A Late Spring/Early Summer Garden Update

May 06, 2015

After writing these two garden posts {here} and {here}, a few of you have requested that I update you on when I'm planting things like bulbs in the autumn ready for Spring and currently summer flowers. So this is the post to tell you what I've been planting recently and a little update on all those seeds that I sowed back in March. 

Seedlings - 
We moved all of our seeds out of our loft room {where we started them off in the warm} down to the allotment greenhouse while it was still too cold to plant them out. I've left a few things in there for now until they're bigger like the stocks and cosmos for the borders and the tomato plants. But on Saturday we planted all of our sweet peas out. I'd hardened them off for a few days, bringing them out in the sunshine during the day to get used to the elements but then bringing them back in the greenhouse at night to acclimatise. If you've got some sweet peas to plant out it's best to wait until there is heavy rain forecast as they do love water to get their roots going. Also pinch out the tops of your sweet peas to get more side shoots and more flowers. 

We planted ours in soil enriched with manure {dig a hole and fill it with manure but make sure your sweet pea roots don't touch this directly so add a thin layer of normal soil on top}, sweet peas are heavy feeders. And make sure you have a wigwam or something for them to grow up. We've got rusty metal wigwams from Kempton Antiques in the garden but just bamboo canes at the allotment. You don't need to protect these from frost. 

I've grown about 4 different types of sweet pea seedlings but for planting I've mixed them all up so that I'll have a range of colours in each display like I did last year.

The cosmos that I've sown from seed are doing well and I'll probably plant them out into the borders in a couple of weeks. They're all different types, shapes and colours so I'm looking forward to them flowering. Protect them from slugs when you first plant them out. 

The rest of the seedlings seem like they're growing well, I pricked the stocks out into individual pots at the weekend and will wait until they're a bit bigger before planting out. Likewise for the zinnias and larkspur. 

Garden Centre Buys

Every April my Mum and I pay a visit to the Gardening Club at Crews Hill near Enfield to stock up on summer bedding plants for our tubs. They have the biggest best geraniums around for just £1 a plant and trailing plants to go with them. I've also bought some container cosmos {compared to my tall varieties for the borders and that are in flower already} and lobelia for my tubs of summer displays. 

I bought them a couple of weeks ago, you know when it was really hot? But then we had a week of frosts so I've delayed planting them until now, keeping them in the greenhouse until this weekend.

I get Ben to help me, it's a big job planting everything up so much quicker with both of us. We get all of the tubs onto the grass...

and then it's out with the daffodils and winter heathers, I pulled up the bulbs out of the galvanised tubs and have taken them down to the allotment to plant in the ground until the autumn. And in with the summer pretties!

Whenever I plant something new in the tubs I replace half of the soil with new compost and make sure I feed and water them regularly. Nutrients runs out quickly in tubs especially if plants will be flowering all summer. This year I've actually learned from the past few years and just planted 3 cosmos plants in each bath tub, in the past I've crammed them in only to have to pull a couple out in a few weeks when they've really grown. These two packs of cosmos {with six plants in each} has filled up three tubs with a few to spare. 

Geraniums don't fill out quite as much as cosmos so I've put three plants per round tub and 1-2 per smaller bucket. They don't need quite as much care as other plants, they can tolerate a bit of drought etc. But deadhead them regularly. 

I've gone for mainly pinks and whites this year. The lobelia will be white when it comes out of the watering cans. 

And I planted stocks, from the garden centre {I've grown some from seed too but they're not quite ready yet} into tubs a couple of weeks ago. They can withstand the cold. 

I've filled the watering cans with white lobelia, they look tiny plants now but in just a few weeks they'll be overflowing with flowers for the rest of the summer. 

If there is a risk of frost at all for the next month I'll just cover them in newspaper or fleece for the night. But fingers crossed for warm evenings from now on. 

In the tub in the front garden I've planted geraniums and a little purple trailing daisy, they'll flower all summer and are low maintenance. 

And I've taken out the heathers from my old drain hoppers and replaced them with summer trailing plants, again they look small now but in a couple of weeks they'll be spilling over with flowers. 

I'll do a photo update in a few weeks when hopefully the rest of the garden will be in full bloom!

It's amazing when just day by day you can see big changes. I really love this time of year. And can't even imagine the change we'll see when we come back from Mauritius after a week away!

R <3 xx 

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  1. Looking beautiful already. I can' wait to see things fill up and green-out over the next few weeks.


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