Nothing feels more rewarding than growing your own produce. If you don’t have an fruit tree in your garden, planting one is a good investment, as there is nothing like eating the fresh fruit straight from the tree in autumn. Keep reading to discover how to plant fruit trees with our gardening tips.
Avoid planting if there’s a frost – place roots into moist soil until conditions improve.
Container-grown trees can be planted at any time of year except when frosty or if the soil is too dry or too wet. Bare-root fruit trees can be planted late autumn to early winter as this is when the tree is in its dormant stage.
Always try to plant fruit trees in a sunny and sheltered position. This will maximise the time your fruit has to ripen.
Planting in pots
Choose a pot that is 45-50cm (18-20in) in diameter. When planting, place some stones, broken concrete, clay pots, or polystyrene in the bottom of the containers to retain moisture. Use a good-quality compost, and insert the tree. Cover hole and water well.
Planting in the ground
Dig a hole up to three times the diameter of the root system, and break the soil up the surrounding soil with a fork before planting. Place the tree in the hole and carefully refill, placing soil around all the roots to eliminate air pockets. Firm the soil gently by stepping on it.
Our favourite varieties
Here is a selection of our favourite fruit tree varieties that will add beauty and produce delicious fruits year after year.
Spring isn’t far away and there are many bulbs and plants that you can start to plant in February. From early spring-flowering beauties to getting a head start on planting your favourite summer bulbs, if you’re keen to get planting, here are our top February planting picks.
Bulbs in the green
Bulbs in the green are active-growing bulbs which arrive with fresh foliage on the bulb. These little plants are quick and easy to grow, and are the perfect way to grow snowdrops and aconites with a 100% success rate. Plant in February for late winter/early spring blooms.
Bold and beautiful, plant lily bulbs in pots, or straight into the ground, from early autumn to mid spring. With so many varieties on the market, dwarf and Asiatic lilies are perfect for beds and low-growing borders, whereas Goliath OT lilies are ideal for the back of the border.
Unsurpassed in beauty and fragrance, roses are a key element of the summer garden. The best time to plant bare rooted plants is whilst they are dormant in the winter time, which is why February is the perfect time to get planting bare root roses.
Give your garden structure and interest with shrubs. Since they can be planted anytime between autumn and mid-spring, shrubs are one of the easiest plants to grow. If you plant while the weather is cooler, it makes the job easier, giving the plants that much longer to get established before the summer heat hits.
Eating homegrown fruits plucked right off your own fruit trees is terrific. Along with bare rooted plants, fruit trees should be planted in their dormant season. This usually means between November and the end of February.
This month we said we were giving 3 customers the chance to win a £50 e-voucher to spend on our J. Parker’s site. Now that January is finally over, it’s time to announce our New Year, New Garden giveaway winners!
The winner’s list…
Congratulations to each of our garden giveaway winners. Each winner will be receiving a £50 e-voucher to spend on our website.
This month’s giveaway saw hundreds of entries so thank you all for heading over to our Facebook page and taking part. We will be back with another new competition in February so keep your eye’s peeled.
‘In the Green’ Bulbs are growing plants that are lifted in late winter/spring when the bulb is actively growing, in flower or after flowering, when they are beginning to die back. These plants are easy to grow, quick to establish and are an extremely useful way to inject flowers quickly into bare spots in your winter garden. Learn when to plant some of your favourite spring-flowering bulbs with our planting tips.
When to plant them
Flowering from January through to March, ‘In the green’ bulbs, such as winter aconites and snowdrops, should be planted while they have leaves in early spring, rather than as dormant bulbs in the autumn.
How to plant them
When your plants arrive, tease them apart taking care not to damage the roots. Plant at the level at which the leaves change colour (approx. 8-10cm deep). Fill soil around the bulbs, compacting lightly. Water immediately.
Our favourite varieties
Discover some of our favourite ‘green’ bulbs for planting in the garden this spring.
Dahlias are an impressive flower to showcase in the garden. Their large blooms and exciting variety of colours and shapes creates an incredible display throughout the summer.
Full of life and vibrancy, it’s easy to see why they’re a seasonal favourite among gardener’s. Although Dahlias offer plenty to the garden on their own, discovering new and exciting Dahlia companions can take your displays to new heights. With that in mind, we have chosen our favourite Dahlia companion plants to consider for your summer gardens.
Echinacea’s produce beautiful blooms, each one boasting with colour. Flowers from July to September and will add dimension to your Dahlia displays.
Shop Our Range of Echinacea
Geraniums are often considered a British summer garden staple. Their wide range and variety provides you with plenty of option for your seasonal display.
Shop Our Range of Geraniums
Originating from South Africa, Crocosmia boasts with beautiful blooms in vibrant shades throughout the summer. They’re also incredibly hardy, making them a perfect Dahlia companion plant.
Shop Our Range of Crocosmia
Last but by no means the least is the beautiful Verbena. Blooming all season long, this versatile flower is an essential summer garden addition whether planting with Dahlias or on their own.
Pancake Day is the day before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. It is also traditionally the day for eating lots and lots of pancakes! Here are some of our top 10 favourite sweet pancake toppings to avoid flops on Shrove Tuesday.
Check out these traditional and tasty pancake topping ideas.
Here are some of our top tips for throwing the best pancake day possible.
