We caught up with Head Gardener, Andrew Lawrence, to find out his top tips for planting this spring.
Spring Gardening Tips
The Kitchen Garden at Moonfleet Manor produces over 40,000 items each year that are used on dishes offered in the restaurant. Spring is one of the most important times for them and pivotal in setting up for a good year of vegetables, herbs and flowers. We can only thank our wonderful Gardens Team for this, who work tirelessly every single day. We caught up with Head Gardener, Andrew Lawrence, to find out his top tips for planting this spring.
“The most important thing in the spring is preparation. Make sure the soil that you are going to plant veg or flowers into is well dug over, weed free and whatever form of fertiliser you want to add, is added to the soil. For me, that is the use of what we call gardener’s tea. This is liquid that one draws off horse manure that has been soaked for many years in large containers. It’s a lot less smelly to add to the soil than putting rotten manure directly into the ground.”
Andrew Continues “We will be preparing to plant and grow 40,000 veg and the way to achieve this again is preparation. We make sure all the containers, cell trays and pots are completely sterile and clean ready for when our young plants arrive. It is important to make sure all your compost is ready so everything is ready for the start of the big growing season.”
Andrew’s Top Five Tips
- The soil must be well turned over and weed free.
- Organic fertiliser must be applied.
- For seeds and young plants which are plugs, it is absolutely essential that what you plant them in is a clean, sterile environment. This will increase your chances of germination by a very high percent.
- Courgette growing, my top tip for this is, don’t do what all the books and internet tell you, which is to plant 3ft or 1m apart, I plant them as close as 10-12in apart. On a bad year we will still get 800 courgettes which is still enough for the chefs to use in our busy summer season.
- When it comes to growbags, I never cut separate holes into the bag, to put my tomato plants into. Even though every growbag you buy will clearly show where you cut 3 squares into it. I cut a whole oblong, leaving enough on the sides and a little bit on top, so the bag keeps its integrity. Using this technique, you can get a lot more liquid into the growbags. This is essential for watering, but also good for feeding.