Pumpkin Igloo

DENDRANTHEMA ‘Pumpkin Igloo ’

Perennial Mum

Truly hardy garden mums, flowers for over a month, flowering in the UK normally begins around September and continues into November the flowers only being spoiled by the Autumn frosts and rain.

Low growing mounded habit ideal for front of border, ground cover near pathways and border edging, ideal also in containers and patio planters and the other good thing is that you do not need to throw these out, tidy up and they will come back for next year.

Available in a range of colours, from Aris Horticulture USA. Distributed by Must Have Perennials.

So when selecting subjects  for plant breeding you can see it’s important to select for colour and height and also take into account today’s market trends in plants.

Having a series that has variations in colour, flowering either singles and doubles is good and makes it easier to get a take up commercially if there are more to follow.

So if you have different selections of  Dendranthema / Chrysanthemum growing in your garden its worth taking some seed from each, germinating these and growing on to see if you get anything different, imagine a shorter whole new range with different colours, flower size etc.

As you can see from the picture above new cultivars can be created be from plant breeding and crossing. It’s a long process, its good to look at plants in your own garden, looking for improvements that may be possible.

You see with the Dendranthema by getting a shorter flowering plant it makes the plant more fitting for todays market and also for growers more plants can be transported on a lorry in flower as its shorter so it’s a good growers plant.

You must keep records of any crossings you make. Be critical when making a selection, be prepared to be strict when discarding plants.

Pictures are important so get the camera ready to take photos to record your work.

For developing your new plant breeding selection or new plant discovery I can offer full trialling and new plant development service more details available on my website.

Also pictures can be taken, recorded and stored if needed.

‘GOODY’S GARDENING’ – MONTHLY GARDENING ADVICE

NOVEMBER GARDENING

Now the weather has now changed to cooler conditions the clocks have changed we had the first frosts of the season, November has started quite bright, but with clear skies comes the likelihood of frosts at night.

The monthly forecast is looking still quite mild with a chance of high pressure at towards the end of the month which will lead to cooler temperatures and frosts at night.

There is still work to be carried out in the garden.

Plants to look for in November

Alstroemeria

Chrysanthemum

Dendranthema

Geranium Rozanne®  – will continue flowering until frosts.

Hedera – variegated forms

Ilex

Mahonia

Ophiopogon planiscapus

Saxifraga fortunei

If you have planted autumn bedding you will still need to keep all baskets and tubs watered and checked each day but reduce amount of watering keeping them moist and not wet.

Planting tulip bulbs, Daffodils, try some in tubs and patio plants mixed in with bedding to give early colour.

Look out  daily for slugs and snails check your local garden centre for best controls, an idea I have seen is to place an old roof tile on ground, snails go under here during daytime just turn over and pick them off each day.

During this month as the Dahlia finish it will be time to lift and store, lift, and put in a tray to dry out somewhere cool and dry but frost free, when dry plunge in sand or compost and store for winter in frost free shed or garage, keep cool not warm or the tubers will start to shoot.

Begonias should also be brought in, dried out and stored in similar way as Dahlia.

Good time to plant new perennials they will establish before the winter and get a good start in the spring and be ready to have some resistance to drier conditions as they will be more established.

Divide perennials and alpines looking tired and not flowering as well, like Crocosmia.

Regular weeding  and hoeing whenever you can will keep weeds under control they will continue to grow during periods of mild weather.

Start winterising the garden insulating plants like Tree Ferns and Banana’s.

Ideal time now to plant Roses but not where they have been planted before.

Good time to move shrubs and trees if needed.

Bare root  deciduous hedging, trees and shrubs will become available for planting during this month.

Pruning deciduous trees and shrubs can start during this month. Evergreens are best left now until the spring.

Good time now for seed collection now, storage is important, remember cultivars will not come true to type.

You can sow sweet pea seeds now for early flowers next year, sow more in spring for later flowering.

Look out for Vine Weevil damage, damage shows when plants start to wilt, on inspection roots will have been badly eaten

you may also see white c shaped larvae, apply a biological control, plants in containers are unlikely to recover.

Sedums and Geraniums can be badly affected.

Start mulching borders.

Leaf clearing will start now as trees and shrubs start to turn and loose leaves.

Continue to mow lawn regularly, while weather is open and temps are above  5°c grass will keep growing but do not cut as short as you would in summer, keep edges neat,

Keep clearing leaves off lawns as they will block light, hold in moisture increasing risk of disease, moss and algae.

If you have a pond then still keep water circulating, using waterfalls and pumps, fountains etc, until cold weather has started.

Good time to clean filters, skim leaves off pond surface and rake out of pond.

Reduce fish feeding and stop altogether when cold weather starts.

Trim back marginal plants.

In the Greenhouse, clean out all old plants and clean and disinfect greenhouse with Jeyes fluid or citrox.

For vegetables there is still time to plant leeks from leek plants and onions from sets.

Time to plant broad beans, Garlic,  and spring cabbage plants if you can find them, look in local garden centre.

You can grow herbs over winter if you dig some up and move indoors, they will need good light, don’t overwater.

Sow peas – Meteor sown outdoors will give an early crop next year.

Plant Rhubarb crowns, Raspberry canes, Blueberry, Black and red currents.

Time to paint fences and sheds carry out any repairs, in the greenhouse replace any broken glass needed before winter.

Pressure wash decking, put away furniture.

Patio heaters and chimineas may still be needed for those bright clear nights!

Good time for planning any new hard landscape projects to carry out over winter.

Build a compost heap for leaves and grass clippings.

