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The top 17 superboosters to get your garden blooming


1st Jan 2015 Home & Garden

The top 17 superboosters to get your garden blooming

These superboosters are surefire ways to help your plants grow bigger and better, reduce your gardening workload, and ensure that your plot fulfils your gardening dreams.

1. Plant perennials in drifts for maximum impact

Planting perennials

Make a bigger splash with gorgeous flowering perennials by planting them in groups of three, five or even seven. It’s much easier to make a natural-looking grouping by arranging odd, rather than even, numbers of plants.

Follow the recommended planting distances and the plants will soon grow together to create a mass of colour, as in the stunning perennial border shown here.


2. Use enriched composts for perfect patio pots

Take some of the work out of looking after container plants by choosing a premium potting compost that includes plant foods that will last for months, and water retaining granules to keep the compost moister for longer.

It’s the easy-care way to achieve the best-ever displays.


3. Turn troublesome weeds into nutritious plant tonics

Nuisance weeds such as nettles can be made to give something back to the garden—try using them to make infusions or ‘teas’ that boost the performance of your garden plants.

All sorts of troublesome weeds that can’t be composted can go into these brews—some gardeners swear by a dilute horsetail tonic to build up


4. Take the work out of watering

Drought-busting irrigation systems make watering no longer a chore, especially when you have lots of containers to care for.

Link patio plants with a hose-and-spur system, add an automatic timer to your tap, and you can relax knowing that your plants will thrive.


5. Look at new tools that make gardening easier

gardening fork weeding

A long-handled weeding fork could be a new addition to your garden toolkit that your knees and back will thank you for. It’s well worth taking a look at other new tool designs that are available.

Many have been created with the aim of making garden tasks easier, reducing strain on joints and making handles more comfortable to grip, helping you to garden in comfort for longer.


6. Choose a mower that makes your grass greener

New ‘mulching mowers’ chop grass clippings very finely, scatter them over the lawn and then push them into the turf. Invisibly, the clippings decompose to nourish and improve the lawn; they also help retain moisture in the soil, and reduce scorch in hot sun. the result is a fuller, healthier, greener lawn, with no more trips to the bottom of the garden with the grass box.

 The whirling clippings buffer sound, too, making these machines much quieter than conventional mowers.


7. Plant new varieties that flower all summer

Look again at some old garden favourites—breeders have produced new varieties that flower for longer. they include heavenly small-flowered lilacs, billowing hydrangeas, voluptuous ‘super poppies’ (above, ‘Medallion’), and the versatile, troublefree Flower Carpet roses, covered in blooms all summer long.


8. Give your plants a lift with sturdy supports

Cane, hoop and ring supports can transform your borders, lifting floppy stems and preventing plants drooping over paths. The secret of using plant supports is to get them in early, before the plant puts on much growth. As the plant grows, its stems and leaves will disguise the support, giving your plantings an effortlessly well-groomed look.


9. Wage war on aphids with an army of ladybirds

Ladybird on spring flowers

These attractive insects are one of the gardener’s best friends—both the juveniles and the adults will devour quantities of greenfly and blackfly as they patrol your garden plants. You can buy a legion of ladybirds by mail from many specialist suppliers, ready to be released into your garden and to get to work.


10. Invest in good-quality cutting tools

A long-lasting, well-made pair of secateurs makes such a difference to all your everyday pruning tasks.

Keep them clean, well-sharpened and free from rust, and you’ll find it easy to deadhead in an instant and make neat, clean pruning cuts that minimise the risk of damage and disease to your shrubs. Add a good pair of loppers or a pruning saw to deal with bigger jobs, and you won’t be tempted to blunt or break your secateurs on over-thick stems.


11. Help trees and shrubs grow better with magical mycorrhizae

These beneficial soil-dwelling fungi have a special relationship with plant roots, helping them to take up water and nutrients to enable them to grow better. products containing these tiny organisms are available to add to the soil when you plant your trees and shrubs and should help them to establish faster and more strongly.


12. Pot bulbs up in layers for a display that lasts longer

Bulbs are the most self-sufficient of our garden plants, and this means that you can pack them into pots for spring and summer displays. Try layering a selection of bulbs with different planting depths and staggered flowering times in a container, and you’ll have a continuous, long-lasting spring show.


13. Banish weeds with a smart-looking mulch

Lock moisture into your soil and smother out weeds by giving your beds, and even your containers, a thick layer of mulch. Use hearty garden compost or smart chipped bark for lusher plantings or, for a Mediterranean or desert look, use gravel and stone—they’ll soak up the heat by day and release it at night to keep warm-climate plants cosy.


14. Grow vegetables the easy way

Easy peasy veggie patch

A raised bed kit takes no time to assemble, and makes a great looking, neat and productive home for your vegetable plants. And if you dig over the soil just once before you begin, you’ll never need to dig it again. Just add a thick layer of garden compost or well-rotted manure whenever the soil is bare, and the worms will take it down into the soil for you.


15. Deadhead to keep the flowers coming

One of the secrets of spectacular flowering displays of summer bedding is to pick or snip off dead flower heads regularly this prevents the plants from setting seed, encouraging them instead to produce flush after flush of beautiful blooms. You can deadhead hardy annuals and even some perennials too, guaranteeing a long season of flowering colour from your garden plants.


13. Try vertical gardening for a new angle on plants

Vertical planting ideas

Maximise your growing space with pocket wall planters: either fill them with colourful flowering plants to brighten vertical surfaces, or grow salads and leafy herbs such as parsley away from mud-splash and ground pests. You could add some edible flowers, such as nasturtiums or violas, to pep up both your salads and your display.


14. Conserve resources with a water butt

Water is a precious commodity as far as the environment is concerned—and let’s not forget that it costs money, too. A water butt fed from guttering on your house, shed or greenhouse will catch gallons of rainwater that would otherwise run down the drain, enabling you to use it to water your plants.

There’s no doubt that plants prefer rainwater to tap water—so you’ll be doing them a favour as well as making savings.


15. Make light work of garden lighting

Inexpensive, convenient solar-powered lighting can transform the way you see your garden after dark. the first solar-powered lights on the market may not have impressed—but technology has developed in leaps and bounds. Now these versatile little lamps are just the job for highlighting paths and steps in the garden, or casting a soft glow onto attractive plants or water features—perfect for introducing a touch of magic to the garden once dusk falls.


16. Thwart pests without using chemicals

Garden netting is the traditional and foolproof way to prevent birds and other pests feasting on your home-grown produce. Check out the gardening catalogues and you’ll see clever new ways to protect your crops with netting, including ‘pop-up’ netting tents and no-fuss covers especially designed to protect raised vegetable beds. 


17. Give bed and border plantings stature

Climbers around and Obelisk

Add height to your borders by growing climbers such as captivating clematis up obelisks and tripods. These structures are attractive features in their own right, but when clad with a beautiful climber in full flower, they’ll give real drama to your plantings.



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