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Budding Gardener? 

Just starting? A few general tips for those with green-fingered ideas!
 
Swindon Gardeing Feature
With the lovely weather weíve been enjoying recently and the plethora of bank holidays, many of us will be thinking about our gardens.
 
So if you're just starting, here's few tips and ideas on things to think about and what perhaps you should be doing with your green fingers as the spring and summer progresses?
 
WARNING: gardening can be very addictive!
 
Buy New Plants
  
One of the first things to consider if you are buying new plants is to get them in strips or trays which are very sturdy with moist compost.
 
Itís always better to buy plants which are in bud with few open blooms, you will then get the best results. Growing your own seedlings can come later.
 
Hanging basket
How About A Hanging Basket?
 
You may even want to buy your hanging baskets ready made up Ė if planning your planting is just not your thing - Toomers and Argyle's both offer this service.
 
Itís also the moment to check the ties on climbers, flower stems and standard roses as their tops can get heavy when wet or in bloom.
 
Look After The Greenhouse
 
If you have one already, then a greenhouse is a real haven for any budding gardener. Just think of all those tomatoes for a start!
 
A clean is the first thing, then perhaps a paint or a creosote to help protect it from the elements. You may also want to consider painting shading on your greenhouse to reduce the risk of any scorching from the sun. Also remember to ventilate on warmer days.
 
Looking After Seedlings
 
If you have seedlings, do start to thin them out, leaving the strongest plants growing. Remember to water first to reduce stress to the roots. Spread compost over borders as this adds nutrients to the soil and helps the earth retain moisture and reduces weeds. If you wish to add mulch, make sure that the soil is wet when you do so.
 
Bedding Plants
 
If you want spring bedding plants, itís the time to lift and store spring flowering bulbs, though donít do this with snowdrops. You can protect plants from slugs and snails with pellets, course grit or traps.
Alternatively you could try a Ďgreenerí approach by encouraging birds, hedgehogs and fronts into your gardenas they will naturally hoover up slugs and snails.
 
Lawn Care
 
Donít forget your lawn now Ė itís the time of year when regular cutting of the lawn should begin. Once a week is the norm but you can get away with twice a month is time of an issue.
 
How About Making A Pond?
 
If you are feeling really brave and want to take on a project, this is also a good moment for creating a pond. Be sure to take advice from specialists at your local garden suppliers or centres to ensure you follow best practice.
 
Garden Hedges
 
As for your garden hedges, get out those shears Ė itís trimming time. Watch out for birdís nests. This encourages thicker foliage as well as adding to a propertyís kerb appeal!
 
Ask for advice....
 
Never be too afraid to ask for advice at your local garden centre.
 
The people at local specialist like Toomers or Argyle's in Swindon having been helping people for years, especially people just starting with their gardens.
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