Frosty backed Gi Gi in April !.
At the end of yet another cold and dry week here are some ideas for your garden and allotment this weekend.
Keep watering and give protection to young tender plants during these frosty nights!
In the Vegetable Plot
Sow carrots in well prepared soil in drills 1cm deep, 30cm apart and 5cm between seeds if you can.
This well help to avoid having to thin them out which attracts carrot fly because of the smell they emit when the plants are disturbed. Keep weed free and you will be lifting early carrots in 10 weeks.
Make successional sowings 2-3 weeks apart.
To avoid forked carrots like these, soil preparation is key. Remove all stones as the roots will grow around them and create mis - shaped carrots.
Only water carrots in very dry spells.
Plant onion sets 5–10cm apart, in rows 25–30cm apart.
Gently push the sets into soft, well-prepared soil so the tip is just showing. Firm the soil around them and water well.
Prepare for summer flowers
One of our favourite annuals is Cosmos.
They come in a beautiful array of colours and shapes, including perfumed chocolate cosmos!
To give your cosmos as long a flowering season as possible, sow the seeds now. Once they've sprouted and have two pairs of leaves, transplant into individual 7cm pots and grow on under cover.
(see last weeks pricking out tip)
Perennial Candytuft (Iberis Sempervirens)
Can either be started off in the greenhouse or sow seeds directly into flower beds when the soil has warmed up. Softwood cuttings of existing plants propagate easily during midsummer for more candytuft flowers to plant in your garden or to share with friends.
They love sun and make great border edging plants.
Dead head regularly to extend flowering.
If you are limited for space then hanging baskets can provide a splash of colour.
A good mix of Lobelia, Petunia, Fuchsia and Pelargonium work well together. Whilst it may be too late to start from seed, a visit to the garden centre will give inspiration. Start planting them up now but keep them under cover!
For best results cram the plants in!
Plan ahead for Wildlife
We rely on pollinators for the health of our natural ecosystems.
Bumblebee colonies, which are smaller than those of honeybees, die each year, with new nests created by queens that have overwintered, and emerge in spring.
Here are a few bee friendly flower suggestions
The vivid blue flowers of borage produce masses of nectar, attracting pollinators like bumblebees and honeybees. Borage is very easy to grow, simply requiring a spot in full sun or dappled shade, in moist, well-drained soil. The edible flowers can be also used to garnish drinks and salads.
Large species of bumblebee like buff-tailed bumblebees and white-tailed bumblebees can often be spotted clambering into tubular foxglove blooms to reach the nectar within.
Not just good for bumblebees, lavender will also attract butterflies and honeybees, so it’s a good all-round plant for wildlife.
Give it a haircut in early August to avoid woody plants and they will last for years.
You can easily make your own essential oils!
Paca Punch is fast acting and time is running out to get some Paca Punch for your plants using the discount code APRIL21 to claim 10% off.
Put 2 in the basket (or 1 Paca Punch and 1 Paca Punch Plus) and get free P+P as well !