Garden Action

The premier gardening information source

8th to 14th

It's difficult to get plant feeding needs correct but Susan explains it easily on the right.
Potassium high feeds are sold as Tomato Feed, nitrogen high feeds are sold as General Purpose.

Different plants have different feeding needs. At times when flowers or fruit are required, then use a high potassium feed such as liquid tomato plant fertiliser. When leaf and branch growth is needed, then use a high nitrogen feed.

Peaches, nectarines and apricots come into blossom earlier in the year than most fruit. For this reason the delicate buds can be damaged by the frost. To prevent this cover the most vulnerable parts of these trees with some form of frost protection. Fleece is available from most garden centres for this purpose. The fleece can be re-used for several years if it is stored away properly.

Prune Wisteria

Wisteria are a bit of a law to themselves as far as pruning is concerned. They need pruning twice a year to keep them in tip top shape.

The first pruning should occur in August with a second pruning in the winter, any time between December and February. In winter, each of the shoots should be cut back to two healthy buds from the main stem. Don't prune any shoots which you are training over a support. If you forgot pruning in August, still do as described above.

Winter Flowering Shrubs
It's easy to know when to prune winter flowering shrubs, just do it as soon as the flowers have died down. The same applies to early spring flowering shrubs and climbers such as forsythia and clematis montana.

Strange Strawberry Rules
Strawberries grown in the ground outside can be encouraged to produce an early crop of fruit by covering them with fleece or cloches. This will provide extra warmth and protect them from the frost. Remember though to lift the fleece sides up in the middle of some days when the weather is warm to encourage pollination by insects.

If however you have been growing pot strawberries in your cool greenhouse over winter, then the best advice is to take them outside some time soon. Strawberries need some time exposed to the cold weather if they are to flower successfully.

All strawberries will appreciate a liquid feed high in potassium (as used for tomatoes). Potassium encourages the growth of those all so important flowers on strawberries.