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Monthly Hints & Tips

November 2017 Hints & Tips

Bird feed
Don’t forget the birds this winter, and make sure you put out food and water every day. We have a huge selection of feeders, tables and food – in fact, everything you’ll need to keep our feathered friends happy and healthy.

Christmas shopping
Our garden centre is the perfect place to do all your Christmas shopping. We stock a wide range of gifts, Christmas trees, lights, decorations, houseplants and much, much more – all under one roof. And we have plenty of easily accessible parking too. There’s bound to be something for all your family and friends - so spend Christmas with us.

Composting
Don’t throw away your spent bedding plants, kitchen waste and other plant material – turn them into valuable compost for improving your soil and mulching your beds. And fallen tree leaves can be turned into leafmould – the perfect soil improver and mulch, especially for rhododendrons, azaleas and other woodland plants. Making good compost and leafmould is easy with our wide range of compost bins, compost and leafmould accelerators, leaf rakes and collectors. Just ask our helpful staff if you need any help with successful composting.

Containers for winter and spring
You can’t beat planted containers for brightening up gardens and patios throughout the winter months – and they also make perfect presents. We have plenty of exciting ready-planted containers for you to just pick up and take away, or you can plant one yourself. Just ask a member of staff for help and advice.

Cyclamen and azaleas
Brighten up your home this winter with our superb quality colourful azaleas and cyclamen. They’re easy to look after – just put them somewhere cool and in good, indirect light. Keep the compost moist, and feed regularly for best results.

Evergreen shrubs
If your garden is looking a bit dull and lacks structure, brighten it up with evergreen shrubs.  We have a fabulous range to choose from – many of which also have other attractions – such as flowers and berries – to provide colour all year round. Get newly-planted evergreen shrubs off to the best possible start by planting with compost and slow-release fertiliser.

Fruit
Create your own fruit garden – now’s an excellent time to plant fruit trees and bushes, and we have a superb range available. To ensure bumper crops, plant with plenty of organic matter and slow-release fertiliser. Make sure you train bushes where necessary, and use stakes and ties for fruit trees.  For more advice, just ask – we’re here to help

Fencing
This time of year is perfect for putting up fences, trellis, pergolas, arches and other garden structures.  Discover how easy it is, and the wide range of styles we have available – just ask a member of staff for ideas and assistance.

Greenhouse products
Make sure your greenhouse and frames are ready for winter so that you can move your tender plants into them as soon as warnings of frosts are heard. We have a wide range of essential products including heaters, thermometers, bubble wrap and fleece.

Lift dahlias, cannas, begonias
Once the first frost has blackened the foliage of dahlias, it’s time to carefully lift the tubers for overwintering in a cool but frost-free place. Remove any loose soil and hang them upside down for a few days to drain any water in the stems. Then remove all dried soil, label and store them in just damp compost. The tubers of cannas and large-flowered begonias will also need lifting. Canna tubers are also stored in just damp compost, but begonias should be stored dry in nets.

Pest watch
Although most pests and diseases are less active in autumn and winter, be vigilant for problems, and deal with them as soon as they’re seen. Houseplants and plants overwintered in greenhouses and frames are especially susceptible to pests, but can be quickly helped with a pesticide spray.  Maintaining a high humidity around most foliage houseplants – especially those in centrally-heated houses – will help keep them strong and healthy and help reduce red spider mite attacks. The reverse is true in greenhouses and frames where high humidity can lead to problems with grey mould and other diseases, so reduce watering and provide good ventilation where necessary.



Plants of the month
Ensure your garden remains colourful throughout winter with our plants of the month. There’s plenty to choose from including: cyclamen, pansies, violas, winter-flowering heathers, winter jasmine, Viburnum bodnantense, Viburnum farreri, Viburnum tinus and mahonias. And don’t forget plants grown for their berries, colourful stems and the huge range of evergreens available.

Poinsettias
You can’t beat poinsettias to provide plenty of festive cheer to your home over winter. They’re available in a range of colours – just look at what’s on offer in our houseplant section. When you get them home, place them somewhere they’ll receive reasonable warmth and good light, and well away from draughts and extremes of heat – such as near radiators.

Tender Plants
Tender plants won’t appreciate being kept out in the cold – so move them somewhere protected from frost and cold winds. We have an excellent selection of cold frames and heaters to give protection and beat off the worst of the winter weather. Plants that are hardier, but still sensitive to winter cold, will appreciate a thick mulch of bark and even covering with fleece and bubble wrap during the coldest weather.

Tools for great presents
If you’re stuck for that special present to give the gardener in your life, then gardening tools are the perfect solution. So, spoil them with a new stainless steel spade or a pair of quality secateurs. Check out our tool section for a wealth of fantastic ideas.