Digging over soil will expose pest larvae to birds and improve soil structure, do this for all vacant vegetable garden soil in readiness for next year. Add plenty of organic compost from your own compost if you have it.

Put out food and water for birds during cold periods.

If you have a bonfire remember to check that you do not have a hedgehog in side! – they need gardeners help right now as populations are decreasing.

RUDBECKIA ‘Viette’s Little Suzy’

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Coneflower

This compact Rudbeckia was bred by Andre Viette, a nurseryman from Virginia USA.

It’s a smaller version of the standard Black-eyed Susan mature height is around 40cm with a 40cm spread.

It’s compact habit makes it ideal for todays smaller garden, its also good for containers and patio planters, makes a good late flowering display.

So when selecting subjects  for plant breeding you can see it’s important to select for colour and height and also take into account today’s market trends in plants.

Having a series that has variations in colour, flowering either singles and doubles is good and makes it easier to get a take up commercially if there are more to follow.

So if you have different selections of Rudbeckia growing in your garden its worth taking some seed from each, germinating these and growing on to see if you get anything different, imagine a shorter Rudbeckia with different colours, flower size etc.

As you can see from the picture above new cultivars can be created be from plant breeding and crossing. It’s a long process, its good to look at plants in your own garden, looking for improvements that may be possible.

You see with the Rudbeckia by getting a shorter flowering plant it makes the plant more fitting for todays market and also for growers more plants can be transported on a lorry in flower as its shorter so it’s a good growers plant.

You must keep records of any crossings you make. Be critical when making a selection, be prepared to be strict when discarding plants.

Pictures are important so get the camera ready to take photos to record your work.

For developing your new plant breeding selection or new plant discovery I can offer full trialling and new plant development service more details available on my website.

Also pictures can be taken, recorded and stored if needed. 

OCTOBER GARDENING

Well  although the weather has now changed to cooler conditions at night and we have had some welcome rain, lawns are beginning to recover, the Daytime is still warm and now at the 2nd week in October it has turned very dry again, welcome rain is forecast at the end of the week, if the skies are clear at night then frost is possible so watch out for tender plants, temperatures are forecast to be around 22°c ! mid-week this week.

We are only 2 weeks off the change from British Summer Time to GMT, incredible weather.

Plants to look for in October

Anemone (Japanese)

Aster

Dahlia

Geranium Rozanne®

Heliopsis

Helenium

Phlox paniculata

Rudbeckia

Salvia

Sedum

Verbena

Caryopteris

Hibiscus

Hydrangea arborescens

Roses

You will still need to keep all baskets and tubs watered and checked each day but reduce amount of watering keeping them moist and not wet.

Time to plant autumn bedding, will last now until the spring, try mixing different plants, evergreen and flowering for interest.

Planting tulip bulbs, Daffodils, try some in tubs and patio plants mixed in with bedding to give early colour.

Apply liquid feed regularly once a week is ideal, but good to finish at the end of the month, I reduce rates as you do not want a lot of soft growth on hardy plants now.

Look out  daily for slugs and snails check your local garden centre for best controls, an idea I have seen is to place an old roof tile on ground, snails go under here during daytime just turn over and pick them off each day.

Deadheading plants like Dahlia will prolong flowering.

At the end of the month as the Dahlia finish it will be time to lift and store, more next month.

Good time to plant new perennials they will establish before the winter and get a good start in the spring and be ready to have some resistance to drier conditions as they will be more established.

Perennials dying down or fading can be trimmed back to encourage growth before the winter, good idea to give all borders an autumn tidy.

Divide perennials and alpines looking tired and not flowering as well, like Crocosmia.

Regular weeding  and hoeing whenever you can will keep weeds under control. If time is short pull off seed heads this will help to reduce seeded weeds.

Start winterising the garden insulating plants like Tree Ferns and Banana’s.

Good time now for seed collection now, storage is important, remember cultivars will not come true to type.

You can sow sweet pea seeds now for early flowers next year, sow more in spring for later flowering.

You can continue to trim evergreen hedges now.

Look out for Vine Weevil damage, damage shows when plants start to wilt, on inspection roots will have been badly eaten

you may also see white c shaped larvae, apply a biological control, plants in containers are unlikely to recover.

Sedums and Geraniums can be badly affected.

Prune climbing roses once flowering is finished, remove all leaves underneath plants this will reduce fungal problems like blackspot and rust.

Start mulching borders.

Leaf clearing will start now as trees and shrubs start to turn and lose leaves.

Time of course to picking your apples and pears.

Continue to mow lawn regularly, keep edges neat, still time to apply weed killer for perennial weeds, use a selective weed killer here.

Scarify lawn and aerate by making lots of small holes

Seeding and repairing of dead patches can continue now through the month, but you will need to water as weather can still be quite dry.

Ideal time to lay new turf or turf to repair lawns, but you will need to keep it watered, especially given the temperatures at the moment and dry conditions.

Apply a fertilizer but do not use summer feeds as these are too high in nitrogen fertilizer, slow release is best. Do not apply in drought conditions, if  using feed and weed avoid getting onto ornamental plantings as it will cause damage.

If you have wild flowers in lawn and want to keep them then do not use feed and weed.

During the dry period if you are watering the lawn do this at night when evaporation is low.

If you have a pond then still keep water circulating, using waterfalls and pumps, fountains etc. – day time temperatures are still quite high.

Clean filters as needed, remove blanket weed and skim off floating weeds such as duckweed, feed fish as needed.

Remove any debris leaves etc reduces toxin build up, if you can put a net across to catch leaves.

Trim back marginal plants.

In the Greenhouse, open greenhouse on warm days.

