Suggestions relating to watering outdoor plants in dry weather.
Drought (the definition for a gardener): drought is considered to occur in a garden when the soil moisture in the plant root zone is exhausted and the plants wilt. A continuous period of 15 days when there has been no measurable rain.
1) In hot weather, water in the cool of the early morning, in the evening the soil and the atmosphere will still be very warm and applied water will quickly evaporate.
2) Frequent light watering does not penetrate deep into the soil, soak the soil to a good depth from time to time. This will encourage deeper rooting and the tapping of water at lower levels.
3) After a heavy watering apply a mulch around the plant or tree, leaving 4-6 inches around the main stem to prevent fungal attacks. Remember that fine water absorbing roots are not under the trunk, but towards the edge of the plant canopy.
4) If water is not available it has been traditional to hoe the surface soil, but not deeply as you may be cutting surface roots. A crumbly, hoed surface will prevent transpiration from lower depths and facilitate the rapid absorption of rain, or water, which is applied.
5) When watering with a hose, use a rose in the end so that there is no solid water stream as this would contribute to water run-off and erosion.
6) There are now many good water sprinklers on the market which have a wide range of spray patters for efficient watering in a round or rectangular pattern. A sprinkler in conjunction with a water timer in the hose line will make the whole process so much easier.
7) Seep-hoses are particularly useful as they can be wound amongst plants that are susceptible to drought and left down all year.
8) Whenever possible, use rainwater (collected in a rainwater butt) for watering lime hating plants. such as rhododendrons, camellias, etc.
9) It’s worth noting that, half an inch of rain equals approx. 13,600 galls/acre or 2.8 gall/sq.
10) Remember, waterlogging can be as bad as drought!
Posted 26th Jul 12:02pm
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Want a good selection of late flowering perennials? Choose from these flowers that are sure to see you through until the end of summer.
1) Rudbeckia ‘Little Gold Star’ – a compact Rudbeckia standing at 50cm high, these plants will last you all the way through to October and are known for their mounds of bright yellow flowers.
2) Agapanthus ‘Columba’ – One of our favourite perennials, it has globes of trumpet-shaped blue flowers on straight green stems that will last until September. They look fantastic in a pot or summer border.
3) Echinacea ‘Magnus’ – a firm favourite of butterflies with its fantastic daisy Iike, bright pink flowers and orange centres. Flowering from July to– September, it’s a must have for your late flowering border.
4) Agastache ‘Black Adder’ – great for the back of a border and grow up to 90cm tall. They will flower until October and thrive in full sun.
5) Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ – funnel shaped flowers as bright as a red tomato, which will flower from July to September. They will work best in a sunny herbaceous border alongside other bold colours like Achillea.
6) Sedum ‘Matrona’ – this plant has purple stems with clusters of soft pink flowers that will last until October, also, they are great for cut flowers.
Posted 24th Jul 2:55pm
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Congratulations to Steve Morton on his new role of Despatch Manager.
1. How many years have you worked for the company?
I have worked here for 20 years, starting in 1998 and working towards an NVQ Level 2 in nursery stock.
2. What previous roles have you had within the company?
I have worked on multiple sites doing roles like lifting, potting and propagation. My last role was retail lifting manger and stock control.
3. What will your new role include at Johnsons?
I am now the despatch manager. The job role includes checking orders off for quality control, making sure all internal transport is complete, and all wagons leave our site
correctly loaded. As well as that, I am responsible for ensuring all health and safety rules are followed.
4.What are you looking forward to in your new role?
I am looking forward to new challenges from my previous roles and being able to be more hands on due to my last role being more computer based.
5.What do you think the challenges will be?
My biggest challenge of this role is learning the despatch side of the business, as this is all new to me.
6.Are there any specific courses you will be attending to help with your new role?
I would like to attend a course so that I can learn about rules and regulations for the drivers, so I can have a better understanding of their roles and responsibilities.
7.Any plans for celebrating your new role?
I may treat myself to some Star Wars collectables.
Posted 16th Jul 10:53am
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To celebrate the British Open Golf tournament this week, we have come up with some tips to help you get a lawn as good as a golf course.
A regular maintenance programme will help avoid the need to renovate later.
1) Mowing – this should be done regularly between spring and autumn,with once a week being the ideal amount during these seasons. In summer, cut twice a week, unless in drought conditions, then drop back to one. Never mow wet, dewy or frosted grass.
