Looking after your babies

OUR PROMISE TO YOU

We know a bit about looking after plants here at The Plant Man - in fact, we reckon we're the best in the business ! 

Once our lovely plants leave the nursery, we want you to enjoy them and watch them grow to make your garden beautiful...so here's a few hints and tips to help you.

First and foremost….the most important thing to keep your plants alive….

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WATERING

There’s a real art to it!

Everyone knows plants need water, right ? But did you know that incorrect watering is the number one reason for plants failing ?

 Whenever you buy a new plant, large or small, its critical that you soak it in its existing pot BEFORE you plant it

Once you've planted it, either in a bigger pot or in the ground, water it again to settle the soil/compost around the rootball

Then - LEAVE IT ALONE !! Why ? Because roots are stimulated to grow by dry conditions, so as the soil dries out, the roots will grow in an effort to find more water. Keeping the soil wet every day is the quickest way to kill most plants !

When the soil dries out, you'll have to water again - the easiest way to check is to put your finger in the soil - if its damp, there's no need to water so leave it until the soil dries out.

When its time to water again, give the plant another good soak - its much better to drench a plant once every few days, than it is to give it a little bit every day. This is how we do it at The Plant Man, and that's why our plants always looks so good !

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YOUR SOIL

It’s worth spending time and money making it lovely!

SOIL & FEED

 Before you spend your money on plants, it makes sense to ensure your garden soil is in tip top condition - a lovely new plant will deteriorate very quickly if its planted in soil that's too heavy, or lacks any nutrients, two of the most common soil problems. There's thousands of plants you can buy but they don't all like the same conditions. Just ask - it's what we're here for !

Plants are all grown these days in compost, not soil. Soil is too expensive, and too heavy to transport. So anything you can do to make your soil more forgiving, for those roots that are only used to compost, will pay dividends every time. Compost. Soil conditioner. Manure. They’ll all do!

 

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aspect

Sun worshipper or Shade lover?

ASPECT

 If you plant a sun loving plant in deep shade, or a delicate tree in a windy spot, you're only ever going to be disappointed when the plant fails to thrive. We've got over 50 years of green fingered experience between us so put us to the test and we'll help you to spend your money wisely. If we know a plant you like won't grow where you want it to grow, we'll tell you !

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stakes

(Sorry couldn’t resist)

TREES AND STAKING

 We probably sell the largest range of trees within 50 miles, and whilst there's probably around 100 varieties we sell, they all need supporting in their first year or two with a STAKE & TIE. Ignore this advice at your peril !!

A tree that is not staked won’t root down securely. Which means it’ll most likely be unstable in the ground. This makes them lean or simply never establish a good root system.

Whilst all of our trees are lovely and healthy when they leave, we have more worried customers over their new trees than anything else. Staking, and watering properly, account for nearly 100% of unhappy trees.

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pests & diseases

and what you can do to treat them…..

PESTS & DISEASES

 There are many pests and diseases that can affect British gardens. The good news is that the majority won't cause any major problems as long as you deal with them - but if you don't, the problem only gets worse and can end up killing your plants. We are always happy to help identify bugs and diseases - you're welcome to send pics in to our email address (ian@theplantman.net), or just pop in with a pic on your smartphone !

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but my plant is dead!

Our returns policy

RETURNS (please keep your receipt !)

Follow our advice and you should have very few problems with your plants. However, on very rare occasions plants can fail through other reasons, and if you need to return a plant, these are the reasons for which we will exchange your plant. Please note we will only exchange plants if the old ones are returned, dead or alive !!

 1. Your white lupin turns out blue - if the plant is not as described, we will of course exchange it !

2. If your plant develops a bacterial/viral disease within 7 days of purchase

 Regretfully, we do not offer an exchange or refund for the following reasons

 1. Your plant has not been watered based on our advice

2. Your plant is affected by any pests or diseases associated with gardening in the UK

3. Your tree has not been supported with stake and tie

4. Your plant has not been purchased from us (it happens all the time !!)

Pruning

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WHERE, WHEN AND HOW TO PRUNE?

It’s really not that difficult or stressful!

 

PROBABLY OUR MOST OFTEN ASKED QUESTION….

Pruning is a subject that books are written about, a routine maintenance task which experts can turn into high-science, and every gardener will have their own way of doing it. It’s one of those things where, if you ask 5 different people, you’ll most likely get 5 different answers!

This is what we decided to start our blog page with, simply because it’s asked about so much here at the nursery. At the same time, we know we can’t answer every pruning question on a blog site…..we’d need another website!

So where to start?

WHY DO WE PRUNE?

Pruning can be done for a whole load of reasons:

To keep plants small (like a hedge, or even a Bonsai)

To encourage plants to grow big leaves (like a Smoke Bush)

To stimulate extra flowers (like a Wisteria)

To encourage lots of fruit (like an Apple)

To promote growth for Winter interest (like a Dogwood)

To control the 3 D’s (dead, diseased and dying wood) on any plant

To reduce disease (like a rose)

To promote establishment of any newly planted purchase

To remove spent growth (like a raspberry)

To promote flowers where you can actually see them (like a Clematis or a Buddleia)

To stop plants getting ‘old’ (lots of shrubs and climbers)

To regenerate weak plants (anything that’s struggling)

To trick plants into a second flush of flowers (like a hardy Geranium)

Can you see the idea here? Pruning is done for so many reasons, there simply isn’t a cure-all technique that you can adopt on everything. So, what we’re going to do is create a series of separate posts which, in turn, will cover each of the pruning ideas listed above. We’re all ears and if you want us to explain something to you, we’re happy to do so and as long as you don’t mind it being included on our blog for all our readers to see, then please feel free to use our Contact page and email us?

Thanks! More will follow soon

Ian