You may still have tomatoes etc, but now is the time to start clearing out old plants growbags etc.

Keep greenhouse clean, time for a good clean up now.

Citrox is a good cleaning product.

For vegetables there is still time to plant leeks from leek plants and onions from sets.

Time to plant broad beans, Garlic,  and spring cabbage plants if you can find them, look in local garden centre.

You can also set up new Asparagus beds.

You can grow herbs over winter if you dig some up and move indoors, they will need good light, don’t overwater.

Time to paint fences and sheds carry out any repairs, in the greenhouse replace any broken glass needed before winter, take advantage of the evenings while they are still light.

Take time to relax in garden at some time each day while it’s still light in evenings and warm enough for barbecues and generally  enjoying the fruits of you hard work.

The garden should be an extension of your house an extra room if you like and it will be looking good.

ANEMONE hupehensis (Pretty Lady Series) ‘Pretty Lady Julia’

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This  series of Anemone is bred by Mr. Yoshihiro Kanazawa of Japan, this series of Anemone features four pink forms and one pure white, ‘Pretty Lady Julia’ has double flowers.  All in the series have good compact habits, 40cm high and 60cm spread, fully garden hardy they make ideal border plants for today’s smaller gardens also good for containers and patio. Flower from August until October.

So when selecting subjects  for plant breeding it’s important to select for colour and height and also take into account today’s market trends in plants.

Having a series that has variations in colour, flowering either singles and doubles is good and makes it easier to get a take up commercially if there are more to follow.

So now is the time to be busy looking at your flowering plants and those that are flowering from your selections and breeding work and making further crosses and selections.

As you can see from the picture above new cultivars can be created be from plant breeding and crossing. It’s a long process, its good to look at plants in your own garden, looking for improvements that may be possible.

You see with the Anemone, by getting a shorter flowering plant it makes the plant more fitting for todays market and also for growers more plants can be transported on a lorry in flower as its shorter so it’s a good growers plant.

Keep records of any crossings you make. Be critical when making a selection, be prepared to be strict when discarding plants.

Pictures are important so get the camera ready to take photos to record your work.

For developing your new plant breeding selection or new plant discovery I can offer full trialling and new plant development service more details available on my website.

Also pictures can be taken and stored if needed. 

SEPTEMBER GARDENING

Well the weather has now changed to cooler conditions and we have had some welcome rain, lawns are beginning to recover. Daytime is still warm though but temperatures at night

have been quite low down to around 7°centigrade and lower in some places here in UK.

Plants to look for in September

Anemone (Japanese)

Aster

Buddleja – all gardens should have one

Crocosmia

Dahlia

Geranium Rozanne®

Heliopsis

Helenium

Penstemon

Phlox paniculata

Rudbeckia

Salvia

Sedum

Verbena

Caryopteris

Hibiscus

Hydrangea arborescens

Roses

You will still need to keep all baskets and tubs watered and checked each day.

Start thinking about autumn bedding

Apply liquid feed regularly once a week is ideal

Look out  daily for slugs and snails check your local garden centre for best controls, an idea I have seen is to place an old roof tile on ground, snails go under here during daytime just turn over and pick them off each day.

Deadheading plants like Dahlia will prolong flowering.

Good time to plant new perennials they will establish before the winter and get a good start in the spring and be ready to have some resistance to drier conditions as they will be more established.

Perennials dying down or fading can be trimmed back to encourage growth before the winter.

Regular weeding  and hoeing whenever you can will keep weeds under control. If time is short pull off seed heads this will help to reduce seeded weeds.

Continue to take semi-ripe cuttings now.

Good time now for seed collection now, storage is important, remember cultivars will not come true to type.

You can continue to trim evergreen hedges now.

Look out for Aphids and other pests, black spot on Roses, check with local garden centre for best controls.

Look out for Vine Weevil damage, damage shows when plants start to wilt, on inspection roots will have been badly eaten you may also see white c shaped larvae, apply a biological control, plants in containers are unlikely to recover.

Sedums and Geraniums can be badly affected.

Prune climbing roses once flowering is finished.

Continue to mow lawn regularly, keep edges neat, still time to apply weed killer for perennial weeds, use a selective weed killer here.

Seeding and repairing of dead patches can continue now through the month, but you will need to water as weather can still be quite dry.

Apply a fertilizer but do not use summer feeds as these are too high in nitrogen fertilizer, slow release is best. Do not apply in drought conditions, if  using feed and weed avoid getting onto ornamental plantings as it will cause damage.

If you have wild flowers in lawn and want to keep them then do not use feed and weed.

During the dry period if you are watering the lawn do this at night when evaporation is low.

If you have a pond then keep water circulating, using waterfalls and pumps, fountains etc.

Clean filters as needed, remove blanket weed and skim off floating weeds such as duckweed, feed fish as needed.

Remove any debris leaves etc reduces toxin build up.

In the Greenhouse, open greenhouse and increase ventilation on sunny days, extra shading like shade paint applied to outside may be needed during hot periods, don’t let greenhouse get to hot.

Damp down the floor of the greenhouse on hot days this will control Red Spider mite.

You should be having some good tomatoes and cucumbers now.

Keep greenhouse clean and as crops come to an end remove and clean up,

Citrox is a good cleaning product.

Check for pests like Aphids, red spider mite, white fly, regularly, biological controls are available look online.

For vegetables there is still time to plant leeks from leek plants and onions from sets.

Time to plant broad beans, Garlic,  and spring cabbage plants if you can find them, look in local garden centre.

You can also set up new Asparagus beds,

Time to paint fences and sheds carry out any repairs, in the greenhouse replace any broken glass needed before winter, take advantage of the evenings while they are still light.

