Bury Hill Gardening Calendar – July gardening tips

July gardening tips

Summer is in full swing…

July is one of the warmest months in the calendar and when gardens can be enjoyed for lazy summer reading, lunchtime BBQ’s and evening soiree’s. This is the time where you’ll want your garden looking it’s best and in order to do so you need to be on high alert for weeds, pests and parched plants.

What to do in the garden in July

 Plants and Flowers

 Keep weeds at bay by weeding regularly, keep plants and flowers well watered in the summer’s heat, and deadhead any flowers that need it to keep those blooms coming.

 Fruit

 July should see the first crops of fruit plants and trees flourish. Protect them with netting to avoid all that hard work going to waste by them being devoured by cheeky birds or pesky snails. Apricots, peaches and nectarines should be ripe for the plucking in July.

Vege

 Juicy courgettes should be ready to be harvested now – make sure you get to them before they turn into marrows.

 Top 5 gardening tasks for July

  • Keep your eye on wilting plants and flowers, particularly delicate climbers such as clematis and treat them accordingly.
  • Pay attention to ponds and water features and clear any algae or debris that has built up in them.
  • Get ahead of the game by ordering catalogues to peruse and plan for spring next year.
  • Give your grass a good lawn feed to keep it lush and healthy looking.
  • Don’t forget about your houseplants – keep them well watered and make sure they are cared for if you go away on holiday too.

 For helpful tips and advice throughout the year you can Download our full 12 month calendar here

 

What are Mulches and how can they help your garden?

Uses of garden mulch

Mulch is something that many gardeners use to improve their outside space, in fact some swear by it. But what exactly is mulch and what can it be used for?

Here you can find our quick guide to help you understand the importance of mulch and what it can do for your garden!

So what is mulch?

Simply put, mulch can be any type of material that you use in your garden to help your soil retain moisture, improve its condition, reduce weed growth, keep it at the optimum temperature and improve its fertility. Mulch is spread over the surface of the soil to protect and enhance it, and can also be used to improve your gardens aesthetic.

Mulches can be both organic and inorganic.

Some examples of inorganic mulches include:

  • Rocks
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Rubber chippings

Some examples of organic mulches include:

  • Compost
  • Newspaper
  • Leaves
  • Straw

There are advantages and disadvantages to each, and so choosing which type of mulch you use in your garden will depend on certain factors. Inorganic mulch is more long-lasting and durable so you will have to replace it less often. Organic mulch breaks down and decomposes which will mean you have to keep adding to it – however organic mulch will boost your soils fertility where inorganic mulch will not.

When it comes to organic mulches, choosing the right kind for your garden is important and usually comes down to what you want it to do.

Bark mulches, for example, are ideal around the bases of trees and shrubs, and if you want to give your garden a neat yet rustic look, they are also among the most long lasting of the organic mulches. However if you plan to do a lot of digging, bark mulch will soon become more of a hassle as you’ll have to move it  every time you want to dig in new plants.

Compost is a hugely versatile mulch and can be used on any part of your garden, compost is perfect if you need to give your garden a much needed boost as the nutrient rich material will help to improve it’s condition, and encourage your plants and flowers to grow.

Newspaper is ideal for keeping your soil moist and cool and will help to suppress weeds too. Simply put your damp, shredded newspaper around your plants then cover with a layer of compost to keep your garden looking smart. Remember newspaper will need replacing but one layer should last a growing season.

Straw can give your garden a rustic look and works particularly well in vegetable gardens. A layer of straw will last a whole growing season and is easy to work with if you need to move plants or bed in new ones. Additionally straw will attract garden insects who will create their homes here and keep pests under control.

Synthetic mulches are some gardeners preferred choice because of their functionality and durability. However, they can become a bit of an eyesore. To combat this you can simply cover plastic sheeting or fabric in a thin layer of compost or bark tt – instantly giving your garden a more natural look.

It’s important to note that if you chose to use plastic sheeting this can get very hot in the summer months, and ensuring there are holes cut into the sheeting to allow water to get through is important, otherwise your soil can dry out and the nutrients die.

At Bury Hill we are proud to offer a well-rotted mushroom compost which is ideal to be used for mulching, being particularly effective for rose beds, tree & shrub planting and breaking up heavy soils.

Remember, whichever type of mulch you use, it’s not set in stone – you can renew and replace your mulches so why not experiment and see which one works best for you and your garden?

 

Bury Hill Gardening Calendar – June Gardening Tips

Bury Hill June Gardening Calendar

June gardening tips

Warmer weather arrives and summer flowers take centre stage…

June should see longer days, warmer weather, and all that hard work you have done in your garden in the first part of the year should really start to pay off. The extra warmth and light should see your garden burst into action, but watch out for weeds which love the more temperate weather too!

