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Welcome to the CountryLife Gardening Blog, written by our horticulturist to provide you with the best tips & advice for all things gardening!  We have been shortlisted for Best Lifestyle Blog in the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards 2016 Company Category. 

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Caring for Young Plants

by Malachy - Horticulturist CountryLife Dungarvan | Apr 10, 2017
Young plants should be hardened off before being planted

The weather is definitely improving each week, as we get further into spring, but if you have been out in the garden over the past week you will have noticed it is still a changeable and can still be a bit nippy at times. So it is still important to cast a watchful eye over plants in the garden, especially young plants or ones that you have just moved outside following the winter.

Having spoken to customers that have called in to the CountryLife Garden Centre over the last two week I know many people have started to bring plants back out of greenhouses or out from under cold frames for the summer months. But it is important to remember that if you have had plants under protection for the last few months from the cold that they can be very susceptible to even the mildest cold snap so you need to take your time and re-harden or reacclimatise them to life outside in the elements.

Getting your plants ready for going back out into the garden is really an easy process to be honest. It just involves putting them outside during the day for week or so but then taking them back inside during the night. This will harden off your plants and ensure they are able to withstand the Irish weather again.

This is also an important thing to do with very young plants if you have grown them from seed and are just planting them out for the first time. This will ensure that once you finally plant them out they will be as strong as they possibly can be. With the weather at the moment though and the temperatures dropping down at night is vital to make sure you do take your plants or seedlings back in in the early evening so the cold doesn’t affect them.

In my own garden I have been doing this with my summer bedding plants that I am getting ready to plant out into containers and window boxes for mid-summer colour. Some of the plants I had were just that bit too tender to go straight out into their final position in the garden so I have been hardening them off ready for planting in the next week or so.

I always enjoy this time of year, as there really is a sense of anticipation in the air as you spend weeks getting ready for serious gardening and then suddenly the conditions all line up correctly and everything erupts into a hire of activity. And I must say planting up window boxes and containers if one of my favorite tasks to do because by simply changing the types of plants you use or even just to variety of plant your garden can suddenly take on a whole new persona.

Over the coming weeks we will start to take a closer look at summer bedding plant that you can buy to give a new lease of life to your garden.

 Written by Malachy

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Malachy's Bio 
I have been gardening since I was 5 years old when my mother gave me a part of our garden as my own. I have studied horticulture in the National Botanical Gardens in Glasnevin and was a winner in the young horticulturist of the year competition. I have worked in Several plant nurseries and garden centers such as Mount Congreve in Co. Waterford. My special interests are plant propagation and Cacti!

We were shortlisted for Best Lifestyle Blog in the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards 2016 Company Category.