Get the biggest, best crops!

maxiOnce your tomato seeds have germinated, you’ll have a pot of seedlings that need to be pricked out. Gently lift each seedling and pot it up in its own small pot, burying it quite deeply. The tiny hairs on a tomato seedling’s stem turn into roots if they’re buried, ultimately giving you a plant with a bigger root system. Depending on when you sow, you may need to pot them on once more. When the first flowers appear, move them into their final pots, grow-bags, baskets or borders – with a bit of luck, this will coincide with the last of the frosts! The secret to success with tomatoes is all in the watering and feeding. These are thirsty, hungry plants and the increased yield you’ll get if you water religiously and feed regularly makes it well worth doing.

Grow-bags and pots quickly dry out in the heat of summer when the plants are growing rapidly. It’s important to keep the soil evenly moist so check regularly and water when it’s necessary – in a really hot summer that could be twice a day. It’s especially important that the plants don’t dry out while the fruits are developing. If they  do, the skins could split or the tomatoes might get blossom end rot – black patches at the base of the fruit. About four or five weeks after pricking out, the compost in the individual pots may start to run out of nutrients, so feed if it’s necessary – the telltale sign is leaves that start to yellow. And once the plants are in flower, weekly feeding is a must.

Use a fertiliser formulated for tomatoes with high potassium to promote more flowers and fruit. Mix up the feed following the instructions on the packet and feed once a week or as directed. Maxicrop’s Tomato Fertiliser contains a mineral fertiliser that’s high in potash, but it also contains Maxicrop’s famous seaweed extract, which helps root and leaf development and builds plants’ natural health to help resistance to environmental stresses. If you’re an organic gardener, use Maxicrop Organic Tomato Natural Fertiliser, which has been Get the biggest, best crops!

maxi2approved for organic use by the Soil Association. It’s made from naturally-occuring plant extracts and seaweed to give balanced, healthy nutrition for your toms. If you use a separate fertiliser or feel your plants are lagging behind, use Maxicrop Original as a pick-me-up, applied as a foliar spray or root drench every one to two weeks.

Maxicrop is available from good garden centres. If the Maxicrop product you want isn’t available in your local garden
centre, check the Garden Centre Group website (www.thegardencentregroup.co.uk) for your nearest store (there are over
130 in England and Wales) or you can buy the entre Maxicrop range from http://www.capitalgardens.co.uk

 

Don’t forget our competition!

Win a FREE bottle of Maxicrop Moss Killer!  – http://www.Maxicrop.co.uk/mosskiller

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Lawn rescue!

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Lawns are never at their best when they emerge from winter, but make that the wettest winter on record and most lawns look positively worse for wear! At worst, they were flooded, at best sodden for long periods and as a result, grass is now weak and yellowing, thanks to weeks of soggy roots and nutrients being washed from the soil. To add to your lawn’s woes, constant wet conditions are ideal for moss, which doesn’t need much encouragement to invade! Thankfully, warmer weather and longer days with more sun will soon get grass growing, which means you can get to work to bring it back to health. If your lawn was flooded or badly waterlogged, wait until it has thoroughly dried out before you start work because if it hasn’t, you’ll do more harm than good by walking over it.

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But once conditions have improved, get cracking! Start off by going over the lawn with a rake, to pull out Advertisement feature debris that has accumulated over winter and break up any crust left after flooding. Then use an aerator to get air back into the soil and help dry it out plus alleviate any compaction. Next, it’s time to make sure your grass is growing as strongly and healthily as possible. If you want a lush, green lawn, it’s important to feed it regularly. Constant mowing demands a lot from your grass, so feeding is vital. Moss doesn’t like high nitrogen levels so a well-fed lawn will help keep its invasion at bay, plus a lawn that’s growing strongly will be better able to out-compete weeds. Use Maxicrop Original seaweed extract alongside your regular lawn fertiliser for a number of benefits.

For a start, you’ll get greener grass and thicker swards. Maxicrop helps the grass thicken up by encouraging strong, healthy growth and tillering – where the grass plants put out new horizontal shoots to help your turf cover thinner areas. It also encourages deeper rooting so your grass can take up more water and nutrients (if we get a hot, dry summer this will make your lawn better able to withstand drought). The seaweed The right treatment now will get your lawn lush and green for summer A job to do now: rake out debris extract gives your turf a better colour by boosting chlorophyll levels in the leaves to give you healthier, better-looking greener grass, while the alginates it contains improve the waterholding capacity of the soil.

Maxicrop products to get your lawn back to its best!

UntitledMoss Killer & Lawn Tonic – If moss is a problem, try Maxicrop’s Moss Killer & Lawn Tonic this spring – all the benefits of Maxicrop’s seaweed extract, plus moss-killing iron.

Unlike granular moss treatments that have to dissolve and percolate through the grass to come into contact with moss, Moss Killer & Lawn Tonic comes in liquid form so is easily applied and makes good contact with the moss for a quick, efficient kill.

Once the moss has died, normally about 10-14 days after treatment, rake it out or scarify the lawn.

A 2.5 litre bottle costs £12.99 and will treat 80sqm (96 square yds) of lawn.

 

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Use Maxicrop Original Seaweed Extract as a tonic for your lawn, alongside granular fertilisers. Applied during the growing season you’ll see improved colour plus strong, healthy growth that’s more resistant to foot traffic and stress. Monthly applications of Maxicrop Original during the main growing season will make a visible difference to your lawn’s growth, thickness and rooting this spring. A 1 litre bottl used this way will treat 100sqm of lawn for around £8.69.

