JOHN’S JOURNAL

The Essential Job of Watering!

There is one job that stands above many at this time of year in the garden and that’s the watering! A form of life support to plants in pots helping them flourish and an added benefit to any planting in the ground, but lets have a look at a few tricks and tips and the best way to water your plants!

Its always the easy option to grow plants in pots and at this time of year any [plants in a sunny position are the most important, on the nursery most of our growing is in full sun and everything needs watering every two days on a rotating cycle, the early morning hours are also the most valuable before the sun has had chance to get its temperature up the water soaks in nicely helping refresh the plant fo the day ahead. When you water pots go over them a few times, this helps the water gently soak in rather than bubbling up over the top. If something gets very dry then its hard to get the water in by just watering, you need to stand it actually in some water for an hour or two allowing it to soak up plenty of water and rehydrate itself. With our peat free trials in the field were finding the new peat free compost a lot more demanding on the watering, and also due to its porous nature the fertiliser leaches away more quickly in it so topping up with fertiliser is also essential, so its worth noting with peat free composts the watering is a little more of a regular job. Its always good in the garden to collect your own water, water butts are the number one collecting valuable excess rainfall from gutters to then be used later on.

Sometimes its worth installing an irrigation system, for living walls its essential and for high up hanging basket positions and wall plants its also well worth it, its a simple length of pipe discretely hidden in the gutter or along the edge of the ground under the gravel with little pipes coming off it, all linked to a tap with a timer on that opens up for 10 minutes in the morning, using the little and often principe, it works really well and it you have large statement post around the garden its great for these, you can at least go away and not worry about them drying out!

In the ground its always best to mulch aswell, lay down bark chippings after you plant and this then gives a 2inch thick layer to help reduce evaporation form the soil so at least al the moisture is being taken up by the plant!

As i write this we are in the middle of preparations for the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show, we go down this friday to start the construction of our Courtyard Garden in The Floral Marquee and with the show on next Wednesday to Sunday its well worth a visit, the temperatures look set to be cooling so its perfect flower show weather, fingers crossed and we hope to see you there!

 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

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

How often should I water plants in the ground?

If they are newly planted a good soak once a week is ample, for existing planting every 2-3 weeks, this is all based on having a mulch on the surface to help reduce the evaporation though so without it it will be a little more regular, some plants are tolerant of drier soils so you don’t have to worry but any flowering plants love a drink to help them produce more flowers

Is rainwater better than tap water?

Garden plants aren’t really that fussy however many indoor plants to benefit from rainwater rather than tap water, a lot less refined and the natural option is much better for them, again its easy to collect, it can be as simple as having a bucket placed outside

Are irrigation systems easy to install?

Have a look online as there is plenty of kits available, its drip irrigation systems you want to look for and its a simple case of creating a length of pipe thats disguised and hidden leading to pots or baskets in fixed position, the hard work really pays off and makes life a lot easier plus your plants a lot happier, any you’ll waste less water!

JOBS FOR THE WEEKEND

 

Plant of The Week

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’

A great silver foliage plant and its great for threading through other planting, tolerant of a sunny position and also grows happily in dry positions with its silvery foliage. Cut it back hard in the Spring and it will shoot away with fresh new foliage.