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Expert advice

Sowing season

Well, spring is here – at least in meteorological terms! March, April and May are the months of spring but also highly volatile in weather terms. We tend to think of sunny days with daffodils dancing in the breeze and billowing clouds scudding across a brightening sky. Well not this year!

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Winter crops and sowing

Winter is not the most obvious season for activity and growth in the garden. Temperature and light levels are the main concerns. Generally growth starts in plants when temperatures rise above 6°C. Our lawns often look so untidy in the cooler months because in our maritime climate most daily temperatures rise above this level allowing the grass to grow.

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In the greenhouse

In winter the greenhouse need not be put to sleep. It’s a useful convalescent home for any tender plants that you may need to overwinter and even in an unheated space they will be protected from frost. Bubble wrap or horticultural fleece can also help to provide a protective micro-climate around these tender species.

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Winter reflections

During the winter period a reflective mood prevails. The garden sleeps with frosts and snow already evident in many areas. The weather made 2012 a remarkable year with an early declaration of drought closely followed by a record wet summer perhaps best symbolised by the deluge that greeted the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations on the Thames.

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Trends for the coming year

Despite the terrible weather last summer and its impact upon garden crops and food production, homegrown produce will remain a popular choice for gardeners in the coming season.

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In with the new

The Olympic Park and its planting has been the highlight of the games for many with stunning displays of colour and successional planting designed to peak for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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Autumn Notes

Autumn is the season for harvesting but also for forward planning.

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In the greenhouse

As the days shorten you need to maximise light levels.

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Autumn sowing

September is a great time to make a start on your annuals for the following year.

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