JOHN’S JOURNAL

It’s time to give some plants a little extra support!

Looking back it’s been a great Spring weather wise, the frosts eased back in April, there’s been intermittent showers with plenty of sunshine, we’ve had some wind but not too much, but that’s the one thing at this time of year that can come back to bite us! So now is the perfect time to look at your plants and give a few of them a little extra help to get ready for any strong winds, to prevent them from falling over!

Its incredible the rate that plants grow at this time of year, it seems like last minute we were celebrating the Snowdrops coming through and now it is foliage and flowers galore, the plants which need support are the top heavy ones, Delphiniums are No.1 with their tall spikes of flowers and when we have winds we often have rain causing the added extra weight and sidewards pressure which can cause their flower spikes to take a tumble, you can either support these by tying them to garden canes or there is a whole host or metal garden supports perfect for the job, long metal spikes with a hoop wrap around at the top you then feed the blooms into. Peonies are the same as well, just about to burst with their blowsy blooms, they again need a little support. There are ‘Peony Supports’ which are specifically designed for the job and all of our plant supports are that attractive they can be left in the borders all year round, with a natural rusted finish they really blend in. Getting your supports on early before the bounty of growth emerges can make the task a little easier and tall clumps of herbaceous perennials like Phlox and Asters can be grown through grids meaning you don’t need to worry about getting in later on as the stems have grown through their additional support.

You’ve also got to be aware of the feeding as if you are feeding your plants with a high nitrogen feed like miracle grow or grow more, and this includes chicken pellets then this surge of nitrogen will cause them to put on long unnecessary growth and they will be prone to wind damage, Vitax Q4 is the best feed and this helps encourage compact growth with the focus being on flowers with healthy looking foliage, don’t make the mistake of getting impatient and reaching for any old fertiliser in the Spring.

For most plants that do fall over you can always give them a trim back and new growth will appear, forage any flower stems for a vase and then give them a liquid feed with some tomato food to give them a boost with hopefully more flowers to look forward to later on. 

It’s all systems go at the moment at the nursery with us potting around the clock, and with another one of our Artisan Markets this weekend called ‘Rose’ it’s the perfect time to see the nursery looking its best along with meeting a few new artisan traders so we hope to see you soon

 

 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Here you can send in and find out the answers to those gardening problems

How do I support Hydrangea Anabelle?

This is the largest flowering of all Hydrangeas and it’s one that can be hard pruned in the Spring, then once the flower buds appear in June you need to spend a little time getting in there and sticking canes in parallel to the main stems, tying them off to give them some extra support, it’s worth the extra effort and this will prevent them from tumbling to the ground, it’s a beautiful plant

What do I do with Delphiniums after they flower?

Cut the old flower spikes right back to the ground and you will already see new shoots appearing, give them a liquid feed with some tomato food and new growth will appear followed by more flowers later on in the Summer

My plants are flopping onto my lawn, what can I do?

Plants at the front of the border can be given some extra support by the means of small metal hurdles, little mini fences, helping keep plants like Nepta and Geraniums off the grass, you can also selectively trim them back and this will encourage the clump to flower at different times, also look at positioning ground cover or taller plants which are self supporting at the front to give height and undulation to your planting.

 

JOBS FOR THE WEEKEND

 

Plant of The Week

Thalictrum ‘Black Stockings’

An incredible early flowering Thalictrum producing stiff upright purple stems bearing pin-cushion like purple flowers, standing at 5 ft tall it is great for adding height and early interest to the border and it grows in sun or partial shade. Great for repeating through a border as individual plants or planting as a highlight amongst existing plants.