KEEN gardeners preparing for the new growing season have been given a boost as Cardwell Garden Centre re-opens its online store.
Although the centre near Gourock is still closed to the public because of coronavirus restrictions, there are now lots of gardening products and essentials available to order and have delivered.
Kieran Gallagher says there is already plenty to do to prepare for a blooming good spring and summer.
He explains that gardeners should use their time this month to plan their growing for the months ahead and, as long as the ground isn’t frozen, prepare their seed beds by cultivating the ground with new compost.
“You can add compost, manure or soil improver to the ground by digging and turning it through the soil,” says Kieran. “And here’s a tip -– soil is very soft after a hard frost, which makes digging much easier.”
For gardeners who like to grow vegetables, now is the time to chit your seed potatoes for planting in March. But he adds: “You could get away with planting potatoes at the end of February and enjoy an early crop if you are growing them in containers or planters and they are kept in a glasshouse or a sheltered place like a porch. The important thing is to protect the tubers from frost.”
Cardwell has a variety of bulbs for flowers like gladioli, Tigermoon, begonia and dahlia available to buy online and Kieran says:
“Although February will be a little early to start planting bulbs and seeds outdoors, as there’s still a danger of frost, you can plant these fabulous flowers indoors or in a greenhouse, which would give you a head start and you’d be able to enjoy their blooms earlier in the growing season.
“It’s also an idea to get your favourite bulbs just now, so you have the best choice of bulbs available. It’s fair to says that if you get in early, you’ll get exactly what you want.”
Kieran adds: “At this time of year, preparations for a good growing season include pruning and weeding before the weeds get more of a hold in your garden when the warmer weather arrives.
“It would also be a good idea to check that all your gardening tools are in working order and replace any that have seen better days, so when the warmer weather comes around in the next couple of months, you’re ready to go.”
He continues: “Away from the soil and thoughts of planting, it’s well worth spending a few hours this month cleaning all types of paving and brickwork of algae that has built up over the winter months.
“While we’re all looking forward to the better weather come spring and summer, we have a good supply of salt for keeping paths and driveways slip-free, if Jack Frost is still hanging around!
“And don’t forget our feathered friends that frequent our gardens at this time of year. Birds, especially the younger ones could do with plenty high-fat content bird feed, which we have in stock.
“And if you have a bird bath, it’s worth making sure there is plenty clean water in it and to break the ice if it gets frozen over.