Sometimes Winter and Spring can be very wet. When this happens it is vital to keep an eye on your plants. Plants in free draining and nutritious soil will have loved this weather and be really happy but if they are in heavier soil then give them a check up as they hate getting wet feet in soggy ground.
Check that they are not planted too deep, the top of the rootball should be 3cm proud of the ground. If they are recently planted you can easily raise it yourself by putting a spade under and packing soil underneath.
Cover with the soil around the plant with plenty of pine bark chips, this will keep soil moist and add humus to your soil over time, which will loosen it up improving the drainage.
Work Never Stops
Even in the depths of winter the work doesn't stop on the nursery. Here is Keith wielding a blower to remove snow form the foliage of young rhododendrons. All the team were out in the snow either with blowers or soft brushes making sure no damage to our precious crop was done.
Hardy Hybrid rhododendrons are actually tough and winter hardy despite their rathe exotic large leaves. In the garden you will only ever need to remove snow in really heavy snowfall.
Five Star Treatment
Sometimes you can be made to feel that gardening is really complicated and hard work. Knowing what conditions your plant likes will save you time, money and heartache.
Most people know that rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias belong to the group of plants called ericaceous plants along with heathers, pieris and magnolias but what does that really mean? A lot of people see it as “lime hating” but it's not really quite like that. It means that they are unable to use certain essential foods in the soil if the pH (a measure of how acid or alkaline a soil is) goes higher than 7. They will grow steadily more sickly and weak.
So how do you know what pH your soil is? You can buy a simple soil testing kit from your local garden centre. Follow the instructions carefully and always test the soil where you are intending to plant as it the soil can vary around the garden. If you can't find a soil test kit a simple test is to look for hydrangea plants in gardens near you and see what colour they are. Blue hydrangeas indicate an acid soil and pink or purple ones an alkaline soil. White hydrangeas don't change colour except in the very centre of each flower, if you look really carefully you will see the centre is either pink or blue. The best time to look for his is when the flowers first open as flowers later in the season can take on other tints due to the flower ageing.