What to do in the garden in June

Plants and Flowers

Check on your climbers and any tall flowers and make sure you have provided support for them to continue to grow. Prune back spring flowering shrubs. If you want flowers in your garden all summer long plant some late-flowering ones such as Calendula, Candytuft, or Clarkia.

Fruit

June is a great time to check in on your tomato plants and pinch out the sideshoots to stop them growing unmanageably tall.

Vege

Early crops of lettuce and radish should be yours for the taking! You can also plant nutritious broccoli, and herbs such as coriander and parsley can still be grown from seed at this time of the year.

Top 5 Gardening Tasks for June

  • Hoe borders and watch our for cracks in the patio where pesky weeds can grow.
  • Remember to try and be as efficient with your water as possible – though be sure not to let plants and flowers dry out.
  • For an instant garden refresh get some bright hanging baskets and containers out.
  • Grassy lawns will need to be mowed once a week.
  • If June is particularly warm protect greenhouse plants by blocking out the sun.

For helpful tips and advice throughout the year you can Download our full 12 month calendar here

Bury Hill Gardening Calendar – May Gardening Tips

May gardening tips

May gardening tips

Summer is nearly here!

As your garden starts to blossom and bloom, you’ll know that summer is right around the corner. Now is the time to start sowing and planting out bedding, and you’ll need to put a regular slot in the diary for cutting the grass too. Here are our May gardening tips.

What to do in the garden in May

Plants and Flowers

Keep an eye on more delicate plants and flowers in case unseasonable weather should strike. Sow pretty poppies, bright cornflowers and scabious which will make your garden hum with life from appreciative bees and butterflies.

 Fruit

Now the warmer weather is here why not get tropical and sow some melons?! Believe it or not some varieties of melon will grow well even in the temperamental British climate. Try the orange sherbet variety for optimum results.

Vege

Start digging up earthy potatoes for a delicious accompaniment to summer salads.

 Top 5 gardening tasks for May

  • Get summer bedding all planted at the end of the month (unless the weather remains very chilly).
  • Get the most out of your watering by doing so early in the morning or after sunset so the hot rays of the sun don’t evaporate it before it has absorbed.
  • Ventilate your greenhouse and prevent it from getting too hot by opening doors on warmer day.
  •  If you have hedges that need trimming remember to check for birds nests before you start.
  • If your daffodils are looking a little overcrowded, take some out and plant them elsewhere.

For helpful tips and advice throughout the year you can Download our full 12 month calendar here

Bury Hill Gardening Calendar – April Gardening Tips

April gardening calendar

April gardening tips

Unpredictable weather…

In April, blossoms will appear on the trees, cheery daffodils will spring up from the ground and a few days of warm sunshine might even be in the mix! However, April tends to be unpredictable weather-wise with lots of rain and very cold days and nights. Beware of frosts, keep an eye out for pests and watch for weeds and excessive lawn growth this month.

What to do in the garden in April

 Plants and Flowers

This month is all about making sure your flowers are well nourished. Invest in some good quality plant food to feed hungry plants and flowers and help them flourish. Sunflowers, petunias and marigolds are all worth planting now.

 Fruit

Keep protecting your fruit blossom from any late (but not unexpected) frosts, Prune fig trees and feed any citrus plants. It’s your last chance to grow strawberry plants too!

Vege

Marrows, aubergines, courgettes and squash should be sown now, make sure you keep them under cover until the warmer weather sets in.

Top 5 Gardening Tasks for April

  • Keep weeds under control
  • Tie in climbing and rambling roses
  • Sow hardy annuals, herbs and wild flower seed outdoors
  • Increase the water given to houseplants
  • Sow new lawns or repair bare patches

For helpful tips and advice throughout the year you can Download our full 12 month calendar here

Bury Hill Gardening Calendar – March Gardening Tips

March gardening tips

Spring has sprung…

By the middle of March spring should well and truly be in the air and your garden will start to really come to life. Spring is an important time in the garden and this month you’ll be busy preparing your soil and sowing seed beds, looking ahead for a garden bursting with colour and variety come summer.

What to do in the garden in March

Plants and Flowers

Time to get those beautiful summer flowering bulbs in the ground! Wildflower seeds will do well now and can add a glorious mix of colour to your garden. Delicate sweet peas are another great choice too.

Fruit

Tomato plants can be sown in the greenhouse in March.

