Over 400 gardens in England and Wales are getting ready to open to the public for the National Gardens Scheme. Carol Klein visits one of them as they prepare for the big event. It’s an eventful day at Longmeadow too, as a local beekeeper arrives with a swarm for Monty’s new hive.
In Gardeners World episode 12 2015:
1. Plant out pumpkins, squashes & courgettes
Now that the weather has warmed up and the danger of a frost has gone, pumpkins, squashes & courgettes can be planted out. They are greedy feeders and need plenty of moisture, so it’s worth adding plenty of well-rotted organic matter to the planting hole. If you plant them in a shallow depression, this will help to prevent water from running off when you give them a drink.
2. Water newly-planted trees & shrubs
As the weather warms up, it’s really important to make sure that newly-planted trees and shrubs do not run short of water. A good soaking once a week will really help them to get established and put down a good root system for the years ahead.
3. Cut off rhubarb flowers
Rhubarb can be harvested for another month, but to get the best from your plants it’s worth removing any flowers that appear, as these will use up valuable energy. Simply cut them off at the base, chop them up and add to your compost heap if you have one.
4. Plants for wet soils
Soil can be wet because it is compacted, or because of a high water table, where the upper level of the ground water is near the soil surface. Clay soils are wet in winter and baked dry in summer. Unless you install drainage, you will need to work with your soil and choose plants adapted to wet conditions.
5. Drought-resistant plants
As climate change presents us with the challenge of gardening with less water, choosing plants to suit our growing conditions becomes paramount.