Why Dead Heading is Important

Dead heading is essential to get the optimum number of flowers and blooming time from a plant.

Why?

The function of many plants, perennials and annuals, is to replicate. Plants recreate by producing flowers which end up being seeds which are shed and distributed at which point the cycle is complete. To motivate a plant to keep flowering, or to produce a 2nd flush of flowers, eliminate the spent flower so no seed is produced and the plant will aim to produce another flower.

Plants differing in how delicate they are to dead heading, in regards to producing more flowers. Some plants, such as Clematis Crystal fountain, if deadheaded, may produce a 2nd flush of flowers. For other plants, such as Sweet Peas, sturdy Geraniums, and Roses, dead heading is vital to keep the plant blooming all summertime long. Having described this to a pal recently, she responded, “I did question why my sweet peas stopped flowering!” She didn’t appreciate how essential this basic job is for the continuation of flowers and a great summertime display.

Head heading is also extremely essential for bedding plants to keep them flowering. If they are not deadheaded, the flowers will end up being less and less, and the plant leggy and will soon go over. With a little care most bedding plants should flower for weeks if not months.

Plant such as sturdy geraniums, typical name, Cranesbill, can be really time taking in to dead head. The image left is of the dead flower heads eliminated from a hardy Geranium in one session. If it end up being too much, an option with Cranesbill, Achillea mollis is to large the plant near ground level and if done early enough in the growing season, it might produce a second flush of flowers. Doing this will definitely produce fresh green foliage if the plant is looking exhausted.

If you are wanting to dead head flowers with a single flower spike such as Delphinium, Digitalis (Foxglove) Salvia, just remove the spent spike and sometimes the plant will reward with a smaller 2nd flush along with.

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The Legacy of the Beast from the East.

It’s gone, however not quite forgotten. Spring if loaded with charming images, however the Beast from the East with its extended, freezing wind has damaged garden plants, some completely.

The mild spell indicates we can get out and take stock, and the primary casualties are the evergreen and semi evergreen shrubs. Other plants have actually suffered, the hellebores look a bit rough and many plants are much later entering spring blossom, in some locations nearly a month late.

How to tell if your shrub has passed away?

The very best way is to snap off a small branch, or scrape away the bark on a branch and analyse the wood below. If it is brown all the way through, then it is likely to be dead. If it is green in the interior, the shrub ought to restore.

Much of the evergreens might have wind burn, where the leaves look actually charred, or shrivelled, which should enhance with the warmer weather condition. The Cotoneaster is normally evergreen/semi evergreen but it has actually shed all its leaves in the severe weather condition.

A shrub which was actually healthy before the bad winter might well revive. The Rosemary was having a hard time because of the damp in addition to the cold, and was not on finest form prior to the winter season, and the Beast from the East was the final straw.

This perhaps a great time to feed shrubs with a well balanced fertilised to help them along, remembering that any, ericaceous i.e. acid loving shrubs, Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Camellia, Pieris etc will require an ericaceous feed.

Shrubs whose branches have been harmed by the snow possibly best pruned. If the stems of the branches have actually been compromised, the shrub is better off being pruned back. You might loose from flowers in the spring, and if this is an issue you can bind the branch to support it and after that prune later if you prefer; depends in part how damaged the branch is.

If you are not exactly sure if your preferred shrub is alive or not, provide it a feed and wait a while to see what spring brings.

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How to grow Clematis


Clematis are one of the most popular garden plants because of their vibrant and appealing flowers. Clematis are climbing up plants with a wide range of flower shapes, sizes, colours and blooming times.

Although popular, Clematis are not the easiest climbing plant to grow and the majority of require routine pruning, apart from Group 1 which include the popular, late spring flowering Clematis montana, showed above right. To keep clematis flowering well each year, pruning is required that makes Clematis an “amber wheel barrow plant” showing medium attention and trouble to grow. In addition, for freshly planted young plants and at the beginning of the growing season, the spring development is extremely appealing to slugs and Clematis need protection.

Clematis are among the few plants which are correctly planted below the soil level, so much deeper than typical. Many Clematis are planting in spring and early summertime but they can likewise be planted in autumn when the soil is still warm. Clematis need to be well watered when first planted which implies if there is a dry spring additional watering will be needed.

