Gardening Times

IT has been another mild but wet winter in the west of Scotland and this has had a mixed effect on the garden.

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Spring flowering bulbs have come up early and the daffodils here at Cardwell, in Gourock, are almost past.

Once your bulbs have finished flowering nip the flowers off, but not the stem to let nutrients to flow down the stem, giving the bulb additional strength to see it through until next spring.

Your lawns have probably started growing and may require a cut. If you are about to do this, only give it a mild cut for the first few times. Once spring is really under way you can cut it shorter.

Many lawns, including mine, are still waterlogged. If this is the case with yours, don't walk on it too much as this will create patches and can lead to long-term problems.

The fact that water is lying there suggests that you, like me, need to get a hollow tine aerator or a garden fork out to create drainage.

This is more common in modern homes where the garden does not have much soil depth.

By creating holes and backfilling them with coarse sand you will help avoid waterlogging and the associated problems, like moss.

You can start to feed your lawn now with treatments such as Evergreen Complete, but most of these need warmer weather to work properly and the temperature is still a bit low.

You still have time to plant autumn flowering bulbs for wonderful colour later, and plant seeds now for flowers and vegetables.

Many seeds need to germinate into seedlings before they can be planted up, so you may need seed trays or a propagator and good seed compost.

Two years ago I tested propagators and was amazed at the difference between a standard and a heated one.

In a standard propagator, it took two to three weeks for the seeds to germinate to a size that they could be put into pots.

Using a heated propagator this time was reduced to five to 10 days.

Cardwell Garden Centre was recently approached by the 27th Greenock Brownies who are growing sunflowers for their 100th year and we speeded up germination from three to two weeks in our heated greenhouses.

We have teamed with supplier Thompson & Morgan and have sunflower seeds to donate to Brownie packs. Email info@cardwellnurseries.com for details.

Home and Garden

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