2) Remove Moss – Moss forms in grass when there is a poor growing condition, such as shaded, waterlogged or compacted soil. Scarification in the autumn is ideal on smaller lawns. Organic moss control can be applied after the grass has been cut short.
3) Feeding – In March and April, apply a spring feed which will help increase vigour and help tackle weeds and moss. It is always best applied to wet grass, and not dry. If vigour is lost between April and August, repeat the spring feed application in cool conditions.
4) Watering – Water to a depth of 10cm as the soil becomes dry, but before the grass starts turning brown. If the ground has become hard and compacted, aerate with a garden fork before watering. Watering once a week should be sufficient unless in drought conditions. Water either early morning or evening, and don’t over water as this can encourage shallow roots.
5) Repairing – Damaged grass caused by pets or diseases should be repaired in the spring.
Posted 16th Jul 10:21am
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How we are helping the bees
1) Our plants and trees provide pollen and shelter throughout the seasons.
2) We grow 100’s of varieties of plants that are good pollinators including lavenders, Echinacea’s, Buddleia and many more.
3) Our onsite apiary houses up to 400,000 bees during the summer months.
4) Bees travel up to three miles for pollen, meaning all of our local sites will be used by our bees.
5) Our onsite ponds and reservoirs provide water for bees to keep hydrated.
Posted 16th Jul 9:39am
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Robert Richardson will be leaving his role as Cash and Carry Manager on the 14th July 2018 as he moves to another area of the business.
Robert will be replaced by Luke Richardson-previously Johnsons of Whixley’s southern area sales rep.
Robert said ” I have really enjoyed my time on the cash and carry, however after almost 5 years as manager it was felt that the time was right for a change, both for myself and on the cash and carry.
I will leave confident that the cash and carry has improved significantly during my tenure, and that Luke and the current team are the right people to continue to move the cash and carry forward.
Luke’s experience looking after some of the companies largest customers will undoubtably improve the service and offering of the cash and carry- and his previous experience on the unit means that the transition should be relatively smooth.
I would just like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their continued custom throughout my time in charge of the cash and carry, and to wish you all the best of luck for the future.”
Posted 6th Jul 11:24am
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Drought tolerant plants
With the current challenging conditions that gardeners face, it may be time to consider changing plants to cope with the climate change.
Considerations: Use plants with silver or grey-green leaves, as these reflect the sun’s harsh rays. Plant smaller specimens so they can adapt to the growing conditions. Mulch with bark to help retain water in the soil.
1. Passiflora caerula
Passion flower roots should be encouraged to go deep into the ground, so water deeply but infrequently. This helps the plant become drought-tolerant as the roots are powerful enough to source water.
Ideal on a sunny south-facing wall, Passion Flowers will bloom during the hot summer months. Long, twisting tendrils will climb up to 30ft. Flowers can be in shades of blue and white and some are fragrant.
2. Stipa gigantea
These are low maintenance, architectural plants that produce arching stems up to 7ft tall with oat-like flowers, which fade to gold. These plants will add height and movement to a mixed border most of the year, as the flowers can be left on the plant throughout the winter to add interest.
This is plant that is used to drought as it is native to the Mediterranean. It’s commonly used in Prairie planting and in savanna habitats.
Woody, shrub varieties such as Silas Dyson, Javier and Sierra San Antonio are extremely drought tolerant and hardy through most winters in free-draining soil. Others such varieties like Salvia Argentea have silver, woolly like foliage to trap moisture on the leaf surface.
Flowers are produced for weeks throughout late spring until late summer and are a magnet for bees and butterflies. Remove flower spikes to encourage further blooms.
Originating from south America, this plant can’t get enough of the sun. It can be grown in a mixed sunny border or even in a gravel bed.
This plant has unusual marbled foliage with spikey vivid blue flowers in late spring and summer. A favourite for florists.
5. Cordyline australis
Native to New Zealand, this palm is popular across the UK as it can be grown outside year-round, with protection in the winter. It is also tolerant of wind and coastal exposure.
It required only minimal water, even when a prolonged dry spell is occurring and is an ideal focal point in an exotic border or on the patio. Arching, light green leaves are retained all year and once established, fragrant white flower spikes are produced.
6. Olearia macrodonta
Commonly known as the New Zealand Holly, this plant has holly-like leaves that have a silver felted texture beneath which helps attract moisture out of the air.
Small, fragrant clusters of white flowers are produced over the summer months. Thieving best on shallow chalk soils, this is a vigorous grower, which will tolerate hard pruning.
