For some of us we have reached that magical point in the growing season – Labour Weekend – the lovely long weekend for planting everything out. But before we race ahead and lob all of the seedlings, we have tended for so long in the soil here are a few tips:
· Labour weekend is a moveable date in the calendar and can vary by as much as a week over the years. It isn’t a date set in stone, so if you miss it, its not a big deal. The same goes for Canterbury Show Day down south.
· The thing is it is based on an average last frost date. So, on average around about now is when the last frost happens. But with averages – the last frost could have already happened or is still to come. Keep a close eye on the forecast and be prepared to protect your plants.
· While it gets a load of publicity about being the weekend to plant out – it isn’t the only one and summer gardens can be successfully be planted out all the way up to Dec and still get a full and bountiful harvest.
· If you aren’t ready to plant out – things are too small or the weather isn’t right – its really windy here right now, or the soil is too cold (18C is a good aim) there is no harm in waiting. Your plants will thank you for it.
If you are planting out:
· Before you start – slip, slop, slap! And drink loads of water. Time has a habit of disappearing in a garden. And be careful. Gardening accidents are high on the list of reasons to visit A&E.
· Make sure your garden is weed free – but I’m sure you have done that already.
· If you haven’t already enriched the soil with goodies like compost, well-rotted manure or blood and bone etc then you can do it now. Ideally it would have been better to have been done weeks ago to allow the micro communities to work on it. But now is ok.
· Put your structures up before planting plants to avoid damaging them.
· Soaking seedlings in Yates Thrive Natural Seaweed Tonic for 15 minutes before planting can help reduce transplant shock.
· Stick to your planting plan and trust the research that you did at the time. The tiny seedlings do look a little ridiculous in the middle of the garden, but they will grow to take their place – if you give it to them or not. If you want to plant extras, don’t squish them in – extend the garden or grow them in containers.
· Water in well after planting to help settle the soil around the roots. Apply mulch to well-watered soil, but not up and around plant stems.
· Label everything so you will know what everything is come harvest time – especially if it is something you want to grow again – or not.
· Sit back and appreciate all you have done. And take loads of photos. The garden won’t stay this way for long – once the plants are released from their pots and the weather warms up, they grow really fast!
In my garden I’ll be using the Thrive Natural Seaweed Tonic for everything I plant. I still have loads to do to prepare, so I’m not going to rush. I shall spend the next few days slowly transitioning my garden from empty to full and I’ll love every moment of it.
I hope you find this helpful.
Happy gardening and as always – if you want to get in touch leave a comment below.
Sarah the Gardener : o)
Image: my ‘before’ photo