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Growing Workshops- Aftercare

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Top Tips for Looking After Your Plants!

When should I water my plant?

To check if your plant needs water feel the soil with you finger, if it is moist you don't need to water it, if it is dry give it some water!

Plants that are inside you should check every week.
When the weather is hot and dry your hanging baskets and small containers will dry out very quickly and you should check them everyday.

My plant is in a small pot, but it's getting big, what should I do?

Plants in small cardboard pots will need to be transplanted (replanted) when they are about 4cm (2 inches) tall. To do this, take you cardboard pot with its plants and place it into a new pot with a layer of compost in it. The new pot should be 30cm (12 inches) across and at least the same deep. Fill the space around the pot with more compost. Water the plant. The cardboard pot will break down naturally as time paces. It is important to transplant runner beans, peas, garlic and spring onions.

What can I feed my plant with?

Water washes away nutrients so add 1 or 2 handfuls of any of the following to the top of your bag or pot: tea leaves/bags– split open, pet straw, strips of damp newspaper, fallen leaves, compost or liquid feed. Be sure not to cover up the stem/all of your plant.

What about weeds?

Remove all weeds (mostly plants that you didn’t plant) using a trowel or your hands. Dig around or loosen the compost around the weed, dig down and remove or grab with both hands and pull slowly upwards. Dandelions are a common weed.

When are my plants ready to eat?

Broad beans are ready to harvest when pods feel full and are about 6inches /15cm long (May-June).

Peas are ready to harvest when the pods fell full and are about 3inches / 7cm long (May-June). Hold and pull or cut the pod where it joins with the stem/ main plant.

Strawberries: Pick when red (June – July). After fruits have been picked, cut leaves off leaving plants approx 1 inch (2cm) above compost. Add more compost / nutrients and cover with straw – they will produce for up to 5 years.

Tomatoes: Need feeding when flowers first appear with liquid tomato feed (follow instructions on bottle). Depending on variety can be yellow or red when ripe (August – September). Compost plants when no more fruits.

Garlic, onions and shallots are ready when the long stems above the compost start to die off / go dry and pale and bulbs may start to become visible (June-July). Dig around the bulb/ area to a depth of 4– 12 inches– roots are often quite long. Tie the stems together with string and hang up to dry. When bulb skin is dry, cut roots and stem of and compost.

Herbs
Don’t pick or cut the central stem of the herb plant.
Basil: Pick individual leaves where they join the plant stem.
Parsley, mint, chives: cut back to 1 inch/ 2 cm above the compost.
Woody stemmed herbs Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Sage: Break off or cut where the small branches join the bigger one / whole plant.