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Clippings from The Growing Nursery - March & April 2024

The Growing Nursery - Beetham Nurseries

The Growing Nursery opened our doors again on Saturday 2nd March! Since then we've been delighted to welcome so many of you through the doors of our potting shed.

Each month, we will be sharing what's new in The Growing Nursery, along with tips for gardeners, our team's favourite picks of the month, and even a quiz question or two! Despite a wetter February than expected, The Growing Nursery is full to the brim of wonderful perennials that are all starting to wake up for the spring and summer seasons. Keep reading to find out our favourites this month.

Monthly Quiz!

First things first, it's time for a quiz! Do you know the answers to the following questions? Check the answers at the bottom of this page.

  1. LUNGWORT is the common name for which spring flowering perennial much loved by early pollinators?
  2. Which flowering plants are known for their distinctive tall spikes of colorful pea-like flowers and are often cultivated for their nitrogen-fixing properties?
  3. Which plant, commonly found in gardens and known for its bright yellow or orange petals surrounding a dark central cone, belongs to the Asteraceae family and is often referred to as a "Black-Eyed Susan"?

What's Looking Great This Month?

Our Plant of the Month is Bergenia 'Rosi Klose'. Its pink flowers are in clusters on thick stems just above the evergreen waxy foliage and it's currently only £6.99 each. We also have Persicaria Bistorta in bloom. It gives plenty of ground cover foliage and its pink bottle brush flowers appear over a long season.

It's now easier than ever to find what you are looking for with our brand new plant finder located at the entrance to The Growing Nursery in the potting shed.

Top Tips for Beginners

Don't be fooled by warm days, frost is still very likely! To protect younger or less hardy plants you can bring pots indoors, apply mulch around plants to protect the crown, or cover with a light fleece.

Did you know? Bees start visiting flowers for pollen as early as February. Early blooms are just as important as summer flowers — if not, more!

If you missed autumn planting, plant bulbs that are flowering now and enjoy the blooms knowing that they are in place for next year too. Bluebells and narcissus are ideal spring bulbs.

Top Tips for All Gardeners

In April, get support in place early for herbaceous perennials. Growth happens quickly when the warm days come so be prepared!

Prune early flowering shrubs such as Forsythia and cut back flowered stems to strong new growth. Aim on creating an open centre and evenly spaced branches.

March to April is part of the early spring period when many plants, including roses, remain dormant. This means it’s a great time to prune back your bush roses. Pruning during dormancy helps to reduce stress on the plants and encourages vigorous growth when the growing season begins.

Now is also a great time to chit potatoes. "Chitting" refers to the process of allowing seed potatoes to sprout before planting them in the ground. Chitting has many benefits, including an earlier harvest, better yield, makes them easier to plant, and also improves disease resistance. Unsure how? There’s a handy guide to chitting seed potatoes on our website!

At this time of year, it's key to prepare your soil. Despite the winter, there will no doubt be weeds to pull out, ready for planting. Fertilise beds with well-rotted manure and, finally, mulch to contain moisture. Your plants will thank you for this during dry spells! 

If you have a Greenhouse, now is the time to give it a good clean and sterilise (to remove any previous disease or potential issues for plants) ready for planting this year. Wash all pots and have them ready for beautiful new plants!

What We're Up To This Month in The Growing Nursery

We're potting up new stock ready to put out into The Growing Nursery, cutting back last year's plants, weeding the borders and bringing more stock out for sale all the time. There's never a dull moment in The Growing Nursery!

What to Focus On This Month...

We recommend focussing on food for early bees and insects this month; you may notice them start to reappear and with that, you'll also notice there aren't too many flowers around just yet! We recommend the following plants to really help the wildlife get a head start this spring:

  • Fritillaria 'Lutea' & 'Rubra'
  • Pulmonaria 'Diana Clare' & 'Twinkle Toes'
  • Dodecatheon 'Red Wings'
  • Crocus 'Purple Striped'

Our Team's Pick of the Month

Alyson has chosen Cammassia Caerulea as March’s team’s pick of the month, and we can see why! This vivid, blue, bulbous perennial is long flowering, robust, and easy to grow. It’s great for naturalising in grass too. Plant it now for a lovely splash of colour in early Spring.

Quiz answers:

  1. Pulmonaria
  2. Lupins
  3. Rudbeckia

Thanks for reading. We hope to see you at The Growing Nursery soon!

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