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Inspired to sow and grow

Cottage garden colour with LinariaGet into the garden to play with the new seasons plants and colour it is just as exciting as spring can be. This is the time of the year we see many of our favourites like Pansies and Poppies coming back and don't forget Primulas. Whether it's getting some colour going or planting up the veggie patch autumn is the best time to get your fingers in the soil and be inspired by nature.

Easy colour from seed

Autumn is also nature's time for sowing seeds so we can add to the colour by experimenting with the wide selection for this time of the year such as fragrant Virginian stocks, water wise Bokbaaivygie's, Sweet Peas for the vase or the dainty Linaria.

When planting from seed remember that for most they want to be just under the surface of the soil in order to germinate successfully. More often than not seeds don't come up because they are too deep. Seeds need light and warmth from sunshine to sprout and if they are too deep it won't happen.

Think about how it happens in nature, the seed falls and leaves and dust will cover them, they are always close to the surface. Nature does not bury seed.
Fine seed such as Virginian Stocks or Linaria can be sprinkled over loose soil and then watered in, no need to rake cover or pat the soil down.

Heritage Veggie Slabs

Easy to plant seed slabsGrowing veggies has never been this easy. Introducing us to a novel way of planting seed Sow Delicious has a range of heritage seeds that look as tempting to eat as to grow. In the box a slab of seed soil which looks just like a slab of chocolate. Each block has seed embedded in it ready to plant. Break the slab into blocks and soak in water for a few hours. Prepared your soil with some compost and bone meal rake level and plant each block a few centimetres apart just under the surface of the soil.

As a guide they tell us that one slab is about a month's supply of veggies for 4 people. So this is a very easy way of planting through the season to make sure you fill the veggie basket as needed. What are heritage veggie seeds? Veggies from yesteryear which are not always available in the mass market of today's consumer demand.

Time to plant Pansies!

Keep flowers coming by dead-headingChoosing winter bedding plants is so much more fun than for summer as there are so many more to choose from and there are more colours and mixes to in each variety to grow.

Pansies are the stalwart of the winter and spring garden flowering for months on end. Planted now, they will be in flower well into October making them incredible value for money. Pansies through winter want full sun to most day sun to perform at their best. If you give them too much shade they will produce fewer flowers through the coldest months and only provide a mass show at the end of spring. Feed every two weeks with Multifeed Flowergro and keep removing dead flowers to encourage more.

Make your own compost

This is the year to start your own compost heap The first step before you sow and grow successfully is always the soil. Improving the condition of the soil can only be done by adding compost. The making of compost from your autumn garden supply of leaves is easy and one of the best ways to practice recycling in your garden.

Compost is the only way to improve the condition of existing garden soil, it helps to bind loose soil and improves drainage in clay soils. One can never over do compost in the garden, compost is the foundation of any garden and the more you add the better your garden will grow.

Here is how to get started

Protect with Frost Cover

Do not get caught this yearIf your veggie patch is exposed and you would like to sow some leafy crops consider creating a small tent of Frost cover to help regulate the night temperatures around your young seedlings. Remove it during the day to allow the sun in and then close them up at night. We are a few weeks away from first frost yet but if you have a special plant you need to protect from frost we recommend that you cover from the first week of May.

Even though traditionally our first heavy frost is expected in week three of May let's not forget about the odd year it arrives early. Cover tender plants with frost guard which allows the plants to breath and also allows light in which means the plants can still grow inside the cover during winter. The best way is to make a tepee over the plant and then tie it down so that it does not blow off on a windy night.

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