But before you send out the summer party invites, it’s time to shake off the winter wonderland and transform your garden into a vibrant sanctuary. Just in time for summer, Instagram star, Katrina from @homegrown.garden alongside wilko’s senior technologist, Sam, joined a live Q&A on wilko’s twitter page to answer the biggest gardening gripes from the public. The green thumb gurus revealed expert advice on our biggest gardening grievances and how to tackle them at a fraction of the cost – no matter the size of your outdoor space. Here is the top five…
The easiest flowers to grow
For those new to gardening or with a busy work and social life, it is best to find plants that need minimal care.
According to Katrina, there are three flowers that require small effort but offer maximum return.
“If we’re talking about from seed, the easiest flowers to grow are nasturtiums, sunflowers – they’re really fun to grow if you have children – and Calendula is really good for the wildlife as well,” she said.
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Easiest fruit and vegetables to grow
There’s nothing better than having home grown fruit and vegetables at your fingertips.
Katrina says whatever size garden you have, there is an opportunity to grow.
“The easiest things you can grow are strawberries, potatoes and tomatoes. If you’re a beginner and you really want to start growing your fruit and vegetables I recommend you start with those,” Katrina said.
“You really don’t need a lot of space. You can grow strawberries in a simple pot and they taste so much better than what you can find at the supermarket.”
Signs that you should water your plants
Different plants and pots require different levels of water. Katrina says you don’t want to wait until it’s too late to top up their water supply.
“If you’re growing any plants from seed this year, little pots dry out really quickly so it’s a good idea to get used to the weight of the pot. If they feel really light, then it’s a good idea to give them some water,” Katrina said.
“If you’re looking at your borders and they’re looking quite dry, grey and sandy then it’s time to water. You want a nice dark brown colour for it to be nice and moist. It’s also a good idea to mulch the ground because after you’ve watered it helps retain the moisture.”
What to do when coriander goes yellow and brown
Coriander is tricky plant to keep going particularly during the summer months. Katrina says where you place the herb is essential to its growth.
“If it’s kept somewhere quite warm or dry like a greenhouse – it could get too hot. Particularly with the weather we’re having at the moment,” Katrina said.
“Yellowing leaves could be a sign over-watering, under-watering or a lack of nutrients so it’s a tricky one. The best advice is to move it somewhere cooler, perhaps in the shade or pot up the coriander plant in a small container.”
Keep pests away and encourage wildlife
Bring your region’s native fauna to your garden and create the true essence of summer.
Sam and Katrina agree that wildlife won’t just create natural beauty, but they will keep unwelcome pests away.
“You first need to identify what pests you have in your garden, but one thing you can do is promote natural predators,” Sam said.
“If you want to create a climate that keeps pests away, you can plant marigolds to draw in lady birds because they eat aphids or you can put bird feeds and bird boxes because birds eat a lot of insects in the garden.”
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