Make the pancakes in advance
If you have little ones, prep your pancakes, otherwise you feel like a sous chef with your family demanding their next pancake. Pop the made pancakes onto a plate, cover with foil and keep or re-heat over a pan of simmering water. That way you can all sit at the table together and enjoy your fair share along with the family.
If you make a few pancakes too many, don’t worry, you can always freeze any spares and take them out when you fancy. Pancakes will keep in a freezer for up to 3 months!
Begonias are a summer staple, bringing a plethora of colourful flowers to the garden all season long. Their bright blooms and easy to grow nature is exactly why the species is so beloved by gardener’s across the country.
However, knowing when, how, or where to plant Begonias can be a confusing task – especially for those new to gardening! Follow our guide to effortlessly grow your Begonias for the summer season.
When to Plant
Plant Begonias in early spring, once the threat of frosts has disappeared. Begonias aren’t a hardy plant, and can be damaged by cold weather.
More specifically, March and April are the best months to plant your Begonias, as there is less chance of frosts to appear.
How to Plant
Planting Begonias is an easy enough task. Most Begonias are supplied in a tuberous form, which are similar to bulbs in the way that they should be planted.
Plant your tubers in seed trays in March or April. Fill trays with moist potting compost, and place the tuber inside around 3cm deep and spaced apart 3cm. Once sprouting leaves, move into individual pots and harden off when all danger of frost has passed.
Where to Plant
Begonias can provide masses of blooms around the garden, regardless of where planted. They prefer sunny conditions, so take this into account when finding the perfect spot.
I’ts helpful to note that Begonias don’t like overly-damp conditions, and will rot if kept too moist. Whether you plant them in hanging baskets, patio pots, or simply in the border, your Begonias will thrive.
Growing cut flowers has surged in popularity over recent years, along with the grow your own product trend. Growing cut flowers is so easy to do, there will be no need to hit the supermarkets for bouquets again! Discover the best cut flower tips, as well as the most popular summer blooms to grow for cutting.
Two ways to start growing cut flowers
Use existing borders
Utilise existing beds and borders by planting groups of annuals, perennials and bulbs suited for cutting to allow for picking without affecting the overall appearance of the border. Add in a few interesting shrubs and grasses for texture and extra interest!
Create a cutting garden
Dedicate an area of the garden to growing cut flowers. If space allows, the advantage of a cutting garden area over picking from borders is that it avoids depleting beds and borders. Choose a sunny area of the garden, and apply moderate applications of general fertilisers over the space; this will help get tall healthy growth and abundant flowers.
The best cut flowers for summer
The most popular summer bulbs for cutting are dahlias, gladioli and lilies, due to their strong tall stems and assortment of shapes and colours. The huge blooms on decorate and dinnerplate dahlias are perfect for big, show stopping bouquets. Gladioli produce clusters of tall and colourful florets, and lilies provide fragrance and elegance to any cut flower display.
Perennials are the perfect plants for cutting, because they’ll grow back year after year and provide wonderful blooms each summer. Peonies make wonderful cut flowers and have a long vase life. Why not plant large-flowering perennials like Delphinium and Echinacea? These beautiful flowers provide copious amounts of colour and interest in vases around the home.
What about shrubs? Hydrangeas are especially long lasting and often show an intriguing colour change as they age. Roses are renowned for their fabulous fragrance and pretty blooms. Simply snip a few stems of your beautiful bushes in the summertime.
From dazzling dahlias to statuesque gladioli, in 2021 we have added dozens of new introductions to our spring range. To help you plan your summer displays this year, check out some of our new spring favourites.
Potatoes are a British culinary staple. You can fry them, boil them, bake them – the list is endless, and there’s not a thing that potatoes can’t achieve. If you’re new to growing your own vegetables, potatoes are a great place to start.
However, being a new gardener comes with its own list of trials and tribulations, and knowing exactly when to plant different varieties of potatoes can confuse the best of us.
When to Plant Early Potatoes
Early potatoes can be harvested sooner than other varieties, making them perfect for beginners. Often known as ‘New Potatoes’, this variety can be softer and easier to cook.
Plant early potatoes in late-March, after they’ve had time to grow shoots when stored indoors.
How to Plant Early Potatoes
Before planting, it’s important to chit your potatoes. This means allowing them to grow shoots before planting. Each shoot should be around 3cm long.
To store, keep in a light and frost-free place. Place each tuber into an unused egg carton sprout side up to allow proper shoot growth. On new potatoes, rub off the weakest shoots – leave four per tuber.
The most common way to plant potatoes is to dig a trench 15cm deep, spaced 30cm apart and 60cm away from each row. Next, you can start to ‘earth up’ the tubers. Cover with a thin layer of soil and wait until the stems are around 10-15cm high and drag up to the stems, leaving a 15cm high ridge. As the shoot grows, continue the process until the ridge around 20-30cm tall.
Where to Plant Early Potatoes
You can plant your varieties in your vegetable patch or a grow bag. Although it’s common to grow in vegetable patches, we’re don’t all have the same space. Grow bags are a perfect way to remedy this problem.
Grow bags are upright and deep containers, perfect for those who don’t have an allotment or even a garden. To plant your potatoes, fill the bottom of the bag with 15cm of potting compost and pop the potato just below. Place one potato for every 30cm of diameter. Add compost as the shoots begin to grow until eventually, the grow bag is full. First early potatoes will be ready to harvest in June and July.
Ready to grow your own? Buy your seed potatoes today on our website.