How frustrating all this pent up Gardening energy going nowhere! This time last year we were in a drought situation, dress was t shirt and sun cream. How things change 2013 March soil is saturated and we are heading for the coldest March on record for 50 years. It makes it quite (understatement) difficult running a weather dependant business. Our team have to fleece up loads of plants every night, 8 – 10 trollies of plants are brought into the shop every night to keep them looking good. Last year at this time we were wondering if we would be able to get supply of plants for the season as they were selling so fast. Hey ho! We have got loads of wonderful new plants in stock waiting to see you.

Next week we will be getting in our first delivery of Grafted Vegetables from Suttons, Tomatoes, Cucumber, Aubergine, Courgette, Sweet Pepper & Chilli Pepper. Last year Suttons sold out of this product very early due to the demand. Grafted Tomato plants give you 6 – 8 trusses per ‘single’ tomato and 5 – 6 trusses per ‘double’ and ‘duo’ grafted tomato plant. 75% more fruit on a grafted plant and earlier and longer fruiting period. Grafted plants have excellent resistance to soil-borne pests and diseases. They are superb for growing on a patio, obviously they will grow faster in a greenhouse or grow house. The tomato varieties are

Belriccio
Beefsteak
Cupido
Small Plum
Elegance
Gardeners delight
Juanita
Small cherry
Lizzano
Heart shaped
Orangino
Yellow

We will also have Cucumber Iznik, Chilli Pepper Medina, Sweet Pepper Britney. If you need any advice on growing any of these veg you can speak to a member of our team. The plants will be £3.99 each.

With the cold weather and few sunshine hours the soil temperature is much lower than last year, it will take a few days of warmer weather and sunshine to get seeds germinating properly. Remember to protect any new shoots that do pop their heads above the surface of the soil. Small plastic cloches are a good and cost effective way of protecting new seeds and encouraging growth of new plants. They keep off the frost, warm up inside when the sun shines creating a warm, moist micro climate for the plant to survive.

Did you know in Helmdon Church yard there is a massive Yew tree (Taxus baccata) about 1700 years old, correct 1700

Have a great weekend by the fire!

Ashley

Ashley Warren

Ashley Warren has lived and loved horticulture and agriculture all his life; he had his first greenhouse at the age of 10 and his first cow when he was 16. He started landscaping in 1984 mainly in Milton Keynes and then all over the country. He moved to Daventry Road Farmhouse in 1987 and has developed Bell Plantation Garden Centre in Towcester, Northants over the last 30 years.

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