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Monthly Archives: October 2016

Tips to Improve Your Soil

Relatively few of us are normally honored with a decent rich topsoil soil that is perfect for developing all plants. Fortunately, in the event 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 substantial earth and light, sandy soils – both can be enhanced by including heaps of cumbersome natural matter to enhance the structure and broaden the scope of plants that will flourish.

Burrowing will enhance the waste of earth soils, however is pointless on topsoil or sandy soils. While you are burrowing, fuse as much cumbersome natural matter as you are capable. Your fertilizer load 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 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.

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.

Ways to Feeding Border Plants

In people the distinction between adequate sustenance and insufficient is very evident. The body goes through any vitality saves, getting in shape and turning out to be horrendously thin. Plants, much the same as people, need an adjusted eating routine of supplements to develop to their most extreme potential.

Plants should have the capacity to draw on stores of all the crucial components to have solid leaves and deliver quality blooms and natural product. So if your petunias are pale and the leaves of your rhododendrons, tomatoes and roses are turning yellow between the veins then you have to get nourishing.

General plant feeding

Plant starvation can be effectively cured with a general plant nourishment that contains each of the three noteworthy supplements – nitrogen, phosphate and potash. One utilization of a controlled discharge plant sustenance will nourish your plants for a while, discharging supplements relying upon soil temperature. These savvy plant nourishments increment the arrival of supplements to coordinate the prerequisites of the plant – progressively when its warm and less when the temperatures fall.

Alternatively you can feed and water every fortnight with soluble plant food applied quickly and easily through the feeder which feeds your plants as easy as watering. This is specially beneficial if you are growing lots of flowering bedding plants that need regular watering to thrive.

Roses

For roses to produce a whole new set of stems, leaves and flowers every year, they use up plenty of plant foods and can soon exhaust reserves in the soil. Roses are heavy users of plant nutrients, so select a fertiliser that is rich in all nutrients. Rose & shrub plant foodis specially designed to feed roses and flowering shrubs. Sprinkle it around the plant roots twice a year, once in March just before new growth starts and again in May ready for summer flowering.

Tomatoes

To produce a rewarding and tasty crop of tomatoes feed plants every 10 days with Levington Tomorite – Britain’s favourite liquid tomato food. It’s full of nutrients, supplemented with magnesium to help prevent leaves turning yellow between the veins.

Acid-loving plants

Most Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Camellias and other acid loving plants can’t thrive in soil that contains too much lime. Unfortunately they cannot absorb natural iron from soils that are alkaline. This trace element may be there, but these ericaceous plants can’t use it. To avoid the problem either grow them in containers of an ericaceous compost or supply iron in a special plant food tonic.

One application of sequestrene plant tonic will supply enough chelated iron to last in the soil from early spring until plant growth slows in autumn. If your plants need regular feeding at the same time then use ericaceous compost every couple of weeks throughout the spring and summer.

When to feed

Starting the growing season off with a good meal to avoid general malnutrition is good practice. Forward-looking gardeners dig well-rotted garden compost into the soil whenever appropriate and feed their plants with a balanced plant food from a box. Plant scientists make sure they include all the nutrients your different plants will need in the correct balance so you don’t have to even think about it. Just follow the instructions on each package.

Don’t feed plants growing outdoors when they are dormant. For most plants that means feeding during spring and summer and avoiding supplying extra nutrients during the winter when they are resting.

Why Mulch Your Garden?

While mulching your garden, understanding your dirt and its needs is the way to planting achievement. Soil goes about as a stay for plant roots and holds air, water and plant supplements which are basic for proceeded with plant development. Mulching your garden traps significant dampness in your dirt enhancing the availablity take-up of supplements and furthermore anticipating weed development.

Why Do you Mulch Soils?

Mulching your dirt is a critical stride for enhancing your dirts structure making them ready to clutch more supplements, dampness and air. You may feel that you are just setting a cover over your dirt, yet infact the mulches are separating and discharging profitable substance into your dirts. So one basic act will enhance your dirt, keeps weeds under control and make your quaint little inns look far superior.

Why Do Soils Need Improving?

