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Get your garden ready for spring!

The February snowdrops are out, which is the official nod to allowing Spring thoughts to enter our heads and February is a great month for decluttering your garden and tidying up everything so it’s ready for spring growth and summer use. Notcutts Garden Centre at Newnham Court Shopping Village are our gardening experts and are on stand-by, ready to help with all your spring gardening needs!

    Dan is our Plant Manager with a wealth of knowledge and experience - some of his top plant recommendations in the Plant Area at the moment – ripe for planting, are:

    • Camelias - single flowered, double flowered - Camelia Volunteer is looking particularly spectacular at the moment. Don’t forget to plant then in ericaceous peat free compost, with a sprinkling of Ericaceous Root Gro to enhance root establishment.
    • Snow drops are in now - in 1 litre pots. Snowdrops are always best planted ‘in the green’ rather than as bulbs.
    • Though called the ‘Christmas Box’ Sarcococca is in full flower and the scent of the flowers is just amazing!
    • Magnolias are showing bulging flower buds and promise a good show that will start in the next few weeks - dependent on temperatures - Magnolia soulangeana produces large flowers not dissimilar to big Tulip flowers. Magnolia stellata produces a profusion of star shaped flower. Again - uses ericaceous compost and Root Gro when planting for best establishment

    Spring Gardening jobs - a few things you can do this month:

    1. Prune back all your winter grasses, winter flowering shrubs (once they’ve finished flowering), wisteria (to three buds from the base).
    2. Pot up your hardy spring plants such as primroses
    3. Sprinkle slow-release fertiliser around the base of roses and other flowering shrubs
    4. Divide up snowdrops and other hardy annuals to give them a better spread.
    5. Prepare your veg beds for sowing. Weed them then cover with garden compost or soil improver – a brand called ‘Bloomin Amazing’ speaks for itself!
    6. Finish pruning and feed your fruit trees and bushes by sprinkling sulphate of potash fertiliser around the base
    7. Put cloches or fleece over strawberry plants to start them into growth and encourage an early crop
    8. Fertilise your beds and pots with compost or manure.
    9. Clear debris and dead winter plants from around your pond / water feature

    TIP: to check if old seed packets are still viable: Sow a few seeds on damp kitchen paper, to see if they germinate - rather like you used to do at school with cress!

    For lots more tips on getting your garden ready for Spring, ask one of Notcutts’ helpful experts. They’re very knowledgable and always very happy to help you with your gardening tasks.

    Let the wildlife in!

    1. How about installing a bird box with camera this spring to film nesting and baby birds? Always a great thing for the kids to watch over the spring time.
    2. Repair or replace any bird feeders or feeding stations that may have rotted over the winter. Make sure you put any feeders well away from fences (which make them accessible to cats and other predators) and away from nesting boxes.
    3. Keep a corner of your garden a bit messy for local wildlife. Don't overrun trees if possible and leave tree stumps and small piles of logs and leaves somewhere away from the main traffic of your garden to promote a haven for voles, hedgehogs, bees and other garden visitors that need messy areas for hiding and nesting.

    Notcutts has lots of bird boxes, bat boxes, bird feeders, hedgehog havens and bee hotels for you to make sure your garden is wildlife friendly.

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