BOOST YOUR BED­DING

How to get a suc­ces­sion of bright flow­ers

Amateur Gardening - - Contents -

THE win­ter/spring bed­ding I put in a few weeks ago has grown and flow­ered well. How­ever, as tem­per­a­tures drop and the weather de­te­ri­o­rates, things will start to slow down.

There are a few things you can do to bed­ding now, to help it through the win­ter months in good con­di­tion.

Dead­head spent flow­ers, be­cause the last thing you want is lots of ripe seed­heads and lit­tle seedlings. We are en­ter­ing a tough time and plants need to muster their re­sources, rather than wast­ing them on re­pro­duc­tion.

A warm, damp au­tumn like the one we have ex­pe­ri­enced is also per­fect for weeds. Re­move them as soon as you see them, and check for pests and dis­eases. The leaves of low-grow­ing pan­sies and bel­lis pro­vide cover for slugs and snails, and if it is damp and mild, fun­gal prob­lems such as pansy/ vi­ola leaf spot can take hold.

You can still plant bed­ding now, though don’t ex­pect to see much more growth be­fore spring. Plants will put on root growth, which helps de­vel­op­ment next year, but colder air tem­per­a­tures will stall top growth.

Care­ful hus­bandry will help bed­ding sur­vive the win­ter

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