When thinking of what’s best to get on with this month we think of bedding plants for Summer Colour.
It will depend on which part of the country you live to when bedding plants can be planted outside, REMEMBER they are not frost hardy.
In Devon , my old Dad would have said after cup final but as I’m not a football follower, I haven’t a clue when that is (Ed. It’s the end of April!). But if you are in Northumberland, I’d go for making the last weekend in May the time to plant.
Wherever you are it doesn’t stop you ordering the plants and preparing the plot, but where do I start ?
At the beginning I recon.
The soil always needs to be improved and that will not only make planting easy but will give you a better show.
To improve the soil, dig over not too deeply and remove weeds and unwanted plants as you go.
It sounds hard work but it isn’t, and add compost whether home made or bought as you go .
Now what do I plan.
I like bold blocks of colour sticking to one plant in one colour edging perhaps with another and then a series of dot plants through the bed maybe to give a bit of height and extra interest.
Geraniums are always thought to be expensive but seedling varieties are extremely good value and the colours are magnificent.
Bedding Geranium are very tolerant of dry summers but will still perform in less favourable weather as well. Edge with something as simple as a Lobelia in soft blues, or be bold and use one of the new Marigolds which in gold or yellow will set off those perhaps red or purple Geraniums.
I’m getting excited already.
You gather I like bold. So why not look at Begonias again in single colours – maybe soft apricots? And dot plants of Cordalines in red.
The thing not to do is mix lots of different bedding plants with lots of different colours. All that does is give you a mish mash of colours and then some need deadheading while others fade earlier in the season.
How to feed summer bedding
A good start is to include a slow release fertiliser in the area as you prepare the ground. Alternatively, you could use something as simple as MiracleGro Growmore Plant Food Granules in that initial preparation. Then, as the plants develop and start to form their flower buds, use a liquid feed once a week, alternating between a general plant food like Maxicrop Complete Garden Feed which is a good seaweed based feed and, yes you guessed it, Tomorite Tomato Feed.
Then, simply look forward to a colourful summer and for more mixes of colours and ideas you know where to come to.
Ken’s Weekly Tips – Molinia – A wonderful ornamental grass
I'm a fan of ornamental grass, and Molinium is my favourite. If you're thinking of adding Molinium to your garden, be careful with what you chose.
Gardening With Ken – Aeonium. A stunning plant that looks to be made of metal.
You'll find most Aeoniums as house plants but this specimen is planted in a regular garden amongst Sedum. It really does look stunning.
Ken’s Weekly Tips – Colchium, a marvel amongst plants
No, it's not a crocus although it's often mistaken as a crocus. It's called Colchium, and it's a flower that brightens any autumnal garden.
Ken’s Weekly Tips – The Right Way To Deadhead A Geranium
There's a technique to deadheading Geraniums. Get it wrong and you invite disease into the plant. Here, I'm showing you the right way to do it.
Don’t forget to ‘dead head’ your bulbs
Ken’s Weekly Tips – 2nd June
Bedding plants really do set off a garden, and one of my favourites are lupine (Lupinus spp.) which really can make your borders 'pop'.