Time to start planning for next spring already

Les Foden.
Les Foden.

Time in the garden marches on. No sooner had we planned for spring than we are looking ahead to next spring.

It’s time now to be sowing wallflowers to flower next spring and forget-me-nots should be dug up whilst they are still in flower and reset in a corner where they will ripen their seeds and spread them around. Many seeds will germinate and can be used as required.

If you did as I suggested last year you should have a list of the plants in your summer bedding display that did well and also those that didn’t do so well.

In my garden I was very fortunate in as much as I made good choices and didn’t have any failures. The previous year the mimulus which I planted failed so I won’t be growing those again.

Here are a few varieties which I use as my bankers – begonia semps; ageratum (the blue one, there is a white one but it doesn’t like the rain, the flowers go brown and look a mess); busy lizzies; non stop begonias; white lobelia; and the larger marigolds.

All these plants stood up to the rain we had last summer.

Geraniums stand up well in hot weather and look superb in a mixture of colours in one bed edged with white lobelia.

Now that vegetable planting and sowing is well under way just a few reminders won’t go amiss.

Don’t forget to place collars around the brassicas (cabbage, cauliflowers, etc). This prevents the cabbage root fly from laying its eggs next to the stems which hatch into maggots and eat the roots.

Take precautions against the carrot fly and there are various methods for this.

The first is to grow the plants under a garden fleece cloche. Next put up a barrier about a foot high. This stops the flies getting to the plants as they fly in at ground level.

Another idea is to water on Jeyes Fluid along the rows of carrots as the smell confuses the flies and they keep off.

The carrots are very vulnerable just when they have been thinned because this releases their smell into the air which in turn alerts the carrot flies.

Give brassicas a spray with Provado Ultimate Bug Killer before planting whilst they are altogether in their pots or trays.

Make sure all the brassica family are planted in firm ground not lose and fluffy soil as this can cause problems. Cauliflowers are likely to blow to seed and Brussels sprouts will almost certainly be lose instead of tight buttons.