 

Take time to relax in garden at some time each day while it’s still light evenings for barbecues and generally  enjoying the fruits of you hard work.

The garden should be an extension of your house an extra room if you like and it will be looking good.

ACHILLEA ‘Little Moonshine’

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This Achillea is bred by Har Stemkens, it has the same bright yellow flowers of Achillea Moonshine but with a compact habit, 30cm instead of 60cm, makes this plant ideal for todays smaller garden spaces and with the outdoor living space it also makes a great patio plant being great for containers. Flowers from May until September, plants will rebloom if cut back after first flowers have faded. The finely cut grey-green foliage makes a good back drop to the flowers.
I trialled the plant in the trial garden and my own patio area prior to it being introduced.
So now is the time to be busy looking at your flowering plants and those that are flowering from your selections and breeding work and making further crosses and selections.
As you can see from the picture above new cultivars can be created be from plant breeding and crossing. It’s a long process, its good to look at plants in your own garden, looking for improvements that may be possible.
You see with the Achillea, by getting a shorter flowering plant it makes the plant more fitting for todays market and also for growers more plants can be transported on a lorry in flower as its shorter so it’s a good growers plant.
Keep records of any crossings you make.
Get the camera ready to take photos to record your work.
For developing your new plant breeding selection or new plant discovery I can offer full trialling and new plant development service more details available on my website.

AUGUST GARDENING

Well the weather is now very dry and hot, in my area at my garden we have had no appreciable rain for most of June, July and now the start of August, we had a Thunderstorm at the end of July but now it’s turned very hot with record temperature likely..

Plants to look for in August.
Anthemis
Buddleja – all gardens should have one
Dahlia
Geranium
Heliopsis
Helenium
Penstemon
Salvia
Rudbeckia
Caryopteris
Hibiscus
Roses

You will need to keep all baskets and tubs watered and checked each day.
Apply liquid feed regularly once a week is ideal
Look out daily for slugs and snails check your local garden centre for best controls, an idea I have seen is to place an old roof tile on ground, snails go under here during daytime just turn over and pick them off each day.
Coleus plants make ideal patio plants there are many new varieties with many different leaf colour combinations.
Combination planting in containers is becoming popular look out for them in your local garden centre, look for some last minute bargains to fill up spaces in the garden and rejuvenate tubs and baskets.
Ideal plant for container planting is Geranium Rozanne.
When planting containers use a gel in the compost this will help retain and save water, always water in late evening even better is to use trickle/drip irrigation on a timer.
Regular weeding and hoeing whenever you can will keep weeds under control.
Dead heading will help to prolong flowering, and for some plants like Aquilegia cut back after flowering to prevent seeding in garden, otherwise they tend to take over.
Cut back Digitalis and Verbascum, can encourage some re-flowering.
Take semi-ripe cuttings now.
Fill any gaps in borders with last minute offers from the garden centre or online.
You can trim evergreen hedges now, but avoid during the very hot weather.
Look out for Aphids and other pests, black spot on Roses, check with local garden centre for best controls.
If you grow Lilies pick off any Lilly beetle seen.
Look out for Vine Weevil damage, damage shows when plants start to wilt, on inspection roots will have been badly eaten
you may also see white c shaped larvae, apply a biological control, plants in containers are unlikely to recover.
Sedums and Geraniums can be badly affected.
Mow lawn regularly, mulch clippings or recycle, keep edges neat, don’t mow to short as we are now in dry period, don’t worry to much about brown lawns they will soon come back at the first rain.
I suspect your lawn is like mine very dry and mostly brown, don’t cut it leave until there has been a good rain the grass will come back.
Apply summer fertilizer, follow instructions, slow release is best, do not apply in drought conditions, if using feed and weed avoid getting onto ornamental plantings as it will cause damage.
Use a selective weed killer to kill weeds not grass, better than using feed and weed most professionals do it this way.
If you have wild flowers in lawn and want to keep them then do not use feed and weed.
During the dry period if you are watering the lawn do this at night when evaporation is low, better still don’t, the lawn will come back use water wisely.
If you have a pond then keep water circulating, if you have a fountain or water fall keep running during night during hot periods to keep oxygen levels up, clean filters as needed, remove blanket weed and skim off floating weeds such as duckweed, feed fish as needed.
Remove any debris leaves etc reduces toxin build up.
Open greenhouse and increase ventilation on sunny days, extra shading like shade paint applied to outside may be needed during hot periods, don’t let greenhouse get to hot.
Damp down the floor of the greenhouse on hot days this will control Red Spider mite.
Tomatoes will need tying in as they grow and remove the side shoots that grow from leaf joints, when flowering you may need to give plants a little shake to help will pollination.
Give plants space as they grow.
You should be starting to see fruit forming now, important to ventilate well during hot sunny days.
Tie in roses and other climbers.
Check for pests like Aphids, red spider mite, white fly, regularly, biological controls are available look online.
Pick off any dead leaves, keep floor and pathways free of plant debris this will assist with pest and disease control.
In the vegetable garden continue weekly sowings of lettuce, radish, peas etc to get a continuity of crops
Potatoes should be well underway, continue to harvest as needed.
Support peas as needed.
Harvest Rhubarb, but leave 2 thirds to grow on.
You may need to cover some plants to protect against bird damage , fleece is ideal.
Cover carrots to control carrot fly
Plant out leeks and cabbages.
Take time to relax in garden at some time each day time for barbecues and enjoying the fruits of you hard work.
The garden should be an extension of your house an extra room if you like and now it will be looking at its best.

