BEDDING plants should all be planted, now that five letter
word 'frost' is no longer a menace.
Your hanging baskets shouldn't be put out until June,
however. Bad weather in May frequently hinders hanging
basket development, plus the longer they are sheltered, the
bigger, better and bolder the flowers will be.
Of course here we have to watch out for an attack of the
Clones, which could have devastating effect.
I'm not talking about the latest offering from Lucasfilm
productions, but I speak of Greenfly, whitefly, and all the
little creepy crawlies we know and love so well.
They are back with a vengeance, particularly so at a time
of warm humid weather when their reproduction rates seem to
The horticultural laser sword with which to wipe out these
pests . . .all of them is Roseclear, surprisingly effective
on lots of flowers.
Of course there are some plants very sensitive to these
chemicals including Fuschsias and Geraniums, in which case
you should blast the enemy with old washing up liquid.
Try 'companion' planting, French Marigold under roses
attract hoverflies which feed on aphids! Try this
combination in a summer pot - mint or garlic confuses the
attacking pests, handy for interplanting with fragrant
flowers like Ten Week Stocks.
As for how bedding should look: some say it is best to
repeat a pattern of three colours. Some say big old swathes
of colour either in rows or flowing like a river would look
good under shrubs.
Perhaps in a circle bed divided into five with a white
edge of Alyssum.
A good focal point here would be a slender Box topiary
specimen or Cupressus macrocarpa 'Goldcrest'; a striking
upright conifer which smells of wine gums! Beauty lies in
the eyes of the beholder.
Watering and feeding are vital if you want bedding to
look best. Miracle-Gro is excellent, but in my experience
potash rich tomato food is just as good.
Don't forget you can use this on anything which flowers
or fruits, including those obstinate old shrubs reluctant to
Look for the NPK ratio on the back of the plant food
packet. N is the Nitrogen and makes foliage, P is for
Phosphate and roots, and K is Potash for flowers.
Start feeding now weekly and it will make a big
difference, but don't forget to deal with your pests too,
otherwise they will turn your garden to the dark side!
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