Whitehall Garden Centres Blog

Welcome to Whitehall Garden Centres Blog. We aim to provide you with hints, tips, information and advice on all aspects of gardening! It is a chance for you to ask us questions and to read our blog posts about what you should be doing in your garden each month.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Planting your tree

Spring is a good time to plant your tree and give it a good chance of survival.

Preparation - clear the area of any grass and weeds; you do not want them to compete with your new tree for moisture, nutrients and light. If you are planting in a lawn it is a good idea to cut out a circle of turf in the area to be planted.

Planting - Dig a hole big enough to take the roots and ensure there is enough room for them to spread their full extent. Keep separate any good quality top soil because this can be used later. Fork the bottom of your hole and loosen the soil slightly so as to enable the roots to establish in the surrounding soil, this is more important if the soil is heavy or clay. It is worth considering digging the hole a little bigger and putting a layer of gravel and compost in the bottom especially if the soil is of poor quality. Remove the pot off your tree and place it in the hole. It should be planted at the same depth as it was in the pot. Insert a stake next to the rootball not through it. It should be on the side of prevailing wind so the wind blows the tree away from the stake to prevent any chaffing. Start to refill the hole using the top soil you put to one side, ensuring the tree will not move. Firm down the soil well to eliminate any air pockets but not too much to compact the soil. Fasten your tree to the tree stake using a rubber tree tie and water well.

Aftercare -It can take up to 2 years for a tree to get fully established. So it is important not to let it dry out during this period especially during dry spells. Feed your tree from the first spring after planting there is no need to before that. Always check the stake and the tie regularly especially during the growth season.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

*Januarys Star Plant*

Skimmia ( Skimmia Japonica) This is a tough evergreen shrub. It produces dense clusters of pink buds during the winter which open to show white flowers that produce a beautiful scent. This shrub requires little pruning. The leaves are a glossy dark green that stay like this all year round. Female plants will produce red berries if grown next to a male plant. A Skimmia should ideally be grown in the shade in rich fertile soil.