Spring in the Garden 2021
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We are delighted to announce that Brookside Nursery has been voted the best online plug plant supplier in the UK by readers of Which? Gardening Magazine. We were rated 94% for website ease of use, 93% for quality of plants and top of the table for delivery, packing, customer service and value for money.
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Spring in the Garden
"Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!" - Robin Williams
Spring is nudging ever nearer and never has is it been more welcome after a winter of being cooped up. Early spring is when we can start preparing gardens and outdoor spaces in readiness for a long hot summer garden party of fun. So here are a few ideas to get your garden ‘party ready’ and looking at its best this spring/summer.
The lawn is going to take some serious footfall this year as home entertaining is going to be high on our agendas this summer. I am guessing that many of us will probably feel like having a bit of a party, for no other reason than the fact we can, as soon as restrictions are lifted. Take time now to ensure that your lawn looks healthy, lush and green and a perfect backdrop to your colourful borders. Scarify it with a wire rake to dislodge any “thatch”. This is the build-up of plant debris and dead matter in your lawn that can clog new spring growth. Once you have raked the area, give it a mow, with the cutting blades set high. You are just trying to give the lawn a small trim to even up the lengths, not turn it into a cricket pitch or Wimbledon at this stage!
Aerating the lawn by working a garden fork into the earth at regular intervals to make narrow holes will allow air to flow, increase drainage and encourage strong grass growth. Worm casts, those twirly little mounds of soil that appear over winter, can be swept into the grass or borders with a stiff brush. Worm casts are a sign of a healthy lawn so nothing to worry about.
Moss in lawns, especially in patches can be a sign of poor drainage. So, aerate the ground well, rake the area and treat with a moss killer. In April apply a general spring lawn fertiliser, following the instructions on the pack. Finally, edge the borders to give a sharp contrast between lawn and flower beds. It makes a huge difference to the overall finish.
The kitchen garden became an integral part of life for many in 2020 and Grow-Your-Own vegetables became ‘all the rage’. This is set to continue in 2021 so its time to get your veggie patch cleared, dug over and soil conditioner or homemade compost spread over the empty bed. It is worth taking the trouble to give your soil a spring boost as the better the soil content, the better the crops.
Utilise pots and containers to grow soft fruits and herbs, as well as vegetables and of course, flowers. As long as the soil/compost is good, and the correct one for the plant, you can grow almost anything in a pot.
1st early potatoes, already chitted, are ready to plant into potato bags and in approximately 12 weeks you will be harvesting your own spuds. Leave maincrop potato planting until the end of April when the ground is warmer.
Mulch your borders to keep in moisture, suppress weeds and condition the soil. I use a bit of a mixture with soil conditioner mixed with farmyard manure and some bark chippings and a bit of home-made leaf mould.
Every spring I put ericaceous compost around my azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias and fork it in around the base of each plant. If we have frosts and snow, which we do in April, it is worth covering smaller, manageable plants with fleece at night if they are about to come into flower. It’s worth it to see the petals not browned by freezing cold temperatures.
This summer is extra exciting with the anticipation of ‘getting together time’. Planning ahead is key, especially in the celebratory drink department, so order some herb plug plants from us and start growing pots of different mints for Mojitos and strawberries to top a celebration glass of Prosecco!
It may feel a bit odd at first when we all start hugging one another again but until then there is plenty to keep us busy in the garden. All the waiting will be worthwhile, when we can all sparkle, enjoy our gardens and more importantly, be close to our family and friends.
Your Brookside blogger