Let's Go into the Garden

To all our customers, a big hello from the Nursery team at Leckford. We hope you and your family are keeping well during these extraordinary times.

As we are all spending more time at home, indoors and outside in our garden, we would like to stay in touch through our regular news update on what you can be doing when you're outdoors in the garden. Also, we will offer ideas on ways you can brighten up your outdoor spaces so you can relax and enjoy your time outdoors. As well as our general garden advice, we will be running a regular how-to feature. This month it's how to grow asparagus from seed.

Longstock Park Nursery Partners are still here to answer your emails or calls about your garden and plant needs.  Email longstock.park.nursery@waitrose.co.uk or call us on 01264 810894.

Spring has Sprung

The clocks have gone forward and the days are getting a little longer. As the nights get lighter, we're able to spend a few more hours in the garden, finishing off those end of winter jobs; such as pruning fruit trees and roses.  So, use this time to complete those jobs and remember to remove damaged, rubbing, diseased and deadwood.

The spring-flowering bulbs are cheering up our gardens and patios with their bright colours, and if you haven't planted any spring bulbs, then you can use planted pots of daffodils and tulips for some ready-made spring colour.

If you do have daffodils, once they finish flowering remember to deadhead them. This will aid flower production next year - leave the leaves until they go brown.

Azaleas and Camellias

These are looking their best at this time of year. If you have chalky soil, grow these in pots filled with ericaceous compost. Make sure to keep them watered with rainwater, as tap water will turn the leaves yellow.

If this is happening, now is the time to feed with ericaceous plant food, such as sequestrene. This will help combat browning and give them a much-needed boost after the long winter - something we could all do with!

 The Vegetable Patch

Starting its first produce of the year; kale and purple sprouting broccoli, and towards the end of March into April, the first pickings of asparagus.

Not Quite in the Vegetable Patch
  • Sow herb seeds, such as parsley and basil, in pots on the windowsill. Tip:  use hot tap water to help speed up germination - parsley particularly can be slow to germinate.
  • Tomatoes, chillis and peppers can also be sown into small flower pots. Tip: use your underfloor heating or a clear plastic bag over the plants if you don't have a propagator. They like heat at the roots but a bag will help keep the heat in too.

Your Garden To-Do List

  • Prune back Salvias and Penstemons. The weather is warming up so they will be able to survive the odd frost. Prune both plants to between 1-2 inches from ground level - just above a green shoot.
  • Divide herbaceous plants that have become large clumps. Take a spade straight through the roots. They will recover quickly enough, just make sure you keep them watered during any dry spells. Click here and we'll show you how.
  • Start weeding perennial weeds that emerge, like the ground elder that have long underground roots. These can be removed fairly easily and if they are growing through plants, just carefully lift the plant, remove the weed root and then replace the plant, watering well.
  • Annual weeds can simply be removed and put onto a compost heap but we advise you to dispose of perennial weeds through your garden waste recycling scheme.
  • Empty your compost bins ready to start fresh this spring. Sieve out any larger items, not composted, and put these back onto the compost heap. Use compost in a trench for your runner beans or as a mulch on your flowerbeds.  
  • The lawns are growing! Give your lawn a high cut on a dry sunny day and give it a good feed, weed and moss treatment. Treat it when rain is forecast if it doesn't rain, water it in well. Once the moss turns black rake it out; if this leaves bare patches re-see if needed. 

Until next time, happy gardening! 

From the Nursery & Landscaping team