Vege

Hardy shallots, onions and potatoes should be ready to go in the ground for an early crop. Leeks and beetroot can also be planted, as well as more leafy verge such as chard and kale. You can also get your herb garden going, or start indoors if the weather is still looking chilly.

Top 5 Gardening Tasks for March

  • Look out for slugs! If you don’t they’ll munch their way through new spring shoots.
  • Start getting your vegetables and summer-flowering bulbs planted.
  • Use a good topsoil to cover beds and containers for optimum plant growth.
  • Keep an eye on the lawn and mow if necessary.
  • Weeds will start to flourish in March so beware of them – hoe out any unwelcome visitors.

For helpful tips and advice throughout the year you can Download our full 12 month calendar here

Bury Hill Gardening Calendar – February Gardening Tips

February Garden - s[ring shoots and frost

February gardening tips

Spring is round the corner…

February should see the first glimmers of spring around the corner, and is a time where you can get busy in the garden preparing for the warmer weather. This is a perfect time to get those clippers out and prune hedges, shrubs and climbers.

What to do in the garden in February

Plants and Flowers

Plant any new bulbs that will flower in spring, such as snowdrops and daffodils.

Fruit

Check on fruit trees and protect any early blossoms from the cold in order to get the best crop possible come summer. These early stages are crucial for making sure your fruiting plants are successful.

Vege

Get your vegetable plot ready by turning over the soil and adding a good compost or mulch. Sow your vegetable seeds but also cover them to protect them from the cold. This will have the added benefit of shielding your plants from insects and critters that might want to eat them before you get a chance!

 Top 5 February Gardening Tasks

  • Get pruning – cut back evergreen hedges, winter flowering shrubs and climbers.
  • Invest in nets to cover your young vegetable crops, protecting them from wily birds.
  • Remove any old deciduous grass from your garden.
  • Cover fruit trees to protect them from the cold.
  • Chit potato tubers.

For helpful tips and advice throughout the year you can Download our full 12 month calendar here

What is the difference between topsoil and loam?

 

Getting the right kind of soil to ensure that your garden flourishes, is so important, and one of the many questions we frequently get asked is to explain the different between Topsoil and Loam Soil – and how to know which should be used in a garden.

Every gardener knows that for their plants and flowers to have the best chance of success the soil they are planted in must be rich in organic matter, free from harmful chemicals, kept moist, and turned over as much as possible.

Many gardeners who feel their soil needs a little boost will simply head to their local garden centre and buy only topsoil to try to improve their soils nutrient level and help their garden grow.

The problem with this, however, is that to take care of your whole garden you must dig a little deeper. Loam and topsoil are often banded together, however, while they share some similar qualities they are not the same thing, and it is important for gardeners to understand the difference. So, what is the difference between topsoil and loam?

Topsoil

In your garden (as you may guess by its name), Topsoil is the uppermost layer of soil, or rather, the first 12 inches. Topsoil will be dark and rich in organic matter due to leaves and other vegetation that will have decomposed on the surface. However, topsoil can also contain sand, clay, and silt.

Loam

Loam is a classification given to soil rather than a standalone type. When soil is described as loam soil, it is because particular qualities it contains – a mixture of sand, silt and clay. You can also get different types of loam depending on the percentages of sand, silt and clay found within it. You may hear soil being referred to as ‘sandy loam’ or ‘clay loam’ for example because it has a greater percentage of one material then normal.

When it comes to commercial Topsoil and Loam Topsoil, Topsoil tends to have a looser consistency – this is to help with draining so when you water your plants the water will quickly reach the roots and retain a great amount of moisture, but also drain away well so as not to build up and drown your plants and flowers. Good quality topsoil often contains decaying organic matter, rich in nutrients to feed your soil. Loam soil contains little or no organic matter, however, it is popular with gardeners, landscapers and green keepers alike because of its ability to retain water and nutrients.

What is important to remember is that when you ask for topsoil in your garden centre, you may be given something that is not loam soil as well – and therefore not as beneficial to your garden as it could be! A mix of organic matter plus the benefits that a loamy soil provides is ideal..

So, now you know, next time you buy, make sure to be clear so you can rest assured you are getting the very best kind of soil to help your garden grow.

At Bury Hill, all our premium grade topsoils and loams are blended using high-quality natural soils, selected sands and grits and organic compost from known sources. So whatever your gardens needs, we will be happy to help!

Bury Hill Gardening Calendar – January Gardening Tips

Gardening tips in January

January gardening tips

A chilly start to the year…

January can often be the coldest month of the year, and your garden may well need some love and care to keep it from being damaged by the unforgiving weather. Snow and frosts, blustering gales and torrential downpours are all possible in January.

