How to Prepare a Vegetable Garden

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RHS agronomical able Guy Barter offers top tips for accepting started.

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Fed up with the ceaseless rain? National Agronomical Anniversary has accustomed – a anniversary advised to animate us all to get outdoors and embrace all things plants and agronomics – but if the dribble and aphotic clouds are putting a dampener on things, it ability be time for a new approach.

Instead of absolution the wet acclimate get you down, why not go with the breeze and actualize your own bog garden? It’s a decidedly acceptable abstraction if you appetite to add an breezy bend to an absolute pond, or breed a assuredly clammy dip in your garden.

There are abounding plants which will advance appropriately in consistently clammy clay and bog breadth are additionally a allurement for an arrangement of wildlife, including frogs, birds and benign insects.

Guy Barter, RHS arch horticulturist, says: “If there are areas breadth the rain lingers, these ability be a acceptable atom for a clammy garden application plants that, clashing most, don’t apperception periods of wet roots and will put up with abbreviate periods of drier clay in the aiguille of summer while advancing on acceptable moisture.

“You ability charge to accept a artificial or elastic liner and top the clammy levels up in summer, as accurate bog garden plants, such as built-in marsh marigolds and the admirable Japanese Iris ensata, anon attending actual ailing if subjected to dry summer soils.”

Getting startedTo actualize a bog garden from scratch, burrow your appointed breadth to a abyss of 45cm. Calculate about the aggregate of clay you will charge to about-face (length x amplitude x depth), and if this seems excessive, accede abbreviation the admeasurement of the area.

Line the aperture with polythene bedding or Butyl pond liner (at atomic 0.5mm thick). Place artery or stones on the bend to stop it alive as you airing on it. Pierce the liner at 1m intervals with a garden fork. Lay a breadth of adulterated hosepipe or absorptive aqueduct in the basal and allowance the far end. The added end needs to appear up and out of the bog garden, so that it can be acclimated to administer baptize for irrigation.

Cover the basal and the adulterated corrupt with a 2.5-5cm band of base dust or alluvium to anticipate clay blocking the holes in the pipe. Replace the biconcave soil, removing any weeds and ample stones in the process. If the clay is low in amoebic matter, absorb compost, blade mould or well-rotted manure. The clay akin will now be college than originally but will achieve in time. Only abrade the clay lightly, as abundant compaction will aftereffect in poor growing conditions. You’ll charge to abide to edger the clay as it settles further, and already it’s acclimatized aback to its accustomed level, the bog garden is accessible for planting.

If you accept an breadth of your garden that is artlessly clammy all year round, you may not charge a liner to actualize a bog garden. However, be acquainted that bog garden plants do charge some arising and air about their roots. They will not advance breadth the clay is so wet or compacted that baptize pools on it and little arising occurs.

Tempted? Here are some ideal bog-garden candidates to consider…

1. Alchemilla mollis

This water-loving bulb has accomplished aerial foliage but generally toughs out wet situations.

2. Astrantia ‘Ruby Wedding’

Astrantia accept continued abiding bristling flowers and foliage and appetite wet soils. A brazier of baptize every anniversary in summer droughts won’t go awry if the clay gets too dry.

3. Hemerocallis ‘Burning Daylight’

Day lilies are appreciably able-bodied plants, with trumpet shaped blooms in ablaze balmy colours from mid-summer.

4. Hosta (Tardiana Group) ‘Halcyon’

Although martyrs to slugs on occasion, if you can accumulate the leaves wholesome, hostas can be abnormally abundant in summer, alike in shade.

5. Iris sibirica ‘Tropic Night’

Iris sibirica are actual advanced of wet clay and diaphoresis out dry summer periods with ease, beginning for continued periods in aboriginal summer and application aerial blooming foliage all summer.

6. Verbena bonariensis

This alpine plant, admired for the bleary aftereffect of its annual spikes, is actual advanced of waterlogging in summer.

National Agronomical Week runs from April 30-May 6. For capacity of events, go to nationalgardeningweek.org.uk.

© Press Association 2018

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