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Soto Journal & Inspiration

Spring garden questions

It is time for a roundup of the most popular spring gardening questions we are asked at Soto. Below find our gardening tips for spring including: how and when to plant, what do your plants look like when they arrive and when to prune hydrangeas.

We often run Instagram Q&A’s to help offer guidance to our followers, we thought we would create a journal post to have them all in one place. Find below our top tips for spring in your garden. 

When is the best time to prune my hydrangeas? How do I do it?

Pruning helps re-invigorate your plants and help keep them healthy. Max talks you through when and how to prune hydrangeas in this Masterclass video. We suggest late winter or early spring. Lots of plants are cut back in later winter / early spring so can look smaller now, but this is because they have been tided and are ready for new growth. 

When is the best time to plant?

We’ve a great video answering when the best time to plant is, but the short answer is the autumn or spring time. Planting in the summer does offer instant gratification however!

Are your plants young or are they established?

It can be hard to tell in spring if a plant is young or well established as perennials are often cut back in early spring ready for a growth spurt in the spring. Soto provide well established plants – you can tell this by the well-developed root system that fills the pot or extends deeply into the soil. Young plants generally have smaller, less extensive root systems. Be careful when selecting plants you aren’t choosing force grown specimens often grown in greenhouses over winter which can be weaker and lack longevity. 

When should we prune our roses?

It is important to prune roses to keep them healthy and producing lovely flowers. The best time to prune roses is late winter / early spring.

When should we put slug and snail repellent down?

April is a terrible time for slugs and snails in the garden, protect your garden using repellents. Soto has these two slug repellents.

What should we do with daffodils once they have faded?

Once your daffodils have faded, remove faded flowers.  Deadhead the daffodils by snipping or pinching off the faded flowers. This prevents the plant from putting energy into seed production and encourages it to focus on bulb development for the next year. We recommend leaving foliage intact, and allowing the foliage to die back naturally. The leaves are still gathering energy from the sun to store in the bulbs for next year's growth. Cutting back the foliage too soon can weaken the bulbs.

My tulips have finished looking fresh and beautiful, what should I do now?

After tulips have faded, you have a few options to tidy up their appearance and care for the bulbs. You can deadhead the flowers by snipping off the flower stems just above the first set of leaves using sharp, clean pruners. Just like with daffodils, it's crucial to leave the foliage of tulips intact until it has completely withered and turned yellow.

Consider replanting or composting if the tulips are the type that wont return next year. For those that can return, remove the bulbs from the ground once the foliage has withered and store in a dry place. 

Once the tulips have finished blooming and their foliage has withered, you can plant perennial flowers in the same location to fill the space and maintain visual interest in your garden.

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