Posted 5th Jul 9:17am
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Johnsons of Whixley has loaned £5,000 worth of plants to the upcoming Bloom Festival, to help beautify York’s Exhibition Square.
The plants were delivered on the morning of the 4 July, ahead of the Festival, which runs between 5 and 7 July, and celebrates York’s rich and varied horticultural heritage.
The jam-packed programme includes the involvement of more than 70 regional businesses and more than 100 fringe events, connecting horticulture with art, music, literature, cinematography, gastronomy and science.
The brain child of Make It York, the festival is supported by York Business Improvement District and dozens of local businesses and organisations.
Johnsons of Whixley’s Ellie Richardson said: “Johnsons has a growing track record of supporting local initiatives and an event of this nature is obviously something we jumped at the chance to be involved with.
“We’re pleased to supply a range of plants to assist with the projects and we look forward to seeing the results, and enjoying the rest of the Festival, in the days ahead.”
Managing director of Making it York, Steve Brown, said: “Inspired by the unique Ancient Society of York Florists, we’re bringing together green-fingered people, creatively-minded individuals and businesses to create a festival which will celebrate York’s horticultural heritage and the equally vibrant activity taking place within the city today.”
Posted 5th Jul 9:14am
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This week marks the start of Wimbledon and to celebrate we have put together a list of six of our favourite white plants that are flowering now.
1) Philadelphus ‘Belle Etoile’ has a lovely fragrance with flowers up to 5cm across. Suitable in any aspect of the garden but particularly great at the back of a border.
2) Anemone Wild Swan flowers earlier in the season than other anemone. It prefers a sheltered spot to grow in.
3) Achillea The Pearl produces little white buttons of flowers and was favoured by designer Gertrude Jeykll.
4) Campanula White Clips is a low grower, which produces masses of large bell-like flowers; looks great in a rockery.
5) Rosa Kent is great for producing masses of white flowers and good ground cover.
6) Leucanthemum Freak are great for giving height to borders and have a long flowering season if you deadhead regularly.
Posted 5th Jul 9:12am
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Here are our gardening reminders for the month of July:
1) July is set to be the driest month ever recorded in the UK. Water is best applied to plants in the form of a good soak, and not a spray over, which evaporates in no time at all, and little
gets to the deeper roots. Don’t forget to leave fresh water for birds and small animals.
2) Applications of water at the rate of 1 inch (2.5 cm) per application will replace the water deficit when applied weekly in mid-summer. Ensure that your sprinkler is producing an even pattern, and there is no water run-off on a slope. Check application rates and uniformity with a rain gauge or plant saucers spread across the sprinkler area. Never water during the heat of the day,best times are early morning or late evening.
3) If the garden is to be left for some time in mid-summer, consider cutting back the tops of all flowering plants to stop seed being set and germinating without control. This should also lead to a good display of flowers later in the season.
4) Lawns may turn brown in dry conditions in summer, but will rapidly green up as soon as rain comes or irrigation is applied. Let grass grow a little bit longer to reduce stress and cut the lawn weekly to prevent it becoming too long. You can leave the grass mowing’s on the lawn in dry weather to act as a mulch and further help to save moisture. Remove obvious weeds as these too
will compete for water.
5) Hoeing lightly is an effective way of reducing water loss, not only does it eliminate weed competition for water, but a fine tilth on the soil surface helps prevent transpiration, but don’t hoe too deeply. A mulch of garden compost is another very good method of helping reduce water loss, and also helps increase soil organic matter.
6) Check the moisture level of hanging baskets every morning and water thoroughly if dry. Feed plants with a soluble or liquid feed once per week and remove flower heads which are going over.
7) Prune pyracanthas by cutting back side-shoots to 2-3 leaves from their base for a good show next year. Wear gloves!! When the first flush of hardy geranium and Alchemilla is over, cut them hard back for a spectacular second flush of flowers.
8) Clear foliage from ponds and remove weeds from around the edges, and excess growth from water lily foliage. Make sure the soil in bog gardens doesn’t dry out.
9) Remove spent rose flower heads and maintain the sprays to combat greenfly rust, mildew andblackspot if appropriate. Apply a summer rose feed fertilizer in the middle of the month.
10) Trim quickthorn hedges and continue to keep hedge bottoms clean by hoeing or the use of Gramoxone. Always check for nesting birds before cutting hedges in summer.