During this hot dry weather any watering should be carried out late in the evening, pointless to try watering the lawn unless you have the luxury of an irrigation system and your own borehole!

VERBASCUM ‘Firedance’

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This Verbascum is bred by Claire Wilson and Vic Johnstone, it has EU Plant Breeders rights and produces flowers of a dusky red a unique colour in Verbascum.

It show what can be created by plant breeding and simple selection.
I trialled the plant prior to it being introduced.

So now is the time to be busy looking at your flowering plants and those that are flowering from your selections and breeding work and making further crosses and selections.

As you can see from the picture above new cultivars can be from plant breeding and crossing.

Keep records of any crossings you make.

Get the camera ready to take photos to record your work.

For developing your new plant breeding selection or new plant discovery I can offer full trialling and new plant development service more details available on my website.

JUNE GARDENING

Well the weather has now turned very dry and hot, in my area at my garden we have had no appreciable rain for most of June.

Plants to look for in June.
Anthemis
Astrantia
Delphinium
Geranium
Lupin
Papaver
Viola
Deutzia
Hebe
Philadelphus
Roses

All bedding should be planted out and you will need to keep all baskets and tubs watered and checked each day.

Apply liquid feed regularly once a week is ideal
Look out daily for slugs and snails check your local garden centre for best controls, an idea I have seen is to place an old roof tile on ground, snails go under here during daytime just turn over and pick them off each day.

Pot up any plug plants, that have come in or still left, water in well. Will need regular checking for watering each day.

Coleus plants make ideal patio plants there are many new varieties with many different leaf colour combinations.

Combination planting in containers is becoming popular look out for them in your local garden centre
Ideal plant for container planting is Geranium Rozanne.

When planting containers use a gel in the compost this will help retain and save water, always water in late evening even better is to use trickle/drip irrigation on a timer.

Regular weeding and hoeing whenever you can will keep weeds under control.

Dead heading will help to prolong flowering, and for some plants like Aquilegia cut back after flowering to prevent seeding in garden, otherwise they tend to take over.

You can take still take softwood cuttings.

Fill any gaps in borders with summer like Pelagonium.

Cut back spring flowering plants like Helleborus, Pulmonaria encourages fresh foliage.

You can trim evergreen hedges now, but beware of birds nesting you must not disturb.

Look out for Aphids and other pests, black spot on Roses, check with local garden centre for best controls.

If you grow Lilies pick off any Lilly beetle seen.

Look out for Vine Weevil damage, damage shows when plants start to wilt, on inspection roots will have been badly eaten
you may also see white c shaped larvae, apply a biological control, plants in containers are unlikely to recover.

Sedums and Geraniums can be badly affected.

Mow lawn regularly, mulch clippings or recycle, keep edges neat, don’t mow to short as we are now in dry period, don’t worry to much about brown lawns they will soon come back at the first rain.

Apply summer fertilizer, follow instructions, slow release is best, do not apply in drought conditions, if using feed and weed avoid getting onto ornamental plantings as it will cause damage.

Use a selective weed killer to kill weeds not grass, better than using feed and weed most professionals do it this way.

If you have wild flowers in lawn and want to keep them then do not use feed and weed.

During the dry period if you are watering the lawn do this at night when evaporation is low, better still don’t, the lawn will come back use water wisely.

If you have a pond then keep water circulating, if you have a fountain or water fall keep running during night during hot periods to keep oxygen levels up, clean filters as needed, remove blanket weed and skim off floating weeds such as duckweed, feed fish as needed.
Remove any debris leaves etc reduces toxin build up.

Open greenhouse and increase ventilation on sunny days, extra shading like shade paint applied to outside may be needed during hot periods, don’t let greenhouse get to hot.

Damp down the floor of the greenhouse on hot days this will control Red Spider mite.

Tomatoes will need tying in as they grow and remove the side shoots that grow from leaf joints, when flowering you may need to give plants a little shake to help will pollination.

Give plants space as they grow.

Tie in roses and other climbers.

Remove large clumps of forget me nots as they can get out of hand and take over large areas.

Check for pests like Aphids, red spider mite, white fly, regularly, biological controls are available look online.

Pick off any dead leaves, keep floor and pathways free of plant debris this will assist with pest and disease control.

In the vegetable garden continue weekly sowings of lettuce, radish, peas etc to get a continuity of crops
Continue to earth up potatoes as they shoot through soil.
Support peas as needed.

Harvest Rhubarb, but leave 2 thirds to grow on.

You may need to cover some plants to protect against bird damage , fleece is ideal.

Cover carrots to control carrot fly
Plant out leeks and cabbages.

Take time to relax in garden at some time each day time for barbecues and enjoying the fruits of you hard work.

The garden should be an extension of your house an extra room if you like and now it will be looking at its best.

BRUNNERA ‘Little Jack’

Untitled-1

This small leaved Brunnera is ideal for today’s small garden and containers. It was selected by Adrian Bloom from seedlings in his garden.

I trialed the plant prior to it being introduced it has US Plant Patent and EU Plant Breeders rights.

So now is the time to be busy with seed sowing of seed from your plant breeding projects, and pricking out those seedlings for trials later.

As you can see from the picture above new cultivars can be found from seedlings.

Keep records of what you sow and where its from. If you a making a new crossing check to see that there is not a similar one already in cultivation.

Get the camera ready to take photos to record your work.

For developing your new plant breeding selection or new plant discovery I can offer full trialling and new plant development service more details available on my website.

MAY GARDENING

Well the weather has certainly changed this month with some high daytime temperature and dry weather, although frost is still possible and we have had a couple of

quite cold nights here in Norfolk temperatures down to 4°c.

