Compost - News and articles to enrich your gardening experience
Check plants and fences etc for wind damage!
Start pruning – bush and climbing roses, Cornus and Salix,
Plant shallots, onion sets and early potatoes
Plant summer flowering bulbs e g lilies.
Lift and divide overgrown perennials.
Top dress containers with fresh compost.
Mow the lawn when dry enough.
Hoe and mulch beds to keep weeds at bay.
Clean out greenhouse and prepare for seed sowing.
Protect new spring shoots from slugs.
Garden Tasks for Spring
A useful article by Bloms Bulbs
To be lily friendly your soil needs to be friable. Open well drained soil is essential. A soil rich in humus, leaf mould and good compost is ideal. These terms are widely used, sometimes interchangeably, it is useful to remind ourselves what each component is.
Known as black gold by gardeners it is created by the decomposition of organic matter. A lot of microscopic action will still be taking place, the bugs, bacteria, fungi, and microbes are still devouring the organic matter. Compost continually releases nutrients to the soil to help plant growth.
Humus is what is left once all the usable chemicals in compost have been extracted. It is spongy in nature and especially moisture retentive, very important for gardeners. It will also store nutrients, notably calcium, phosphorous and magnesium that plants then absorb through their roots. Humus gives soil its crumbly texture.
Leaf mould is composting fallen leaves for future use in the garden either as a mulch or worked into the soil. It benefits the garden by absorbing water and as a soil conditioner, attracting earthworms and good bacteria. Its nutrient levels are low so make sure you carry on with the compost and humus.
When using planters, remember that the bigger the container the easier the bulbs are to grow. The more compost that can be held, the easier watering will be. The addition of a little grit will help. Large planters are also more stable, something to consider when growing taller plants in gusty conditions.
Finally, lilies enjoy the company of other plants, some shade around their roots but much of the foliage and flowers in airy sunshine. Adding some trailing plants or small bedding annuals will add to the show, help shade the soil and regulate temperature.
I was once told “only friends of the devil can grow parsley” This was a bit disconcerting at the time as I had a huge bed of it! However, since then I’ve not had so much success, but this video clip by Sarah Raven might help any having similar problems:
Also there is an article all about herbs on the Garden Reads Page.
A discount on many items is offered on production of your membership card at the following:
Silverstone Fields Farm
Towcester Road, Silverstone
The Bell Plantation
Watling Street, Towcester
Preston Bissett Nursery
Bushy Lane, Preston Bissett
Whilton Locks Garden Centre
Whilton Locks NN11 2NH