Cardwell’s Survival Guide to Beat the Boredom – Part 9

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Plants get thirsty too, so give them a drink!

Lockdown has been eased slightly, as we’re now in Phase 1 of the Scottish Government’s Route Map out of the coronavirus pandemic.

And as well as the sun shining in the sky, a real bright spot last week was the re-opening of Cardwell Garden Centre, much to the relief of many a keen gardener out there.

A good way of beating any boredom you may be feeling and to keep active and get some fresh air is by getting out into your garden. Here are some handy hints from our gardening expert, George Irvine. Here’s what he’s saying this week:

With the driest May on record now past and gone, the continuing warm sunny weather has taken its toll on all our plants – both summer bedding and vegetables.

All plants need water to survive and as gardeners, we need to get the hose out and water our plants every day. The best time to water the garden is, either very early in the morning – just after dawn if possible – or late in the evening.

As most plants are now growing with great rapidity, they will need plenty of water and it is vital that the water gets down to the roots.

Even more important are the plants that you may have growing in tubs and containers, as these are totally reliant on you, the gardener, for all their water needs.

Hanging baskets usually require to be watered more than once per day as the wind, as well as the heat, has a drying effect.

It is also important to make sure that if you are growing first or second early type potatoes, they will need copious amounts of water just now in order to swell the tubers below ground.

Apart from water, all plants need some type of feeding to provide them with nutrition to sustain them throughout their growing season.

As all plants are liquid feeders, water becomes vitally important, otherwise all your flowers and vegetables will suffer from malnutrition.

Plants that are newly planted will obtain some nutrients from their compost, but this is only sufficient to keep the plants fed for about six weeks.

Following this, the gardener is required to feed all plants every couple of weeks using a propriety liquid fertilizer, such as ‘Miracle-Gro’, Phostrogen’ or ‘Maxicrop’. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions enclosed with the product.

Follow strict protocol on both watering and feeding and your plants should grow strong and healthy. It is worth remembering that healthy plants are more resistant to disease.

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