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There's always room for a splash of summer colour

  21/05/2014 at 16:35 pm

 

Eamonn Wall - Head of Horticulture

You can always rely on summer bedding to give you a splash of colour to brighten up your garden or to make that special family get together just a little bit more colourful. With the down turn in the economy we now are realising just how important gardens can be in the creating of our own little utopia. You will be amazed just how a few trays of bedding plants or patio plant can brighten up your garden and literally they don’t break the bank or cost the earth. Contrary to many beliefs most bedding plants purchased from your local garden centre are actually grown local.

When it comes to planting bedding plants there are no rules, remember it’s what you like, but you must plant the right plants according to your growing conditions. Well hoping that we are long over due for a hot dry summer here are a few plants for hot sunny dry borders. You can’t go wrong with geraniums as these are a must for giving you non-stop colour until late autumn. Geraniums (Pelargoniums) come in a host of colours from red, white and a multitude of pinks. Whether you are looking for a carpet of blooms or that simple classic look using red geraniums in planted containers, don’t forget the trailing geraniums (Ivy Leaf Geraniums) which are the perfect centre piece for hanging baskets and window boxes.

Petunia plants are truly fantastic bedding plant for those summer borders thriving in hot summers, and once again they come in a multitude of straight colours to a dazzling array of stripes and blotches to suit all tastes. Talking of petunia we must not forget the trailing varieties which have become synonymous with the name Surfinia®, this is referred to particular type of trailing petunia which causes many a confusion when people go in search of trailing petunias.

Well if you are looking for the bedding plants that will thrive in shade; Begonia Semperflorens which comes in a kaleidoscope of colours such as white, pink and red in both green and purple leaved form. Making them the best choice for carpet bedding and are simply amazing in pots.

These are just a taste of the bedding and patio plants that are ready to be planted out now. So the next time you visit your local garden don’t be afraid to ask them which plants are most suitable for your growing conditions!

To do list:

1.Many tomato plants are now developing first trusses (yellow flowers), so this now indicates its time to start feeding your plants. Tip: Ensure that you feed early in the morning to prevent leaf scorch with sun light. Watering in the late evening means that the leaves will remain wet making them very susceptible to Blight and Grey mould which can be detrimental to tomatoes.

2. Be vigilant for aphids or to many of us greenfly, which are also green and black. They are out there feeding off your plants. Tip: Only spray when you see pest as to prevent them becoming immune to sprays. When spraying edible crops try using fatty acids which are non toxic! Spray plants early in the morning or late evening to prevent scorch damage and harming beneficial insects such as bees and wasps.

3. The secret to growing bedding plants and planted containers is to water regularly during dry weather and dead head as flowers as they fade. Dead heading is removing old flowers preventing them going to seed, thus wasting their energy in producing seed instead of new flowers. Tip: Make sure you remove the whole flower and not just the petals. You can’t go wrong feeding on a regular basis with high potash feed such a tomato feed and this is best done in the morning to prevent sun light scorching leaves.

By Eamonn Wall