Summer flowering bulbs available now!

We have a great selection of summer flowering bulbs availbale to buy now.

Get a head start on your garden this year by planting bulbs early when the risk of frost & ice is over.

Bulbs are a great way of saving money in your garden, costing a fraction of the price of a mature plant specimen.

We also have a fantastic range of seed potatoes available, but dont delay, they wont be around for long!

Competition time!Calling all twitchers & birders…

Twitchers, birders, budding ornithologists it’s Competition time

We want to see your very best amateur garden bird photos!

Send us your funniest, most creative, most natural shots to be in with a chance of wining a 12.75kg sack of Peckish Winter Warmer wild bird seed.

Competition ends 31st January midnight & the winner will be selected by a small judging panel of staff here at the garden centre.

Winner will be announced on the 2nd of February.

Please visit our facebook page for further details https://en-gb.facebook.com/CarnonDownsGC/

 

10 Tips For Feeding Your Garden Birds

10 Tips for feeding your garden birds

About two thirds of all households in Britain feed their garden birds at some stage of the year. Follow these simple tips and after a short time you should be attracting more birds and different species.
1. Use a bird table for putting out kitchen scraps such as animal fats, grated cheese, over ripe fruit and soaked dried fruit, rice, bread crumbs and non-salty bacon. You can also put out nuts and high calorie seed mixes. Avoid putting out raw meat and vegetables which birds will find difficult to digest and which will attract pests.

2. Hang bird feeders filled with black sunflower seeds, sunflower hearts, sunflower-rich mixes and  peanuts.


3. If the food takes a few days to clear from your bird table or the ground then reduce the amount of food offered so it does not go off.

4. Place your feeders and bird table no more than 2 metres from a shrub, fence or tree so the birds have somewhere to escape to if threatened by predators.

5. Fat blocks or fat rubbed into the barks of trees will attract many species including wrens, treecreepers, goldcrests and woodpeckers.

6. Make sure you clean your bird table and bird feeders regularly to ensure food particles and droppings do not build up. This will minimize the risk of disease.

7. Berry-bearing trees and shrubs such as hawthorn, rowan, holly, honeysuckle and ivy will not only provide fruit for birds to feed on but they will also provide somewhere for them to shelter and nest and attract insects for the birds to eat.

8. Cultivated and wild flowering plants such as sunflowers, evening primrose, teasel and shepherd’s purse provide seeds and will attract insects. Leave the stems long to give shelter in the winter and then cut down early in the spring.

9. Let your lawn grow slightly longer. If possible leave areas of grass at different heights to optimise food potential for birds. Leave a patch of long grass in the winter for shelter.

10. Put out a fresh supply of water every day – use a large dish, an upturned dustbin lid, a bird bath or you could even build a pond if you have the space. If it is very cold use tepid water.

Mycorrhizal fungi…

Mycorrhizal fungi

 

You’ll find Mycorrhizal fungi in our sundries shop

Mycorrhizal fungi are a remarkable group of organisms that have been benefiting plants for at least 500 million years.

At the dawn of time when plants were just beginning to colonise our planet mycorrhizal fungi were there living in a symbiotic relationship with plants enabling them to extract nutrients and hold onto water in very difficult soil conditions.

In effect, the fungus provides a secondary root system, a system that is considerably more efficient and extensive than the plants own root system.

These fungi are living organisms and will live with the plant, sourcing a continued nutrient supply for its entire lifetime – a truly sustainable plant nutrition solution. In exchange the plant provides carbon and sugars to the fungi. Not unsurprisingly, 90% of all land plants employ this relationship to enhance their own root system’s capacity to deliver nutrients.

All plant roots in all soils have a relationship with a staggering array of microorganisms, one of the most important families of these microorganism are the mycorrhizal fungi.

Most gardeners buy or raise plants in sterile composts where the plants have easy access to the essential nutrients, however as soon as they are planted into soil, the root environment changes radically which can lead to plant failure and poor growth.

In most soils there simply are not enough of native mycorrhizal fungi close to the new plants roots to colonise fast enough to show the incredible range of benefits complete colonisation can achieve.

This is why it is so important to use mycorrhizal fungi. Just 1 teaspoon can contain up to 5000 pieces of fungi all ready to explode into growth, colonising every millimetre of a plants roots in a matter of days.

A new plant with a fully functioning mycorrhizal root system will have the best chance of becoming the rewarding plant gardeners so passionately want to thrive in their gardens.

The benefits of mycorrhizal fungi

  1. one treatment lasts for the entire lifetime of the plant (as the plant grows the fungal partner grows)
  2. easy to use (simply sprinkle in the bottom of the planting hole)
  3. earlier and better growth (in a matter of weeks, after planting, the mycorrhizal fungi can increase the active root area of plants by up to 700 times)
  4. better drought tolerance (due to the vast fungal root making best use of all available soil moisture)
  5. better uptake of fertilisers  (the network of mycorrhizal fungi act like a net catching nutrients and preventing leaching)
  6. increased uptake of sequestered elements (the ultra fine fungal strands can unlock nutrients from the soil)
  7. reduced mortality of plants, especially specimen plants and plants that are difficult to establish (the extended root system nourishes the plant from very early on in its life)
  8. helps prevent rose replant problems (the mycorrhizal fungi colonise weak or damaged  roots and start transferring nutrients and water to the rose much faster than its own roots)

In summary the benefits include

  • Better and more balanced growth
  • Healthier and more dense root system with hugely increased ability to uptake nutrients from the soil
  • More abundant flowers and fruit
  • Reduced need for synthetic or chemical fertilisers
  • Higher resistance to drought
  • Reduced stress during transplanting
  • Stabilisation of surface
  • Improved resistance to soil pathogenes and environmental stress

Did You Know?

Mycorrhizal fungi can increase the root capacity of a plant by up to 700 times in just a few months

The roots of a mature Beech tree laid out end to end would stretch for 5 miles, the mycorrhizal hyphae responsible for feeding that tree would stretch around the globe!

Hyphal network can be in excess of 100 metres of hyphae per cubic centimetre.

Glomalin, a sticky glue like substance exuded by the fungi is locking up one third of the worlds carbon underground. It also binds soil particles together that results in good soil structure.

Mycorrhizal fungi are used to treat tea plants grown on plantations in Kenya which ends up in some of our tea bags

Pine trees and conifers would not exist on Earth without the association with mycorrhizal fungi – imagine the Earth without forests!

Some of mycorrhizal fungi produce mushrooms used in cooking, including the Cep and Chanterelle, delicious!

The largest single living organism on Earth (by area) is said to be an Armillaria fungi covering almost 2,200 acres in a forest in Oregon, North America – awesome! Humongus Fungus!

 

50% Off selected greenhouses

50% OFF Gardman Poly-carbonate greenhouses

8ftx6ft Includes – Frame, Polycarbonate panels & base WAS £599.98 NOW £299.98

6ftx6ft Includes – Frame, Polycarbonate panels & base WAS £499.98 NOW £249.98

6ftx4ft lean to Includes – Frame & Polycarbonate panels WAS £329.99 NOW £164.99

 

Early Fruit & Veg available

 

Early Fruit & Veg available-

Strawberries 🍓
Elsanta
Honeoye
Symphony
Cambridge favourite

Broad beans –
Aquadulce Claudia
Bunyards exhibition

Cabbage –
Round
Greyhound
Red
Hispi F1

Broccoli –
Summer purple

Calabrese

Brussels sprouts

Cauliflower

Lettuce –
Lollo rossa
Red
Little gem
Ashbrook
Butterhead
Salad bowl
Iceberg
Lollo bionda