Grow Your Own
There’s nothing like the taste of home-grown produce!
Now is the perfect time to plan your garden for growing seasonal vegetables.
While sowing and growing outdoors is better once the risk of frost has passed, there’s plenty of preparation to be done to make sure you get the best possible crop to feed you and your family. Many crops can be sown successionally – this means sowing seeds every few weeks to a month apart so that when they are ready to eat you have a continuous supply. This works for many salad crops including lettuce and beetroot.
If you’re looking for inspiration on what to plant in the coming months:
We’ve got a range of tomato plants in store now, ready for taking home and growing your own. Take a look at our handy guide on the varieties we have in stock, or come into the garden centre and ask one of our expert plant team for their advice.
If you’re looking for a fuss-free guide for how to plant up spring-flowering bulbs, or your very own herb garden then look no further. Alongside our friends at Woodlodge we’re bringing you step-by-step how-to guides so you can grow your own at home!
Don’t forget we’re always on hand for any tips or advice here at Torwood Garden Centre, just pop in store or give us a call with any questions you have.
Herb garden in a pot
A pot of herbs is a fantastic asset to any kitchen or garden. The variety on offer means you can create a garden to suit any palette.
The Container – The size of pot that you choose depends on how many types of herb you want to grow and of which variety. A 30cm terracotta pot can fit a Mediterranean selection of herbs; including rosemary, oregano, sage, lemon thyme and marjoram.
Drainage and Compost – Make sure your chosen container has at least one drainage hole. Use pieces of broken terracotta pot (crocks) to cover the drainage holes; this will prevent them from becoming clogged up with compost. Use a gritty, well drained compost.
Plants – Pick herbs that you like to cook with that are also compatible, there are many varieties to choose from. To make a nice display, maybe consider herbs that grow to be different heights.
Arrangement – Arrange your plants into the pot, making sure the taller plants are in the middle and lower growing plants are near the edge. Fill in any gaps with more compost and firm around the plants leaving a small 1” (2.5cm) gap from the rim of the pot. Water well and then move your pot to a sunny spot, ideally near the kitchen door for easy access.
Harvesting – Always harvest herbs from the top, not the bottom of the plant, this will result in stronger, bushier plants. Either pinch off with your fingers or use scissors, but make sure they are clean. Rotate your pot occasionally to ensure all of the plants get enough sunlight.
Maintenance – Your herb garden should be kept in a sunny spot and watered regularly, liquid feed will also give your plants a boost during growing season. Unfortunately not all herbs last forever, some are annual, others are perennial and a few are biennial. You will need to replenish your herb garden as and when you’re chosen herbs require it.
How to grow bulbs in layers
A range of pots and containers can be used to plant bulbs, however their depth will determine how many layers you can plant.
Choose your pot. We have a new range of pots in the garden centre, or a simple terracotta bowl would also be perfect.
Drainage – make sure your chosen container has at least one drainage hole. Use pieces of terracotta to cover the hole and prevent soil building up.
Layering – plan your pot into layers, spacing bulbs evenly and allowing a layer of compost beneath and inbetween layers. You can buy sets of bulbs to compliment each other, or make up your own combination!
Compost – Use a multi-purpose compost, preferably peat-free. Add about 10cm to the bottom of your pot before planting your bulbs.
Plant – begin planting your first layer of bulbs, pointed end up. Your pot size will determine how many you can fit per layer, but keep at least a bulbs distance between them. Add more compost before planting your next layer. Finish with a layer of gravel/grit mulch to surpress weeds and help retain moisture.
Maintenance – Water thoroughly and place in a partially shaded spot in your garden. Keep watering your bulbs but make sure they don’t become either too dry or waterlogged. Place some mesh over your pot if you tend to get squirrels visiting your garden to avoid your bulbs being dug up. Now all you need to do is wait until they bloom!
Grow an Acer in a container
Growing trees in containers is ideal for a small garden, or an area where space is scarce. They can bring height, colour & fruit to a patio or terrace. We have a beautiful selection or ornamental and fruit trees in store, all UK grown.
The Container – Choose a container that is large enough to house the root ball of your tree. Avoid putting a small tree in a massive pot, instead try and pot up the plant in stages. How fast you need to repot depends on the type of tree you are planting.
Drainage -Make sure your chosen container has at least one drainage hole. Use pieces of broken terracotta pot (crocks) to cover the drainage holes; this will prevent them from becoming clogged up with compost. Pot feet will also aid drainage by allowing air to flow around the container and the soil to dry out between waterings.
Compost – Most trees will thrive in a loam based compost. Start filling your pot allowing enough space for the tree root ball.
Planting and Stone Mulch – Place your tree in the pot and fill in the gaps with more compost then firm. Adding a mulch topping will assist in moisture retention and supress weeds.
Maintenance – Place your tree out of strong winds to avoid the leaves getting wind scorched. Maple trees are best placed in a sheltered position with partial shade. Keep the compost moist but not soaking wet and use slow release fertiliser in spring or early summer. Don’t rely on rain to water your tree as often the foliage creates a canopy and shields the compost.
Pruning – Maple trees are best pruned when fully dormant (November to January) otherwise they will bleed sap, which will weaken the tree. However, even then, pruning is best left to a minimum, leaving the tree to spread naturally and just removing badly placed branches or crossing shoots.