost or well-rotted manure.

• With the hotter weather not only will you be out in the garden more but you'll have to water a lot more, make the time spent watering most effective by watering early in the day or evening so there's less evaporation and with containers pop a saucer underneath them so any water that runs off get reabsorbed. Well established shrubs and trees won't need watering unless we have a very long period of dry weather, and don't waste water on the lawn unless it's only just been laid – grass will quickly green up after a couple of down po

Charlie Dimmock has joined forces with holiday company Monarch as part of their 'Year of Nice' campaign, promoting traditional values of chivalry, respect and kindness

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