Plants to look for in May

Delphinium

Brunnera

Viburnum

Geranium

Apple Trees

Geranium pheum

Peonies

Convallaria

Anemone

Prunus

Cornus

Forsythia

 

Hardy annuals can still be sown now, can sow direct into borders to fill gaps.

Prick out those seedlings and pot on those pricked out earlier last month.

Look out  daily for slugs and snails check your local garden centre for best controls, an idea I have seen is to place an old roof tile on ground, snails go under here during daytime just turn over and pick them off each day.

Pot up plug plants, water in well but allow to dry a little between watering. Will need regular checking for watering.

Plant out bedding now, it’s arriving in bulk now at the garden centre. Just be aware that frost is still possible you may need to have some fleece at hand at short notice.

Time to plant up baskets and tubs.

I find that grasses such as Hakonechloa macra Aureola make really spectacular patio plants.

Remove old spring bedding to make way for summer.

Regular watering of containers is needed now, fortnightly feeding will improve flowering and quality.

Regular weeding whenever you can will keep weeds under control.

Plant out or pot up Cannas and Dahlia.

Divide up Primula now flowering is over.

Dead head tulips and Daffodils.

You can take cuttings softwood cuttings now.

Cut back sub-shrubs and tender shrubs such as  Fuchsia, Penstemon and Caryopteris.

You can trim evergreen hedges now, but beware of birds nesting you must not disturb.

Prune Pyrancantha by  shortening new growth.

Any new planting of trees and shrubs should not be allowed to dry out, loosen tree ties if needed.

Look out for Aphids and other pests, black spot on Roses, check with local garden centre for best controls.

If you grow Lilies pick off any Lilly beetle seen.

Look out for Vine Weevil damage, damage shows when plants start to wilt, on inspection roots will have been badly eaten

you may also see white c shaped larvae, apply a biological control, plants in containers are unlikely to recover.

Sedums and Geraniums can be badly affected.

Mow lawn regularly, mulch clippings or recycle, keep edges neat.

Apply summer fertilizer, follow instructions, slow release is best, do not apply in drought conditions, if  using feed and weed avoid getting onto ornamental plantings as it will cause damage.

If you have wild flowers in lawn and want to keep them then do not use feed and weed.

If you have a pond then keep water circulating,  clean filters as needed, you can divide and reduce any plants in pond possible to still plant up new bog gardens.

Iris Ensata is a good plant for bog garden and near ponds.

Remove blanket weed and skim off floating weeds such as duckweed.

Open greenhouse and increase ventilation on sunny days, extra shading like shade paint applied to outside may be needed.

Damp down the floor of the greenhouse on hot days this will control Red Spider mite.

Give plants space as they grow.

Check for pests like red spider mite, white fly, regularly, biological controls are available look online.

Pick off any dead leaves, keep floor and pathways free of plant debris this will assist with  pest and disease control.

In the vegetable garden continue weekly sowings of lettuce, radish, peas etc to get a continuity of crops

Earth up potatoes as they shoot through soil.

If you grow asparagus then you need to harvest at no more than 45cm max.

Harden off plant sowings like Tomatoes ready for planting.

Support peas as needed.

Harvest Rhubarb, but leave 2 thirds to grow on.

You may need to cover some plants to protect against bird damage , fleece is ideal.

Cover carrots to control carrot fly

 

At the end of the day on fine days get out the barbecue light up the heater and enjoy the garden.

Take time to relax in garden at some time each day.

The garden should be an extension of your house an extra room if you like.

PRIMULA ‘Tortoise shell’ (DACLAND)

Primula Tortoise Shell  unusual form of Primula (polyanthus type with double flowers from now until early summer, good for borders and containers.

This plant was selected and bred by Daphne Lloyd and Norman Draper of the UK.

It was brought to me for trials a few years ago from their plant breeding and selection.

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Now is the time to be busy with seed sowing of seed from your plant breeding projects, for developing your new plant breeding selection or new plant discovery I can offer full trialling and new plant development service more details available on my website.

It look like spring may finally be here with temperature forecast to rise although still having rain.

Most trees and shrubs are now budding up, looks like frost has passed for now.

APRIL GARDENING

Will April be full of April showers or drought!

Hardy annuals can be sown now, can sow direct into borders to fill gaps.

Many hardy perennials can still be sown now, sow into plugs or small pots.

Instant colour can be provide by planting Primula and Viola, look for cornuta types.

Look out for slugs and snails on new Hosta shoots, check your local garden centre for best controls

Pot up plug plants, water in well but allow to dry a little between watering

Put bedding plants outside during daytime on fine days, but bring them in at night this harden them up plants will get a better start.

Regular watering of containers is needed now, feed also will help get things underway.

Too early for summer bedding, but you can plant up tubs and baskets if you have a frost free area.

Regular weeding should be carried out whenever you can will keep them under control, perennials infested with spear/couch grass

can be divided and weeds removed.

Divide those clumps of perennials like Hosta’s, Hemerocallis, this will invigorate and improve plants, every three years or so.

For cut flowers you can plant up Delphiniums and annuals.

Prune Lavenders to new shoots.

Deadhead Pansies, Viola and Primula.

Clean up winter bedding that has not survived remove self-seeded forget-me-nots so they do not take over other plants.

Look out for Vine Weevil damage, damage shows when plants start to wilt, on inspection roots will have been badly eaten

you may also see white c shaped larvae, apply a biological control, plants in containers are unlikely to recover.

Sedums and Geraniums can be badly affected.

