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Spring in the Garden 2021

4 CommentsThursday, 22 April 2021  |  Alison

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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.

Happy Gardening!

Alison

Your Brookside blogger

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1 CommentThursday, 4 February 2021  |  Alison
February in the Garden 2021

February 2021 is here.  Who knows what to expect from the weather, let alone everything else going on in the world at the moment? Well, what we do know is that it will probably snow again (hurrah!) and there will be frosty, rainy and cold moments. However, if you look hard enough, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. We will see more daylight hours, sunny spells and we gardeners know that the anticipation of spring is just around the corner and the new growing season is almost upon us, so read on and see what you can be growing in February……

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Thursday, 4 February 2021  |  Alison
Blooming Beautiful Bulbs for year-round colour

Bulbs are not just for springtime.  Not just for the burst of yellow daffodils in March, although they are, and rightly so, the backbone of many a spring border.  But did you know that you can have a bulb in flower practically every day of the year? What’s more, bulbs (tubers and corms) are perennials.  They will be long lived in your garden and gradually, over time, increase in number, so better get planting now and throughout the year so you will always have beautiful flower bulbs, whatever the season.............

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2 CommentsTuesday, 19 January 2021  |  Alison
Key Gardening Trends for 2021

Here we are, as I write, in national lockdown again in the UK. But this time, there is a quiet resignation with folks, that, whilst so difficult for many, it is the only course of action to take. The need to ‘Stay at Home, Protect our NHS and Save Lives’ has never been more relevant. However, let’s not dwell on that, I have important gardening related stuff to tell you ..........

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