Give your garden the best chance of holding its own by securing any stakes, and other supports and checking them regularly (particularly after adverse weather). Move plants to where they are most likely to get sunlight and consider covering your soil to protect any bulbs and plants from damaging frosts.

What to do in the garden in January

Plants and Flowers

If it’s a particularly cold January consider moving more delicate plants inside to keep them safe from the frost and snow. Conservatories are a fantastic way to give plants a lot of light whilst keeping them warm, but if you don’t have one placing plants on windowsills or other areas that get natural light will do the trick too.

Fruit

Give your fruit trees a makeover and prune them back to keep them neat and tidy, and ready to flourish when the warmer weather kicks in. It’s a wonderful feeling to quite literally reap the fruits of your labour and you can maximise your yield with good pruning.

Vege

While not much planting is advisable during January, it is the perfect time to start considering what you’d like in your vegetable plot this year. A well timed planting plan will mean you can enjoy a variety of veggies throughout the year.

Top 5 January Gardening Jobs

  • Recycle your Christmas tree  - you can shred it and use it for mulch to help your soil stay nutrient rich, or simply take it to your local recycling centre.
  • Organise and clean your greenhouse and sheds.
  • Plan your veggies for the coming season.
  • Create shelters for more vulnerable plants.
  •  Get your lawn looking neat and tidy.

For helpful tips and advice throughout the year you can Download our full 12 month calendar here

The Best Trees For Small Gardens

Find the perfect tree for your cosy outside space

As all experienced gardeners will tell you it’s not the size that matters, it’s what you do with it that counts. Having a small outside space doesn’t mean you can’t turn your garden into a little piece of paradise all of your own.  Just as with any garden, it takes carefully planning and a little bit of research to find out what works best and how to make the most of it.
Many people may fear that a beautiful blooming tree is but a pipe dream if their garden is a little on the petite side. However, they need not worry. There are plenty of small tree species available that you can stick in a corner or even a plant pot that will provide leafy shade, beautiful blossoms and generally look pretty fantastic.

It was National Tree Week at the end of last year.  This first came about in 1975, and is the UK’s largest tree celebration officially launching the start of the winter tree planting season. To celebrate these life-giving plants, if you have always wanted to grow a tree in your small garden, now is the perfect time to do it.

Here are 5 of the best trees to buy for a small plot.

The lovely Japanese loquat is ideal for small gardens, it stays relatively compact in size as it grows, and you can prune it back to suit your space.  It’s evergreen which means it will stay looking lovely in your garden all year round. In summer it produces glorious yellow fruit which you can eat. Be aware that it is not a huge fan of the cold so try to plant it somewhere sheltered and protect it from frosty winters.

A strawberry tree is another excellent choice that will provide you with tasty fruit that you can make into jam (if the birds don’t get to it first of course!) and bursts of delicate white flowers come autumn.

Acer griseum AGM which is otherwise known as the ‘Paperbark Maple’ is another smart choice. This beautiful small tree is particularly noted for its bark flaking and curling which creates a rather appealing textured effect. These trees tend to stay narrow making them perfect for smaller gardens, and you can expect a rich and colourful burst of foliage come autumn which will cheer up and outside space. In fact, there are many varieties of AGM

If you are looking for a tree that will be the pride of your garden come summer try the Koelreuteria paniculata ‘Coral Sun’ AGM which grows to about 6m high and 3m wide. This tree will bring a ray of sunshine into your garden when the weather is at it’s warmest with gorgeous yellow midsummer flowers. It’s yellow and orange leaves come autumn are also very appealing.

For a tree that is easily kept in check, the Prunus ‘Amanogawa’ is a good choice. Delicate pale pink blossoms appear in spring, and the columnar shape of the tree means it won’t take up too much room in a small plot.

Of course, there are much more different types of trees to buy for a small garden. For more inspiration, why not take a look at some advice on trees for small gardens from the Royal Horticultural Society?

When buying a small tree, there are some considerations to take into account. Measure your garden space and think about how much room you want your tree to take up – height and spread are both important factors.  Consider your neighbours and factor in any other buildings nearby which might impact its growth or damage the property. Think about seasons and how your tree can complement other plants and flowers in your garden depending on when it blossoms or when its leaves change colour.

Whatever you decide making sure you garden is ready for its new arrival is important. If you are planting your tree in the ground give it the best start in life by making sure your soil is in the best condition it can be. At Bury Hill we offer a range of top quality topsoils,  specialist soils and compost and mulches to keep your garden flourishing all year round!