The main worry for most garden enthusiasts contemplating growing Clematis is how and when to prune them.

The most convenient Clematis to grow since they need little or no pruning are Clematis montana, C. alpina and C. macropetala. One of the loveliest varieties, Clematis montana ‘Elizabeth’ has a lovely vanilla fragrance. Of all the Clematis, when planting a Clematis montana you need a big area as it is energetic growing up to 12m (nearly 40ft) if left untreated, and growing in perfect conditions. Clematis are quick growing and need to climb a support, such as an obelisk, where they can supply height and be a function in the border.

The various varieties of Clematis have a long blooming season, looking early in the year with the C. alpina right through to September the late flowering C. Tangutica, and over winter C. Cirrhosa. Clematis like well drained soil with sun or light shade.

For the function of pruning all Clematis are categorized into three groups:

  • Group 1 the early flowering types which include the Montana and C. alpina, C. macropetala; all require no pruning. Clematis Montana are one of the most popular Clematis mainly because of all of the group of Clematis they are simpler to grow and really gratifying. C. montana are robust and quick growing blooming reliably each year.
  • Group 2 early to mid season blooming Clematis which require moderate pruning to a structure.
  • Group 3 are the late flowering cultivars, and little blooming cultivars and this group all need a tough prune.

It can be difficult deciding which group a Clematis comes from and so work out how to prune a Clematis.

The group to which group the Clematis belongs only matters to determine pruning requirements. When you purchase a Clematis it will have a plant label which will mention to the Clematis group either 1, 2 or 3 Clematis, which then tells you how and when to prune it. If at all possible it is best to keep the label. This is not constantly possible, labels get lost and when you move home you may obtain a garden which already has actually a Clematis planted in it. The very best way then to decide how and when to prune it is to take a note of when the Clematis flowers. In which month a Clematis flowers can help to decide which group it is, this method is not foolproof but if there is no label it is the very best alternative as a rough and all set rule.

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Winter in the Garden and Hardy Lettuces

We are practically at the shortest day; it is certainly winter, but the garden is alive. It is surprising just how much is growing in the garden and not simply the spring bulbs which are well ahead of themselves. The images above are on the left Achillea and on the right Aster. Both are summertime flowering perennials which I have been cutting down, among the winter season garden tasks. At the base you can see the plant’s brand-new development which will be next years blooming plant.

I am in the midst of the winter season clear up, a job which typically happens over much of the winter season on milder days. As soon as the perennials have been cut down the weeds are much easier to identify and there are plenty to weed out. I also eliminate leaves which build up in the borders. That might seem counter- intuitive, as leaf mulch benefits the borders, however that is the well decomposed down variety not the freshly blown leaves which are slimly and can harbour illness.

December is a quiet time in the garden, there are no pressing tasks. It is nice to go out on the few moderate days and clear up leaves and winter season particles. By weeding over the winter season I try to begin the spring relatively weed free, a battle gave up by late summer.

By which I mean this is where a really big Hosta grew in the summer. Unlike Achillea and Aster, Hostas die back totally in the winter leaving no trace behind. There will be no fresh shoots from the Hosta up until spring next year.

If a plant label states it is a’ Herbaceous Perennial’ you can anticipate it to pass away back completely in the late fall and over winter season, leaving you with bare earth often till quite late in the year.

Winter in the Veg Plot


Winter season in the veg plot is not just about Winter cabbages and Brassicas, although they are good to grow, Winter is also lettuce time. I have had lettuce growing in the veg plot all summer season, autumn and into the winter season. We might frequently eat Tomatoes and Lettuce together, but there are very different plants Tomatoes are really tender and just feasible throughout the summer season.

Two typical lettuces are the Autumn lettuce and Rocket which has actually been taken in, picking off those plants growing outside the cloche. Lettuce will hold up against a degree of frost which indicated throughout November, in spite of frosts, the lettuces outside the cloche were untouched. Expecting more severe winter season weather, some summertime sown lettuces and winter lettuces have actually been planted under the cloche. Lettuce is far more durable than it may appear, and there are plenty of winter season lettuces to select and grow.

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No flowers on daffodils – Blind daffodils

We look forward to the Daffodil season therefore it is twice as frustrating if instead of cheery yellow or white flowers all over there are simply leaves.

