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Q&A HenryAsk Henry...

If you have a gardening question, just 'Ask Henry'. . .

We hope to bring you Questions and Answers on what's actually bugging you! .. my apologies for the pun.

Want to Ask Henry how to do something? how to avoid making the wrong choice? or just need a little advice, Henry will endeavour to answer your gardening questions.

Equally, if you have any questions which you think our gardening friends may ask, and you know the answer too, we would love to hear from you.

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Any questions and answers published will be credited with your name on the post.

In the meantime, here are a few Questions & Answers which may help you get started in the garden this spring..

I'm new to vegetable gardening.. what size should my vegetable plot be?

Traditional vegetable plots were in rows and to as many rows as the size of the garden would allow.. today gardening has come of age and become part of the garden itself, planting between established shrubs with ornamental cabbages, broccili and of course herbs. However, if you still want a separate vegetable patch a bed of 3-4ft is ideal, filled with nutritious compost and keeping the plot small enables you to cultivate your vegetables from the edges without disturbing the soil.

What kind of soil is best for growing vegetables?

Vegetables will grow in many types of soil, from light sand to heavy clay, but vegetables are greedy and if your soil is low in nutrients your vegetables will starve and your crop will be poor. Digging in plenty of organic compost is the best way to encourage a healthy crop.

How do I grow organically?

Feeding the soil and not the plants is the basic rule of thumb. Digging in organic compost will ensure top quality growing soil, which will retain nutrients and moisture. Wildlife play an important part in the garden. Birds, frogs, hedgehogs and toads allplay their part clearing the garden of snails, whitefly, slugs and aphids - you can't get more organic than nature.

How do I attract wildlife into my garden?

Every garden can be a good home for wildlife. More creatures will visit your garden if you give them the things they need. Growing nectar rich plants and flowers eg buddleia, honeysuckle, lavender. All wildlife needs food. A little overgrown corner provides animals with seeds, insects and other food all year round. Keep feeders topped up for birds and leave out some old fruit in winter. The spring sunshine wakes up the bees, now looking for flowers full of sweet nectar to drink and snug places to lay their eggs.

What is the pH of the compost?

Our organic compost has slow release nitrogen, and pH of around 8.

Do I need to use topsoil underneath my turf?

You will need to use topsoil if you have poor quality soil in your garden, or if the ground levels are uneven. Our Sandy Loam soil is perfect for the job.

Is turf difficult to lay?

No. The hardest part is site preparation – Laying turf is quite straight forward. Side by side, back to back, staggering joints and avoid walking on the prepared soil or newly laid turf where possible.

When can I lay turf?

You can lay turf at any time of year as long as conditions allow. Turf must not be allowed to dry out as it will shrink and die. The turf must be kept moist until it is well established especially during dry weather.

When can I start to mow a new lawn?

This depends on the time of year that you lay the turf, but as a rule of thumb 7 – 10 days after laying – but check if the turf has rooted and attached to the soil, then as soon as is necessary, start mowing. Never mow more than one third of the grass plant off at any one time.

How much turf in a roll?

1 square metre.

How long can I keep the turf before laying it?

Ideally within 24-48 hours of delivery. After that it may start to change colour and eventually die, especially in warm weather, so make sure all the prep work is done before your turf arrives.

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