I offer the following plant care services
I can provide both top dressings and foliar spray applications of fertiliser.
Top dressing of organic or inorganic fertiliser – from spring and through the summer
Foliar spray to give flowering plants a boost
See my pruning page for more information on this essential element of plant care
Mixed border care
Mixed borders usually contain a variety of plants: ground cover, herbaceous perennials, ornamental grasses, roses and shrubs. Mixed border care will include a mixture of the other plant care services including: plant fertiliser, mulching, weeding and pruning. In additional the perennial plants may require lifting and dividing, deadheading, cutting back as well as staking.
Mulching is usually applied to beds in spring and autumn. Mulches help improve the soil, increase moisture retention during dry spells and suppress weeds around the base of plants.
In borders, I generally use organic matter such as composted stable manure or bark chippings.
Pests & Diseases.
Pests and diseases can cause at the very least cause unsightly damage to your plants and at worst some plants need to be removed and destroyed. I can help with identifying the pest or disease and then recommend an appropriate course of action.
Many gardens suffer from poor quality topsoil which are low in organic content and hence plants poorly perform after planting.
Soil condition can be enhanced by incorporating soil improver (organic matter). This usually takes the form of incorporating organic matter such as composted stable manure into the soil prior to planting. This is ideal when planting new areas or replacing the planting in existing beds or borders.
With existing beds incorporating a soil improver into the soil may be more difficult. However, by regularly applying a layer of mulch, the soil condition will improve over time, as worms and other soil organisms help incorporate the matter and nutrients into the soil.
I would generally recommend a soil test be done, which I can undertake, to help understand the current soil: PH, organic content and nutrient levels.
Probably the biggest plant care job and one which many don’t like doing. Weeds are often wild flowers, some native to the UK and a few others are non-native which have become invasive species.
There is no one-hit wonder to deal with weeds – even the most non-fertile of surfaces seem to attract weeds e.g. drives and paving.
Successful weeding generally requires constant vigilance and effort. A successful weeding programme will include the following:
- Hand weeding (yes hands and knees job) – to get perennial weeds out of flower beds
- Hoeing annual weeds
- Spraying surfaces, not intended to bear vegetation, such as paths and drives with weedkiller
- Spraying lawns with selective weedkillers that kills the weeds in the lawn yet won’t kill off the grass
- Mulching around plants to suppress weeds
Most weedkillers are post-emergent i.e. only work on visible weeds. Residual weedkillers are pre-emergent and should stop weed seeds from germinating – but these will only offer protection for a up to 6 months.
Some troublesome weeds like Horsetail need the use of specialist professional weedkillers – which only licenced pesticide sprayers (such as myself) can legally buy, store and use.
Ivy can be used effectively in a garden as ground cover or grown on walls and buildings. However, it can be troublesome to eradicate when it becomes a problem particularly in beds. However professional pesticides can be successful where garden centre type products may not work.
Weeds I have dealt with include: bindweed, ground elder, horsetail, bind weed and bracken.