Welcome to Garden King's Plant Doctor Blog, where our experts discuss and answer all your gardening questions. This week I'm talking about deadheading, protecting your fruit and crops and keeping your patio's and driveways clean.
These are three hot topics which our customers are asking us for advice on so get out in the garden and get cracking.
I was out in the garden yesterday and I saw a few of my flowering plants weren't looking their best. It's worth deadheading flowering plants to get the most from them and remove any flowers which are past their best. Take your flower heads off as soon as they begin to droop - this will conserve the plant's energy by preventing them from setting seed.
Of all plants, bedding will benefit most from daily deadheading as it will extend the life of the plants and encourage them to continue producing more flowers throughout the summer. If you're new to deadheading, as a general rule the dying flowers of summer bedding plants can be pinched off between finger and thumb.
Cluster flowered roses need to be deadheaded regularly as this ensures the energy is channelled into new growth. Cut each flower off as the petals begin to fall. Lilies will start to form seed pods as soon as the flowers start to fade. Make sure you cut off only the tip of the flower stalk, leaving the rest of the stem to die down naturally. While it dies down it will make food for the bulb to bloom next year.
Give your bushy plants a 'haircut' with secateurs or scissors as soon as the flowers lose their colour. This will encourage bushy side growth (particularly with plants like lavender) and keep your plants compact and at their best.
Deadheading only takes a few minutes so there's no excuse - get out in the garden and reap the benefits in the coming months and in next years bloom.
Protecting your fruit and crops
Picture this, you've put in loads of hard work nurturing your crops and fruit trees... only to find rabbits have eaten your vegetables, nibbled your strawberries and birds have decimated the fruit on your trees. We've got an idea that can help to deter these pests whilst also making use of old unwanted CDs & DVDs. That's right, if you've got any discs lying about that you no longer want or need - you can thread string or wire through the hole in the centre and hang them from trees or stakes. The reflective surface will surprise and scare your produce fiends and reduce the chance of them pecking away at your hard work. I can't promise this will solve your problem completely - but it will certainly help and the CD's don't look too bad in your garden either - consider them as modern art!
Keep your patios and driveways clean
It's a good time to clean your patios, driveways and paths - they're probably looking a bit stained and dirty from the recent weather. We sell a great product from Bayer "Path & Patio Cleaner", it comes in a 2.5 litre bottle of concentrate and can treat up to 30 square meters. It's great at restoring natural colours, removing moss, algae and stains, and it's safe to use near plants and grass. Use it on brick, asphalt, tarmac, concrete and stone surfaces, simply dilute 1 part cleaner with 2 parts water in a watering can and apply to the surface in a even coverage. Brush well and leave for about 10 minutes, rinse well with clean water... job done! If you've got particularly stubborn stains, you may need more than one application.
If you've got a pressing gardening question that you'd like the plant doctor to help with, drop an email to email@example.com or pop in and see us and we'll do our best to help.
Garden King x