Clay soils

Although clay soils hold nutrients well, they are heavy, slow to warm up and tend to be too wet (sticky) in the winter and too dry (rock hard) in the summer. The key to improving these soils is to break up the mass, and increase aeration and drainage by adding composted soil conditioner to achieve a crumb-like texture.

Silty soils

Silt particles are extremely fine and tend to rise to the soil surface forming a water-resistant crust when dry. Adding soil improver will help with the structure and allow water to penetrate.

Sandy soils

These are very light, easily eroded, dry and lack substance and the ability to hold water or nutrients. Soil improvers help to retain moisture and nutrients before they leach away.

Regular mulching will help improve all these soil types and give you much stronger, healthier plants – with the added benefit of reducing weed growth!

What is Mulching?

Mulching your garden is adding a thick layer of organic matter (usually manure, compost or bark) on the surface, this will help to retain soil moisture, suppress weeds, add nutrients and insulate plant roots. The best garden mulch should be attractive too. Try decorative bark or woodchip mulch. Each will provide an attractive surface that adds a decorative and useful finish to flower beds, around the base of trees and along the edges of paths. Make sure you water the ground thoroughly before you add your layer of mulch, you need to trap the moisture in the soil so make sure there is moisture there first!

Different Types of Mulch

There are many different organic mulches available, the best ones will form a dense mat holding in water and gradually breaking down releasing nutrients into the soil. Well rotted Farmyard Manure is often used and is great for keeping weeds off empty beds that are resting over winter, waiting for their spring planting.  When you are ready to plant simply dig the manure in and you have a well fertilised, weed free soil to start planting up.

Leaf mulch is used in a similar way and can easily be made at home by having a seperate compost bin just to collect leaves in, the leaves rot down over the year and produce a lovely organic mulch, and it’s free!

Composted bark is another good choice, much less smelly than the manure and generally darker and richer in colour so more pleasing to the eye.

Wood chip mulch is a popular option, it can come in a range of sizes and styles. Pine bark nuggets tend to be viewed as the most attractive of the barks, with the stripped bark similar to the type you see in childrens play areas being the cheapest option.

How to Apply Mulch

  1. Clear the site of all weeds
  2. If the ground is dry, water thoroughly
  3. Cover the area in a layer of your chosen garden mulch
  4. Make sure the area has a mulch depth of at least 2 inches (5cm)
  5. Clear the mulch away from the stems of the plants
  6. Use a plastic rake to gently level the surface

Tips to Create More Space in Your Garden

Outside space is valuable to everybody, except very frequently we don’t have enough, or what we do have is invade by children toys, pets or utilized for stopping. So to recover a little corner back for yourself why not attempt ‘vertical planting’.

Indeed, even the most modest of spaces can be changed with somewhat vertical planting. The sky truly is the point of confinement, as you’ll be cultivating upwards and not at ground level. We’ve utilized an old stride stepping stool to spruce up a shabby corner yet you could without much of a stretch utilize hanging wicker bin, a trellis or pots on dividers or fence posts.

Ingredients

  • Enriched Compost
  • Miracle-Gro LiquaFeed (ideal for attaching to a hosepipe)
  • Patio Magic!
  • Empty pots or containers

Other useful items

  • Garden string/wire
  • Gardening gloves
  • Trowel
  • Watering can or hose

Step 1

March to October : Pick a corner on your patio that could do with brightening up a bit, and think about ways in which you can start gardening upwards.

Step 2

If there’s any mould, moss or algae on the paving, clean it up with Patio Magic!. Applied through a watering can it shows effects in 3 to 4 days and goes on working for months.

Step 3

Next, place a layer of gravel or broken pots at the bottom of your chosen containers for drainage, then add some enriched compost, which is suitable for outdoor use. Place the root ball of your plant onto this layer and fill around with more compost.

Step 4

Plant up a selection of container type plants, including plenty of trailing ones such as ivy, fuchsia or geraniums. Experiment with different colour schemes, and try grouping different sizes together for a more relaxed feel.

Step 5

Place one of the pots on each of the steps of the ladder, or at different heights within your chosen area, with the trailing varieties towards the top.

Step 6

Maintain by feeding regularly with a LiquaFeed.