11) Check all plant ties, and that all herbaceous forms of support are strong enough for the new growth.
12) Be sure to keep hydrangeas well-watered, they are very quick to show the shortage of water bydropping heavily.
13) Keep hardy and half-hardy annuals well-watered and weed-free. Try not to walk on the beds as the plants damage easily. It is usual to place a plank across two boxes to help with weeding and the removal of spent flowers.
14) Can compost can be harmful in holes dug for new trees? Guy Barter, chief horticultural adviser at the RHS, says: “The compost rots and the tree settles down too far in the soil and as a
result root and stem rot can set in. It’s best to plant trees in plain old soil.”
Posted 4th Jul 9:55am
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We have pulled out all the stops to help staff beat the heat during the latest heatwave sweeping the UK.
We have purchased and installed freezers at key locations through our 200-acre site – and filled them with complimentary ice creams and ice lollies for staff to enjoy.
Johnsons of Whixley group managing director, Graham Richardson, said: “We recognise the hard work of staff throughout our business, but those that work outside are obviously finding the heat heavy going at the moment.
“We value the wellbeing and happiness of our staff more than anything, so we were glad to make a small investment in freezers and ice lollies to help provide some cooling respite from the searing temperatures.”
Posted 2nd Jul 9:13am
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York Cares volunteering
We recently offered support to this year’s York Cares initiative that aims to improve outdoor spaces at various local community organisations.
Johnsons of Whixley staff members Ellie Richardson, Corrina Mills, Vicky Newell, Darren Fawbert and Chairman John Richardson, volunteered their time and expertise to support this year’s Big Community Challenge, organised by York Cares, which aims to showcase the positive impact a green environment can have on health, wellbeing and social inclusion.
York Cares is a partnership of the city’s leading employers committed to making the city a better place through employee-volunteering.
This year’s activities included growing and caring for plants, while improving York’s green spaces to benefit different communities in the city, including older people and adults with learning disabilities at Gale Farm Court Independent Living Community; young people experiencing acute mental health issues at Mill Lodge NHS Community Unit, and patients, staff and visitors that use Clarence Gardens at York Hospital.
The Johnsons team of volunteers helped improve the outside space at Mill Lodge, a mental health community unit for 12-18-year olds. The morning involved unloading the plants they supplied, digging and creating stepping stones in the garden, whilst other volunteers made raised beds for vegetables and sensory plants, removing weeds and old plants.
Johnsons of Whixley’s Ellie Richardson said: “This is our second volunteering project with York Cares. It’s great to offer our support and help a local charity by not only offering volunteers but donating plants to help improve the outside spaces too. We had a mixture of staff attend from Johnsons including our Chairman John Richardson, who at 80 was just as involved in digging and weeding as the younger ones.
“As workers within the horticultural industry, we’re very much aware of the positive impact a green environment can have on those who use it, and we were pleased to lend our time and knowledge to the project, as part of a fantastic team from a range of backgrounds.”
Posted 2nd Jul 9:05am
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39 hours per week
Johnsons of Whixley Ltd is situated in the Vale of York and is one of the largest Wholesale Plant Nurseries in the Country delivering plants all over the UK and Northern Ireland.
We pride ourselves in delivering a great service, a great product and employing great people.
Procurement is at the heart of what we do and is crucial to the success of our business. We’ve created a new role of Procurement Manager with the key function of managing our contract grown plants, longer-term reserves of resale plants, and young plants for our own production.
Duties include the procurement of stock, contract negotiation and maintenance, maintaining effective working relationships with our suppliers, checking and ensuring plant quality is appropriate, and working closely with other teams within the business to ensure we have the right plants when we need them.
You must be great at communicating with others, be able to juggle many varied tasks, have efficient organisational skills, be comfortable with IT systems and be flexible as our deadlines can fluctuate and change.
We need you to have experience of working within the horticultural industry, and knowledge of the supply chains within the industry.If you have experience of working in procurement, that’s a bonus but knowledge of plants and horticulture is more important to us.
We provide a great place to work, offer learning and development opportunities and support for you to excel in your role.
If you’re interested in joining us, please send a CV and cover letter to email@example.com stating out how you meet the requirements set out in the job description and specification.
Closing date for applications is Friday 13 July 2018.
A full job description is available on request.
Posted 2nd Jul 8:27am
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|Saturday||8am - 12pm|
Set in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside, why not visit our nursery to discover what we have to offer?