At long last the ground has dried out sufficiently for me to do a little work on my trial plots. I hard pruned the blackberry ‘Reuben’ plants (this easy grow, top tasting variety was one of the best plants I trialled last year), moved a blackcurrant bush and pruned the redcurrants by a third.
It was wonderful being outside listening to the birds (who were chirping away merrily). They’re obviously getting ready for nesting and breeding as they’re getting through the bird food incredibly quickly at the moment. I’m having to re-fill the bird feeders much faster than I was two weeks ago.
The winter, although horribly wet, has been very mild and that means that we’re likely to have major pest problems from late spring onwards. If that’s not bad enough, they’re predicting the worst year ever for slugs and snails! So my Today’s Special Value Garden Care Kit on Friday 14th March is well timed.
It consists of a 500g pack of my special, safer slug pellets which, if used as directed, are safe to use around pets, children, birds and hedgehogs. They’re based on naturally occurring iron phosphate and are approved for use in organic gardening.
Also in the kit is a bumper 500ml concentrate bottle of my Plant Invigorator, a product used by over 500 commercial growers throughout Europe as a safer, non-chemical way to control major pests including greenfly, blackfly and whitefly.
The concentrate makes up to 50 litres of diluted solution, enough to refill the special limited edition Flower Power Hand sprayer (also in the kit) one hundred times! Last October, I went to Guernsey to talk to some of the growers who use it and I’ll be showing the videos of my visit on the TSV day.
Immediately after our TSV day, on the Saturday and Sunday (15th and 16th March) we’re taking part in the nationwide Garden Re-leaf weekend to help raise money for Greenfingers, the gardening charity that builds much needed gardens for children’s hospices.
This year, Garden Re-Leaf has been supported by some leading celebrities including Jude Law and David Tennant. They’ve recorded questions for a special gardening quiz which is being presented at top garden centres around the UK, so do check to see if your local centre is taking part. I helped compile the questions and you don’t have to be a keen gardener to take part…even Charlie Brook could get most of the answers right! Perhaps I’ll check this out when I next see him on air!