30th November 2017

BLOG: Mulches

BLOG: Mulches

Winter may seem an odd time to talk about mulch as generally it is more widely used during late spring, early summer and the autumn. However, there is no reason not to use mulch at this time of the year if the conditions are right. This means that the soil is not frozen or too dry. 

Protect your plants from the hard frosts

Once down it can help to protect the roots of more delicate plants plants during hard frosts or heavy snowfall. Use it if you are winter planting bare root roses, hedges and fruit trees. Lay two to three inches thick remembering to not to mulch right up to the stems as this will make the plant vulnerable to disease.

Commercial & domestic use

Chipped bark or shredded bark is one of the most popular mulches, along with mushroom and leaf mould. Amenity bark mulch is suitable for both commercial and domestic use and an economic method of creating an attractive surface to beds and borders. It can be used for any plants, although acid loving plants such as azaleas and rhododendrons are best served with pine bark mulches and not hardwood mulches as it increases the pH balance in the soil.

Long term benefits

Mulch is appealing because is has several uses and long term benefits. It helps to improve soil conditions, soil texture while suppressing weeds and helping to retain moisture, thereby reducing the time required to keep the garden looking good as weeding and watering time is significantly reduced.

Biodegradable, it creates a layer that not only protects the soil from erosion and weather extremes it also insulates the soil and regulates the temperature.

4th September 2017

BLOG: The Right Soil

BLOG: The Right Soil

Soil Fertility

Autumn is the time to encourage your customers to think about increasing the soil fertility ready for the growing season next spring. Now is a great time to add top soil and fertilsers, manure and general soil conditioners. It is particuarly important as the weather has been quite extreme - going from extremely dry to very wet. Currently the ground is quite soft which makes it ideal for digging in these soil conditioners, which in turn will help any new planting of shrubs and trees.

Promote Strong Root Growth

Remember it is very important to use the right fertilizers for this time of year. Treated farmyard manure is a great bulk soil conditioner, which is good for getting the microorganisms in the soil working. A course grade of bonemeal will slowly break down over the winter months and release nutrients to promote strong root growth. A seaweed based fertilizer is another good autumn and early winter slow release feed as it also has the added benefit of helping to reduce the effects of frost.  

Heavy & Clay soils

For heavy clay soils it is best to dig over and leave until the spring to add a generous layer of soil conditioner so they are less likely to become waterlogged,while both chalky and sandy soils will benefit from soil conditioners during the autumn months.

Additionally, all lawns require a feed low in nitrogen and high in phosphate and will also benefit from a layer of top soil.Best of all - you can buy it in easy bulk bags!