“You are as welcome as the flowers in May.”
– Charles Macklin
Marvellous May has at long last arrived. Nature has said “off you go!” and so the trees are greening, the hedgerows are blossoming, the grass is growing, the flowers are blooming, and the seeds are growing. Better still, it’s National Gardening Week!
It’s the time to celebrate all things gardening with the RHS National Gardening Week, and this year the emphasis is on the joys of growing your own produce with the theme ‘Edible Britain’. If lucky, we’ll be having our first al fresco meals this month as the boundary between house and garden begins to blur, so what better time to get growing your own fruit and veg with gusto?
We’ll be celebrating National Gardening Week with some fantastic offers and deals on plants, veg and equipment over the next few days – so make sure you check out our special offers below!
To help make your 2019 garden the best it’s ever been you’ll need a copy of the new Suttons Summer catalogue, featuring not only a wide range of flower and veg plants but also a 20-page outdoor living section. Order a free copy here or browse & buy directly from our new-look online catalogue.
The 4th May is World Naked Gardening Day, but if you are tempted to join in then do carefully choose your jobs. Gentle pottering in the warmth and cover of the greenhouse may be a better option than tackling the stinging nettles and brambles!
Speaking of stinging nettles and brambles, there’s plenty of jobs to do this month but seeking inspiration from visiting other gardens will also be time well spent. And of course, we have RHS Chelsea Flower Show to look forward to from 21st to 25th May.
If you want to encourage children to get outside, then it’s National Children’s Gardening Week from 25th May to 2nd June 2019. Our Fun to Grow range is both fun and educational and will help to inspire the next generation’s fingers to turn green!
National Gardening Week Offers
It’s officially National Gardening Week and we’ll be celebrating over the next four days with some fantastic special offers. You’ll find deals on everything from flower plants to equipment, which will provide the inspiration to get you back in the garden this May.
Tomato Success Kit 3 FREE Plants – These planter/frames are a great way of maximising your tomato harvest, enabling you to grow up to four plants for every metre – perfect for gardens or greenhouses with little space. With a built-in support frame and a 2-litre water reservoir, watering and training is simple and gives your plants the best possible chance to produce lots of tasty fruit!
18 Fabulous Foliage plants for £60 – beautiful foliage plants are right on trend because they’re great for adding texture to your borders and filling in those pesky gaps in your displays. This collection will include some of our popular foliage varieties, mixing shapes, colours and varieties for that standout look.
If the weather allows you to do nothing else this month try and complete the following gardening jobs:
- Lawns will look better for a weekly mowing but if you really don’t want to lose those pretty daisies and dandelions then just mow a winding path around them. The bees and other insects will love you for it.
- It is your duty to gorge on asparagus this month! Even better if it is homegrown.
- Sow cucumber seeds this month, either singly in pots or direct, under cloches. Remember that they will need something to grow up if you want to avoid the fruits being munched by slugs.
- Rhubarb will now be ready, although first year plants are best left alone to mature. When harvesting rhubarb simply pull and twist, no knife required.
- Runner beans don’t just taste great but are decorative too. Sow them now and come July you’ll have vibrant flowers followed by tasting beans. Try growing them at the back of the flower border but make sure you can still get to them for picking!
- Plant out dahlias and cannas – some direct in the ground and some in pots to move around and fill gaps.
- Deadhead daffodils and tulips but don’t be tempted to cut the foliage down too soon. There’s an unwritten 6-week rule! A liquid feed will also help build the bulbs for next year’s flowering.
- Put plant supports in place now before your perennials get too big and start to flop.
- Vine weevils get active this month, so you need to do the same! Nemasys Vine Weevil Killer is a great solution – easy to use and long lasting.
- Any containers and pots will now benefit from a liquid feed every 2 to 4 weeks and don’t forget that your citrus plants should by now have switched to summer feed.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show
To many gardeners, the highlight of May is an annual pilgrimage to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. 2019 sees the 10th anniversary of Chelsea’s prestigious and much sort after “Plant of the Year” competition. An opportunity for the “trade” to put their newest and most exciting plants before a panel of experts. The judges will be looking for winning criteria against the following categories:
Innovation – the plant must be genuinely new, offering significant benefits
Appeal – is the appeal strong enough to stand the test of time and to sustain its popularity?
Excellence & Impact – here the judges are looking for “wow!” factor.
Delighted to have won the Plant of the Year competition in 2017 with our fabulous dwarf Mulberry bush, Charlotte Russe, Suttons has no less than 6 nominations for 2019.
Gypsophila Pretty Maid – Bred in the UK with large, scented, brilliant white blooms with a pink tinge. More dramatic than any previous gypsophila!
Blueberry Pink Flamingo – Beautiful green and pink foliage making the plant look as good as the fruit tastes.
Sedum Atlantis – A drought-busting, groundcover plant providing four seasons of colour and interest.
Delphinium Cinderella – Short, hardy and flowering twice a year Cinderella will be the beauty of any garden ball. Not only beautiful but also robust, cold-tolerant, disease-proof and triple-flowered!
Canary Island Foxglove (Isoplexis) Bella – A tropical looking, exotic relative of the humble foxglove.
Super Petunias (Beautical) – A new generation of petunia/calibrachoa hybrids for fabulous weather-resistant displays all summer!
Christine’s Patch – Guide to Fertilisers
Hi, I’m Christine Loader, Horticultural and Technical Advisor here at Suttons. I have been an avid gardener all my life and have a passion for growing Fruit and Vegetables. When I am not in my greenhouse I can usually be found on my allotment. Gardening has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I look forward to sharing my expertise with you in our newsletter. This month we’re looking at the different fertilisers and their uses.
I get numerous enquiries about fertilisers and as there are so many on the market, it can be a little daunting to choose the correct one.
Why do we need to use them in the first place? They are necessary for plant health, growth and fruit production.
There are two main types of fertiliser:
- Organic, derived from plant or animal source and are generally slow-acting with a steady supply of food over a long period
- Inorganic, a manmade product that is generally quick acting, providing plants with a boost when used as a top dressing.
What you need to look out for is the Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium value, in short, the N-P-K value.
Nitrogen (N) is largely responsible for the growth of leaves on the plants.
Phosphorus (P) is for root growth and flower and fruit development.
Potassium (K) is a nutrient that promotes healthy roots systems and plant vigour and helps the plants resist diseases. It also works alongside the phosphorus in developing fruit.
As a general guide, buy a ‘balanced’ fertiliser with equal amounts of N-K-P such as Growmore or Fish Blood and Bone for base feeding and as a spring top dressing.
There are times where you want to apply a specific fertiliser such as a high Potash fertiliser to tomatoes, cucumbers and other developing fruits, roses and bedding plants. A lawn or leafy plants will benefit from a nitrogen-rich fertiliser and acid-loving plants require an ericaceous feed.
Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the correct amounts to use. Overfeeding does not give you double the benefit, it can, in fact, lead to unbalanced growth or even scorch.