Off with their heads!

So I am off on my hols tomorrow and I am incredibly excited! Don't worry though I will still be posting bits and bobs on the social media pages so continue to keep an eye out!

Yesterday morning I tap danced in the rain whilst wearing my (now very worn) bright white sandals. It was as if I was a reincarnated Gene Kelly from 'Singing in the Rain'.

Summer is not over yet - the boots are still very much packed away in the back of the wardrobe.

White sandals though?

Perhaps a better colour would have been a sensible option - one that preferably did not show all the brown, muddy scuff marks.

The weather has calmed a little into a typical British summer, warm sunny spells with bought's and outbursts of heavy rain. We keep an umbrella in the car along with sun cream and sunglasses. We have learnt to be prepared for whatever weather whilst on our daily travels.



Before I do go away, I am going to undertake the task that is deadheading, in the hope of seeing another remarkable flush of colour.

Have you already deadheaded? Are you thinking 'Oh I just cant be doing with that painstaking task'! or are you feeling as if you just don't know where to start? I hope I can help make this chore a little less laborious and explain why it really is worth while!

Why should I deadhead my plants?

If you want more flowers once the first flush has finished, deadheading or pinching off these flowers will encourage more blooms to reproduce, allowing you to enjoy your blooms for longer. Clever isn't it? Pinching off flowers before they go to seed will also give your plants an extra boost and will make a copious supply of flowers.


Hydrangea

However not all plants have this magical power and deadheading is either recommended to neaten the plants appearance or not recommended at all.


How do I deadhead my plants?

Make sure you have a sharp set of fingernails, pruning snips or scissors before you go anywhere near your faded beauties.



Once you are prepared with your weapons of choice, remove the entire flower head (yes - not just the petals) just below the old flower head and just above the uppermost leaves. This will ensure that you are preventing seeds from being produced and dispersing, meaning you get a more prolific flush of flowers.

When should I deadhead my plants?

When you notice the petals wilting on your plants, it is the right time to deadhead - this will be different for every variety - but don't let this put you off. You do not need to monitor this too carefully or religiously scour your way across flower beds and borders every hour of the day to find your wilted plants. Just take a leisurely stroll as you normally would (or is that just me after work ?) and use your noggin to work out if it is a good or bad time to snip away. 



Get into a habit of checking your garden in the evening or morning when you water your plants and deadhead as you go. Not only are you performing a vital chore but it allows you to take a few moments within the peace and tranquility of your own garden. 

When should I avoid deadheading?

There are some cases where it is not necessary to deadhead at all. Certain flower varieties are excellent self-seeders and you may choose to leave the flowers on so that they will drop their seeds for next season’s flowers. Plants that do this include poppies, foxglove, and lobelia


As Autumn approaches, you may also want to leave seed-heads in place to help local wildlife find vital food resources for when we are greeted by cold frosty weather. Perhaps you wish to collect seeds for the following year or for friends and family!

Have I convinced you yet? I hope so! 

You know it'll be worth it in the end. 

I hope you have a fabulous weekend Haylofters. Ta ta for now!


becky@hayloftplants.co.uk

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