Friday, 18 February 2011

Get pruning this winter

With the Groves pruning masterclass taking place soon (on the 26th & 27th of February) it seemed appropriate to provide a bit of background information on the subject. If after reading this you are still not sure what you are doing, don't dispair, give us a call on 01308 422654 for some more information or even better call in and have a chat with one of our trained horticulturalists.

Many plants respond well to pruning. It’s a great way to rejuvenate tired and woody plants and is also essential for many plants to keep them producing fresh growth, new flowers and healthy foliage.

Prune roses by removing any dead and diseased stems. Open up the centre of the bush by removing any overgrown stems and any that are rubbing together. Always prune just above an outward facing bud, as this encourages the plant to grow out rather than in and creates a much better shape overall. An overcrowded bush is much more susceptible to pest and disease problems. Feed after pruning with Rose and Shrub Plant Food.

Many shrubs can be pruned in March. Dogwoods (Cornus) respond particularly well to hard pruning, as this encourages plenty of fresh coloured stems to develop. Spring flowering shrubs such as Forsythia, flowering currants, Weigela, Deutzia and early Clematis should all be pruned after flowering as they all actually flower on stems made last year. If you remove these mature stems before the flowers have opened you will stop the plants from flowering this season.

Plants that flower on this year’s stems should be pruned in early spring to encourage plenty of new growth and flowers this season, these include Roses, the butterfly bush (Buddleia), Hydrangea paniculata, and Caryopteris. Feed after pruning with Rose and Shrub Granular Plant Food.

Produced in association with Westland Garden Health

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Feed your soul, man!!!!

If you thought that having an allotment was all about feeding your belly then think again, it can also be used to make you feel good too. Don’t you just hate it when it gets to those perfect summer months and the allotment has worked well, too well and you are trying to think of more and more interesting ways to use up those runner beans and cabbages? Well, if you are fed up with the usual summer glut of veg, why not put a little land aside for growing cut flowers?

This is a great time of year for buying bulbs that produce great cut flowers. Dahlias, Lilies and Gladioli are all available at the moment. They need to be protected from the frost so make sure that are well protected until things warm up a bit or you could start them off in a greenhouse.

Cut flowers from bulbs are actually dead simple, just make sure that the ground is well manured, again a perfect February job, and as the plants grow make sure that you have plenty of supports for the plants to keep those stems nice and straight.

If you get really keen you could always enter a few prize blooms into your local flower show! If you are after a few tips, come down to Groves and have a chat with our resident expert Cyril. He is a local judge for many of the flower shows in the Bridport area!