Preparing for planting out
Lockdown goes on, but it’s worth remembering that it’s there to keep us all safe and well, so let’s make the best of it in our gardens.
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:
In last week’s advice column I featured the process of hardening-off your plants in readiness for planting outdoors during May and the beginning of June.
You should continue to harden-off plants during the next couple of weeks except for greenhouse plants such as tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. If you haven’t started doing this then there is still time.
However, during the past week there has been quite an unpredicted period of overnight frosts which, unless you managed to provide some protection to your plants may have resulted in the plants experiencing a check to their growth – or even worse, the premature death of your plants.
However, assuming you have carried out all the tasks mentioned above, you can proceed with planting your bedding plants and vegetables, and here are a few tips to bear in mind as you do this.
Where you’ve grown plants in small pots or cell trays from seeds yourself, you should proceed to knock the plants out of these and then take a moment to gently tease the roots out before you plant them into a prepared hole in the soil or into a container filled with good quality fresh compost.
Plant just a shade deeper than the depth of the cell-grown plant and then firm the plant into its new planting location with your fingers.
Apply the same procedure to any plants purchased from Cardwell Garden Centre’s online store.
Finally, water the new plants immediately and keep a close eye on watering for the first few weeks, and it will do no harm to give your plants a liquid feed after about one week.