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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces I would still plant my apple tree." So said Martin Luther, and I feel the same way. About fruit trees, well, any trees really. We are planting with the next generation in mind, it is a long game. Here at M. D. O'Sheas we currently have a fantastic range of fruit trees, especially apple trees. Ideal for the smaller garden, or those who would like to grow fruit trees on their patio, are the Coronet apple trees. They are grown on M27 stock, which basically means they will remain dwarf. The fun thing about them is that there are Family Trees available, which have several varieties grafted onto the same rootstock. This means that you will need only one tree, yet still have the required two varieties for cross pollination. For example, Cox's orange and Grenadier are grafted onto one tree, but you will have both apples. This cuts down on space, but also guarantees pollination as they flower at the same time. A win win! Now is a great time to plant trees, but do remember to water them well when the weather is dry.
When the sun comes out, the garage doors open and the lawnmowers trundle out...Yes, it's that time of year again, when we are sitting out on our patio despairing over the state of the lawn. Lawn maintenance is a year-round thing, yet unfortunately it is in Spring that we all panic. If you have a lot of moss, then use as lawn feed and weed, or a 4in1 such as Evergreen 4in1, rake out the moss when it goes black and resew on the bald patches with Evergreen Lawn Repair seeds. If there are patches which are bare, but you are not sure why, it may be pets relieving themselves, or due to shade caused by trees et. The best thing to do, is fertilise your lawn, and three weeks later sow some seed, those covered with an aqua gel give excellent results. From May onwards, feed with a high Nitrogen content feed, or in dry spells with a liquid feed. In the Autumn, feed your lawn with a low nitrogen content feed, which contains sulphate of Iron, to kill off and prevent moss. If you also aerate at this time, by using a hollow tined fork, and brushing a mixture of loam and sand into the created holes, your lawn will be off to a great start the following spring.
Cutting the grass to the correct height is also of great importance, for example, fine grass, such as that for a front lawn, should be cut often and low, whereas the hardier grass, such as number 2 grass, can be left that bit higher.
Making hanging baskets can be a joy, or a disaster, depending on who you speak to! The basics are simple, though, and if you follow them you will enjoy a long season of flowers. Use a coco liner for ease, but put a round piece of polythene in the basket also. Fill with compost, mixed with a heaped tablespoon of slow release fertiliser and swell gel, the Gardman Nutrigel is an excellent product which combines both. water the compost before planting, as the gel will increase in volume. Then, the fun bit, choose your plants! The only thing holding you back is imagination, and maybe the size of your container! Use about three patio plants in a 14" basket, with some smaller bedding plants such as trailing lobelia to fill the gaps. There is no rule which says you MUST use trailing plants, I have seen beautiful baskets, where the basket is the feature, as well as the collection of upright and semi-trailing plants.
May is a wonderful time of year, full of promise and colour. The trick is, take the time to enjoy it!
If you have any questions at all, feel free to contact me, Debby, at 064-6620200