Garden 7th Cavalry has Arrived!
Firstly, a big thank you to Trevor for all the good work he has put into his column over many years. Trevor is still available for advice as there is no substitute for experience.
Gardening, whether it's a postage stamp or at a country house, is well known for lowering stress levels. It's easy to get involved, especially in Wenvoe, with allotments, wildlife group, environment team (under Trevor's watchful eye) and, of course, the produce show in September. It's a well known fact that Gardeners love to share their knowledge. So here we go, first bit of advice, if you can get on to your lawn at this time of year, brushing off the worm casts is a must as weed seeds attach to the little mounds causing more weeds than you can shake a stick at.
If you haven't already, cut the dead flower heads of hydrangeas just above first bud or to a lower bud if the plant is outgrowing its space.
Start to grow seeds on the kitchen windowsill and cover seeds and compost with vermiculite to stop the annoying fungus fly laying eggs We are all tempted by the seed and plant catalogues that come via magazines and through the post, but beware that these young plants may be smaller than you expect and will not be hardened off. If given the right care they will be worth the effort.
You should, by now, be chitting [getting them ready to plant] your early potatoes by putting them in open egg boxes in a sunny, frost free place until stalks are shooting. Basic stuff, but I still need to be reminded. Also, plant some peas in pots and keep in a sheltered spot as it is so worth trying to get them to grow early . Eat them straight off the plant – they are truly lovely.
Before the gardening season takes off, there's lots to get ready. Seed trays and pots need to be cleaned, make sure all hand tools are fit for purpose, mowers need to be serviced and if you have a greenhouse it needs to be cleaned with disinfectant.
Did you get an Amaryllis at Christmas? If so when flowers start to fade cut them off but leave the stalk and leaves. Feed and water sparingly and when foliage has died back keep in a cool place ready for next year.
One last thing, I recently put some chive seeds in a pot, sealed in a clear plastic bag, on the kitchen windowsill and they were up in 8 days.