Look for slugs and snails check online for best control methods or ask at local garden centre

Evergreens in cooler areas you can still move evergreen shrubs but it is getting late now and watering could be difficult as season progresses.

Much roses with organic matter.

Cut back Salix and Cornus.

Remove frost damaged shoots from evergreens.

Take cuttings of your favourite conifers.

If you have newly planted trees you will need to put on guards to protect against rabbit damage.

Mow lawn regularly now, keep to an even height throughout season.

Apply a spring fertilizer, can include moss killer if needed but care is needed with application as pollution of ground water can

Occur if used incorrectly.

Alternatively rake or scarify lawn to remove moss.

If you see a lot of starling on your lawn then you may have leatherjackets – Crane fly larvae, look for controls on line, biological control

is the only control available to amateur gardener.

If you have a pond start using water filters now, fish will be starting to be active don’t overfeed.

Continue tidying marginal and bog plants.

In the greenhouse prick out seedlings, space out plants, check watering every few days.

The greenhouse will need venting each day now when weather is warm, you may need light shading on bright days.

R=Temperatures can droop at night you may still need the greenhouse heater or other protection.

On warm days damp down greenhouse floor helps to control red spider mite.

House plants can begin feeding now, check watering every few days.

Wipe clean shiny leaved plants with damp cloth.

In the veg garden winter sown broad beans and peas will be in active growth now, peas will need support, twiggy sticks are ideal.

Keep on top of weeding whenever conditions allow.

Plant potatoes now.

Continue sowing vegetable seeds now for succession of  crops.

Any seed for march can still be sown in April.

Sow, Beetroot, leaks, carrots, lettuce, cabbage etc.

Under glass sow, cucumbers, pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers.

In sheltered areas make fist sowing of French beans.

Sweet corn can be sown now use a peat pot so you can plant direct in garden later.

Strawberries and Raspberries will be starting to grow now, feed with a tomato feed, not a high nitrogen feed.

Time to get out the barbecue and garden furniture ready to enjoy the long summer days.

Take time to walk round garden each day  – enjoy.

HELICHRYSUM ‘Ruby Cluster’

March is well here now, and officially spring has started, but last week you would not have guessed with heavy snowfall and temperatures below freezing during the day.

But that has gone now and today the temperature is 9°c and raining!

I see many plants starting to grow, Delphiniums, Primula, Lonicera is coming into bud, and Crocus still in flower seems unaffected by the cold weather and snow.

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One early flowering plant that will be coming into bud and flowering towards the end of the month is Helichrysum Ruby Cluster, grey foliage woody stemmed plant with dark red flowers, its is a plant that likes free draining soil the plant is quite hardy but dislikes winter wet.

This Helichrysum is available in other varieties and colours, Pink Sapphire, Amber Cluster, Emberglow, they are all from UK Plant Breeder – Chris Bowyer based in the North midlands.

So it if you have a plant breeding project underway and are looking for advice, assistance in developing your new plant commercially then I can be of service, more information is available on my website.

MARCH GARDENING

Will March be full of spring cheer of will winter return for another bite!!

Finish clearing the last of leaves and winter debris.

Still time to finish cutting back and trimming grasses.

If you have overwinter Fuchsia, prune back to one or two buds on each shoot.

Pruning early flowering Clematis once their flowers have finished and summer flowering Clematis before growth starts.

Prune bush and climbing roses, add some fertilizer to base, look for specialist rose fertilizer.

Plant new roses either bare-root or container, do not though plant where you have had roses before.

Trips to your local retail nursery or garden centre will find many plants starting to arrive for planting, still too early for spring bedding though, don’t be tempted to plant outside yet!

You can sow and plant hardy annuals.

Good time to plant snowdrops in the green brighten up garden next year.

You can start planning the new beds you prepared last month.

Time to revitalise established plants in containers, remove top 5cm of compost and replace with new add some all season slow release fertiliser.

Containers will need regular watering now.

If you have Dahlia tubers you can start them now,  place in pots or trays and cover only the tubers with compost, water, keep frost free, you can take cuttings from the new shoots if you need more plants.

Spring flowered bedding you can give regular feeding now, this will help to produce a good display during the season,

For a good display of spring bulbs next year you can remove spent flowers and seed heads, leave leaves for now.

Keep an eye now for slugs and snails use your usual method.

Lift and divide and perennials that you want to revitalise, move or create more plants.

You can take basal cuttings of perennials that are showing new growth.

Seed sowing is well underway now, look for some new varieties to try.

Cut back Cornus (dogwood) and Salix (willow) grown for coloured stems in winter.

Where possible start regular hoeing of weed seedling as you see them it will help later in the season to keep on top of them now.

Now is a good time to lay new turf, work from planks, do not walk over it for several weeks, you will need to water it during dry periods, first cut should be on the highest setting.

Established lawns can be cut now if needed and weather allows, don’t mow if frosty or if frost is forecast. The first cut of the season should be light, keep blades 1cm above usual height.

Good time to get blades sharpened and mower serviced if you did not get it done last month.

Later in the month you can apply a spring fertilizer that is high in nitrogen this will help the lawn recover from winter.

Any bare patches, fork over and loosen soil then apply some fresh grass seed, keep watered, may have to protect from birds.

Neaten edges with a turf iron, it  will make lawn borders look a lot better. Work from a board if it’s wet.

For ponds you can start feeding fish now, give a little but often.

Check, repair or replace pumps and filters.

Tidy up plants in bog garden add new plants if required.

In the veg garden you can start chitting early potatoes for planting later in month, plant shallots, onions and garlic.

Dig in some green manure or compost to improve soil.