The bright side is that if you are taking a look at patches of bulbs which have not flowered now is the time to take the measure of them and encourage them to flower next year.

A high potassium feed, such as tomato feed, will help particularly if they are growing on poor soil. The bulbs for next year will be forming over the coming weeks so feed them if it is dry water them and remove any flower heads (not the greenery) when the flowers have actually faded.

If you have an irritating sensation that perhaps the bulbs were planted too shallow, they require to be 3xbulb depth now is also the time to dig them up. Examine the depth and after that replant at least 3 times the depth of the bulb.

No flowers on daffodils – Blind daffodils

If daffodils enter into leaf but produce no flowers they are called blind daffodils the causes are:

  • Planting too shallow is a most typical cause; it is necessary that bulbs are planted a minimum of three times their height into the soil. This is the most typical reason for daffodils not flowering Mark the daffodils and after that when blooming is over, dig up the bulbs and replant to the proper depth.
  • Very dry soil can cause blindness and it’s a good concept if planting into dry soil to mulch the area to retain wetness and ameliorate the dryness.
  • Planting too late daffodils can be a reason for no flowers. Daffodils require to be in the soil and planted by mid-September.

Mature clumps of daffodils can get overcrowded in which case lift and divide and replant. The time to lift is as the bulbs enter leaf and replant right away.


Defoliation and knotting can trigger a problem. It may be appealing to make the exhausted foliage look more appealing but it hinders the take up of nutrients by the leaves. It is important to let the foliage die down naturally for a minimum of 6 weeks post blooming.


If all else fails, feeding can help in which case any appropriate used routinely after the blossoms have faded.

Hopefully, you will not be so disappointed next year.

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How to begin a compost bin and keep it at its best

At Wheelie Bin Solutions we’re seeing a growing number of customers ask us about how to start a compost bin and the very best ways to make a success of it.

Garden compost is a terrific method to reuse organic waste by turning it back into fertiliser for the garden. It’s a closed-loop process and requires really little external energy or material input, making it a good eco-friendly option.

The good news is that it’s quite easy to begin a garden compost bin even in a small garden, while in larger gardens you may wish to consider starting a compost heap at the back of a flowerbed or bushes rather.

For a self-contained garden compost bin, all you actually require is a food waste wheelie bin and the ideal sort of food and garden waste, and away you go.

What food waste goes in a compost bin?

Raw veggie waste including vegetables and fruit peels, off-cuts like carrot tops, and remaining ingredients that you didn’t totally use up can all enter your garden compost bin.

You can likewise put garden waste therein, like dead leaves, turf clippings, and dead flowers you pull up from your borders – just be careful not to let any intrusive weeds act.

Prevent anything that will make your compost bin turn nasty, such as meat that can end up being infested with maggots, or dairy which will cause your garden compost to smell horrible.

Leading tips for healthy garden compost

It’s not too tough to preserve a healthy garden compost bin or garden compost heap, there are a couple of things you can do to give your garden compost the best chance of decomposing down to a rich fertiliser rather of a mouldy mess.

Here are a few of our top suggestions for the very best garden compost:

  • Put your compost bin on a flat, level and well drained pipes surface.
    Turn your garden compost frequently to present air into the mix.
    Add worms to absorb the waste faster for even quicker quality compost.
  • If your garden compost is too damp, introduce some dry materials like dead leaves or even some old shredded paper or egg cartons. These will also produce air pockets as they rot down, helping to aerate your garden compost much more.

Do’s and don’t of Composting

There are simply a few final do’s and don’t of composting to remember:

  • Don’t put big branches and branches in your garden compost bin – these might me allowed in your garden waste wheelie bin or you might repurpose them in other places in the garden.
  • Don’t put non-compostable waste like plastic plant pots in your compost. Once again, you might be able to put these in your plastic recycling bin instead.
  • Do regularly turn your garden compost so any undigested product is mixed through and not just left sitting on top.
  • Excess fluid from your compost bin so the mix does not get too wet.
  • Your compost when it is well decayed down and looks a deep brown, rich and fertile, and free from any big undigested items.

Follow these tips and you need to be well on your way to a wheelie bin full of fertiliser, instead of a mouldy maggot-infested mess!

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