Weekend Work: Time to plant up hanging baskets
Saturday 07 May 2011
What to do
Plant up hanging baskets, leaving a saucer-shaped dip in the compost to make watering easier. Leave the basket in a greenhouse or sheltered place indoors until plants are well established and all danger of frost has passed. Shallow troughs can be watered more easily through a funnel jammed in the earth. This ensures that moisture soaks down to plant roots.
* An overdose of fertiliser will burn grass as easily as weedkiller. Resist the temptation to add extra handfuls when you use lawn feeds. Mechanical spreaders are the best way to distribute the stuff evenly. Remember, too, that more feeding will mean more mowing.
* Seedlings at various stages of growth dominate gardeners at this time of the year. My cobaeas are growing too fast, the tomatoes not fast enough. There will soon be a traffic jam of monumental proportions in the greenhouse and cold frames.
* I have just sown seed of a carnation 'Stripes and Picotees' (Thompson & Morgan £3.49) to replace the hoary old plants of 'Peach Delight' that I grew from seed six years ago. These were lined out along a path beside the herbs where I could cut the flowers. Germination takes from 7-14 days, then the seedlings have to be pricked out into individual 7cm (3in) pots to grow on before they can be planted out in the garden.
* Stroking the tops of seedlings daily with the edge of a piece of card is said to keep them more compact. In natural conditions outside, wind compresses stem growth and young plants are not drawn up to the light as artificially as they are indoors.
* Sift fresh soil over clumps of saxifrage where there are black or bare patches. Do the same for auriculas which have a tendency to heave themselves out of the soil.
What to do
Garden designer Arne Maynard's courses continue next month with a day-long tutorial on 'Planting Herbaceous Perennials'. Yes – you'll learn the practicalities, says Arne, but what he mostly wants to get across is the importance of texture and form as well as colour in a planting scheme. The course on 16 June (9.45am-5pm) costs £180 including lunch and will be held at Allt-y-bela, Arne Maynard's home near Usk, Monmouthshire. To book, call 020-7689 8100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Life & Style blogs
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 'Do not give them a reason': Baltimore man divides police and rioters in hope of avoiding violence
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Trainee Case Handler is requi...
£15000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...