Prepare seed beds for planting and you can start sowing , carrots, radishes and lettuce under cloches for early crops.

Continue to plant fruit trees and raspberry canes, autumn fruiting canes should be cut back to ground to encourage new canes to develop. Summer fruiting cut back to top of supports to a bud.

In the greenhouse you can start sowing winter greens.

Sow tomatoes in a heated greenhouse.

Start sowing bedding plants ready planting after the last frost.

Repot house plants and orchids before they start active growth.

Carry out repairs to pathways.

Clean algae and slime from patio and fences several products are available that will assist with this, just ensure that it is safe for plants and pets.

When planting in garden consider using a mycorrhizal fungi product like Rootgrow™ it helps with plant establishing.

Take time to walk round garden each day.

GALANTHUS – Snowdrops sign of spring

February is here and already the days are noticeably longer.

Snowdrops are up and out in my garden a sign of spring amongst the recent snow.

This can be quite a cold month wet or snow, and as I write the weather forecast for the coming week is for cold weather with frost at night and maybe some snow.

You can start Dahlia tubers now in a light warm place, maybe you have a new cultivar to try out, you can find further advice about how to develop you plant breeding lines on my website.

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Sow those perennials this month, the cold weather will help stratify seed.

FEBRUARY GARDENING

February fill dyke black or white!

February can be a month of heavy rain and some winters snow, the phrase refers to ditches being filled with water or snow!

Snowdrops and Crocus will be up now.

Carry on clearing branches and twigs from recent storms, good idea to check fences and property borders for damage.

Trimming and tidying of perennials and grasses can continue while weather allows, trim dead leaves off Hellebores shows up flowers better.

If you have winter bedding, deadheading and removing dead leaves will prolong flowering and keep plants looking good.

You can divide perennials now those that have overgrown their allotted space and those you want to move, such as Geraniums.

Prepare beds for new planting such as roses, but remember do not plant Roses in the same area as previously planted.

Improve beds where you have poor drainage by digging in gravel and organic material now is the time for soil improvement when weather conditions allow.

Weeding of borders can also be carried out as these will continue to grow.

Plant Lilly bulbs in pots for summer flowers.

Dahlias and Cannas stored check for drying out and any disease, remove those that have rotted.

Good time to look through catalogues and order seed.

Last chance to take hardwood cuttings of ornamental shrubs like Cornus, Ribes, Salix.

Cut back ornamental vines.

For lawns you can lay turf and repair lawn where required but avoid wet or freezing weather.

If the lawn needs mowing cut to maximum height to give a tidy up, edging the lawn will give a nice neat finish.

Good time to get mower serviced, check tools and sharpen where needed.

Late summer and autumn flowering Clematis can be cut back to lowest pair of strong buds.

You can trim winter flowering Heathers as flowers fade to keep bushy habit.

Last chance this month for pruning apple and pear trees.

Time to cut back autumn flowering Raspberries and black currents to encourage new canes.

Not a lot to do with the pond if you have one keep from freezing completely.

Look at storing more water for watering your plants during dry months by installing more water butts.

Mulching is also worth considering best for next month.

If you have alpine plants then some gravel round crown helps with drainage.

HELLEBORUS Orientalis

January can be a bleak month, still shortage of daylight and as I write we have just had some very wet days.

Thinking of New Plants and breeding now is the time to start sowing perennials, the cold weather will help stratify seed aiding germination as the days get longer and temperature start to rise.

Helleborus will soon be flowering, I have seen some in flower already, look for some interesting colours, double flowers for new cultivars or hybrids.

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Helleborus niger crosses are more commercially viable, Helleborus Orientalis produce more mixed hybrids

If you have breeding lines and are thinking of how you can develop them further I can assist you with any trialling that is needed.

Further advice can be found on my website.

JANUARY GARDENING

Happy New Year!

With recent storms there may be branches and leaves to clear from the garden, these can be trimmed up and burnt, composted or taken to local recycle centre.

Carry on trimming back perennials and tidying garden beds.

Can still take root cuttings and seed sowing of perennials, shrubs etc can be carried out now, either in greenhouse or outside. You may need to protect seed trays from vermin. Cover with wire netting is ideal.

Plant lily bulbs and check Dahlia and Canna tubers for drying out and mould, remove any that are rotting.

Outdoor pots and baskets overwintered may need some water, can dry out surprisingly quickly during windy weather

During freezing weather winter bedding such as Viola, wallflowers can lift slightly from soil, go round beds and firm gently back in.

If growing sweet peas you can sow them now indoors, pinch out tops when 5cm high

In the veg patch you can cover some bare soil with clear polythene or cloches to warn soil ready for early sowing in March.

Remove any weeds that appear.

Still time to plant Garlic, I received some bulbs this week and will plant as soon as frost has lifted.

When lawn is not frozen or waterlogged cut lawn edges to improve appearance of garden, you may also need to give lawn a light trim once if month is mild.

Remove any leaves and debris remaining. Aerate the lawn to improve any wet areas.

Remember don’t walk over the lawn during frosty weather.

Remove any leaves from pond, melt a hole in ice with hot saucepan, check water levels, take advantage of any sales on for aquatic plants and pumps filters etc.

Move any shrubs, tress and plant new ones.

Cut back ornamental vines

Good time to do any landscaping

Pressure wash pathways to prevent algae, clean drains, check pipes, taps for damage from frost lag or drain if needed.

Hippeastrum bulbs need to be brought into active growth by watering and feeding, looking for flowering in late winter to early spring.

Check and clean gutting and down pipes, clean down pipe filters.

Now is good time to take some time to look at your garden and consider new projects, plants to add, things to change.

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