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Planting out shrubs

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Bliss! Great gardening weather. I am not a fair weather gardener, but the sight of such blue skies really raises the spirits as well as the trowel.

This time of year is good for planting out new shrubs. I am going to plant some Rhododendrons in a woodland part  of the garden, and have three ready in pots once the hard work of clearing the area is finished. Plants in pots can get very dry and it doesn't give a good start to the shrub or plant if it gets planted out when it is on the dry side and in an April which is dry.  It's a good idea to make sure the plant is really well watered, and the best way to do this is to put it in a tug, fill the tug up with a few inches  of water, and then stand the plant in for couple of hours or so, as in the image left.

In the same area, I am planting Pulmonaria  and Helleborus and I placed these in a shallow tray of water to ensure the roots were well watered. This is a good tip for any plant or shrub when planting out if you want to get the plants off to a good start.

Another tip, if you are growing from seed, is to keep each seed tray with one type of seed only and don't mix them up with part of the tray seeded with one type of plant and part with another. It can be tempting to use up space in the seed tray with another seed, but the problem is they will germinate and grow at different speeds, and you will end up with a tray as in the image left. The sweet peas have romped away, the Amaranthus have not and the sweet peas are ready for hardening off which would kill the Amaranthus.

The solution was to remove the Amaranthus, so it was nice to sit in the sun and prick out the young Amaranthus seedings and pot them up separately to liberate the sweet peas. The sun was wonderful, but even more wonderful was the fantastic sweet scent being blown around by the wind coming from the scented Narcissus. Planted in autumn last year the scent was powerful and I will definitely plant some more this autumn. Lovely looking and lovely scent, one of the best gardening combinations.


Sweet pea and Amaranthus


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