● Maxicrop is available from most good garden centres. If the Maxicrop product you want isn’t in your local garden centre, check the Garden Centre Group website (www.thegardencentre group.co.uk) for your nearest store (there are over 130 in England and Wales), The Range (www.therange.co.uk) or buy any Maxicrop product from http://www.capitalgardens.co.uk

Haddon Lake House: One of the Britain’s most picturesque garden projects has more to it than meets the eye…

The beautiful Haddon Lake House is a self build home in a restored historic setting, situated in the Isle of Wight, UK. The unique self build project taken on by landscape designer Phillippa Lambert and her husband, architectural illustrator Steve Lambert, in 2002. Together they have restored the once abandoned area to the two acre lake, picturesque Victorian gardens  and Lake House which can be seen today.

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Phillippa and Steve are extremely proud of their restoration of the Haddon Lake House gardens

The site now attracts many visitors each year and has also had  its fair share of attention from the likes of Channel 4’s Grand Designs who short-listed them for their ‘Eco Architecture Award’, Channel 5’s ‘I Own Britain’s Best Home and Garden!’ with presenter Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen, and various home and garden magazines including Country Living and Ideal Home.

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Phillippa and Steve’s self build lake house overlooks the Haddon Lake

The most recent publication to feature Haddon Lake House is the book ‘Exploring Britain’s Country Gardens’, which features 85 carefully selected gardens from the length and breadth of Britain. Each entry each illustrated with stunning photography and has a detailed description of the garden, including its history, and practical information such as contact details, opening times and facilities.

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Part of the restoration included the installation of a period greenhouse.

Phillippa has stated how she has found Maxicrop to be a saviour when it came to keeping the Haddon Lake House gardens thriving all year round:

“As ever Maxicrop makes the difference.  For instance, the Canna lilies were slow into flower this year because at times they lacked enough hours of sunlight.  I switched to feeding them on your tomato food and they just shot into flower!”

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Thanks to Maxicrop, the Haddon Lake House gardens are thriving all year round.

Weather problems solved!


WHAT a topsy-turvy year for weather we’ve had so far: a hot spell at the end of March, a month of heavy rain and really cold weather in April, soaring temperatures at the end of May, and now it’s bucketing down again, even though many of us still have hosepipe bans! As gardeners we don’t know whether we’re coming or going, so it’s not surprising our plants don’t either!
A lot of plants are behind, thanks to the low temperatures in April and if they’re not behind schedule we are, having spent months trapped indoors by pouring rain. At least regular rain helps keep lawns lush, and plants de­finitely aren’t wilting, but heavy rain like we’ve experienced this year brings its own set of problems: from soft growth and lack of flowers to top-heavy plants flopping all over and the problem of leaching, when plant nutrients are washed through the soil by the sheer volume of rain.

If nutrients have been washed away, plants can struggle to grow, and if they’re behind schedule as well, that’s the last thing you want. Now’s a good time to replenish those vital soil nutrients and Maxicrop’s range of seaweed extract tonics and fertilisers are just the ticket to boost growth and promote strong, healthy plants. An application of Maxicrop to borders will top up depleted soil with nutrients and as an added bonus, the seaweed extract that makes up Maxicrop is rich in crucial trace elements too.

Not only will Maxicrop get your soil fighting fit, it will also help your plants get back on track. All that water has led to masses of soft leafy growth that’s especially prone to attack from pests and diseases and often produces fewer flowers.

The nutrients in Maxicrop toughen and strengthen that soft new growth, which in turn encourages your plants to flower. And where all that lush top-heavy growth is threatening to flop, Maxicrop can also help. Regularly using Maxicrop increases root, giving you healthy, sturdy plants.

Regular applications of Maxicrop also raise your plants’ natural defence mechanisms. Naturally occurring substances found in seaweed – such as mannitol and betaines – help your plants’ cells stay healthy, so plants can function better. They’re better equipped to handle extremes of weather and they’re better able to fend off attacks by insects or diseases.

So it’s not too late to rescue the situation, plant new plants and get your garden growing as it should. Let Maxicrop help and whatever the weather throws at us next, your flowers, fruit and veg will be better able to cope!

Read more on this article Weather problems solved!

Gardeners warned to take precautions after rare strain of Legionella disease contracted from compost in Scotland

As many gardeners head out to their gardens and allotments to enjoy the warm weather, experts are warning us to take precautions when handling composts after a series of Legionella cases in Scotland over the past five years have been linked to compost use. Gardeners are advised to wash hands thoroughly, especially before eating, smoking, or touching the face and mouth.

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Gardeners are warned to take precautions when handling compost.

In the most serious case a man has died after contracting a rare strain of the disease called ‘Legionella longbeachae’, while 5 more have been taken seriously ill. All cases of the rare strain have been found to have contracted the disease from compost.

“Gardening is a very healthy hobby but like anything in life there’s a few risks,” said Dr Martin Donaghy, medical director of Health Protection Scotland.

“Over the past five years we’ve had three confirmed cases of Legionella longbeachae, plus two ‘probable’ and one ‘possible’ so we do need to take steps to reduce the risk even further.”

Symptoms of the rare strain Legionella longbeachae include headaches, diarrhoea or a dry cough followed by pneumonia.

It can be treated with a course of antibiotics, but in serious cases where it goes unreported the outcome can be life threatening.

More information, and an informative video can be found on the BBC News website