Alex Mungo, Christmas, Grow Your Own, How To, Planting

grow your own christmas tree
Ever thought to grow your own Christmas tree? Growing your own Christmas tree offers a number of benefits over buying at a local nursery or tree farm. The experience of nurturing and shaping the tree for years leading up to its harvest will help you and your family develop a sentimental sense of kinship to an evergreen that will serve as the focal point of your holiday decorations. It’s also a great learning experience for children, and caring for a large patch of trees makes for a great pastime that will provide you with a new Christmas tree every year. Here’s some basic advice to help you prepare for growing your own Christmas trees in the UK.

Consider Starting with a Rooted Tree from a Nursery

Did you know it takes about 6-9 years for an evergreen to reach a desirable height for a Christmas tree when started from seed? Luckily, it’s possible to skip the long wait by purchasing pre-rooted trees that are already a few feet tall from tree farms and nurseries. Carpenter’s Nursery in the St Albans area is a great example of a nursery where you can choose from a variety of trees that have been grown locally.

Choose a Type to Grow

grow your own christmas tree 1

Christmas trees can be split into three main categories – firs, pines, and spruces. The type you choose to grow should be based on personal preference and the planting zone you live in. The most popular firs grown in the UK are Fraser, Noble and Nordmann. Lodgepole and White pines are also common choices, as are Blue, Norway and White spruces. Be sure to research the appearance and growing requirements of each kind before deciding which type you’d like best. Many people choose a few different kinds to line up their Christmas tree variety for the coming years. Spruces tend to lose more needles and are less fragrant than firs, while pines hold the middle ground in terms of aroma and shedding.

Watering, Shaping, Pruning and Shearing

Although Christmas trees are generally low maintenance plants, you will need to stick to a watering, pest control, and shaping regimen to produce a tree that will be worthy of being called a Christmas tree. After a tree is more than a year old, it’ll be established enough to only require supplemental watering during drought periods. Once the tree is 2-3 years old, it’ll need to be pruned or sheared annually after flushing new growth, which typically occurs in the middle of summer. The goal is to keep the tree shaped like a Christmas tree so that it grows into that shape. Gradually maintaining the shape of the tree with proper shearing techniques will prevent you from having to make noticeably visible cuts to the exterior during its final season.

Recognising Disease and Pest Problems

how to grow your own christmas tree

It’s normal for evergreens to drop about 30% of their needles every year, so some shedding of the older interior needles is nothing to be alarmed about. However, if you begin to notice substantial shedding or discoloration of the outer needles, that could be a sign that your tree is suffering from a deficiency or pest problem that should be addressed as soon as possible.

Alex MungoAlex is a professional writer with a keen interest in gardening. He currently contributes written articles to various gardening websites such as Carpenters Nursery & Farm Shop.

Gardening, Geoff, Grow Your Own, How To, Infographics, Planters, Planting

Continuing our complete guide to container gardening, we reach one of the most vital steps: how to repot a plant. You may have seen our previous 3 step walkthrough for repotting, but here it is in infographic form! Learn this simple method and you’ll be well on your way to supporting your potted plants through long and happy lives.

Choosing the best new container for your plant is vital. Luckily we have a huge range of planters in all shapes and sizes to give you some inspiration!

How to repot a plant

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In case you missed it, check out Part 1 in the Complete Guide to Container Gardening: How to Plant in Pots.

Next up is Part 3: How to Water Pot Plants!

GeoffGeoff works within the Primrose marketing team, primarily on anything related to graphics and design.

He loves to keep up with the latest in music, film and technology whilst also creating his own original art and his ideal afternoon would be lounging in a sunny garden surrounded by good food, drink and company provided there is a football nearby.

While not an expert, his previous job involved landscaping so he’s got some limited experience when gardening.

See all of Geoff’s posts.

Gardening, Geoff, Grow Your Own, How To, Infographics, Planters, Planting

Container planting is one of the most enduring forms of gardening. It offers the flexibility to adapt to any size of outdoor (or indoor) space you have, is simple enough for beginners, and is perfect for many decorative and edible plants.

So to celebrate, we’re publishing a series of infographics – simple step-by-step guides to get you into container gardening. We’re kicking off with the essential tips: how to plant in pots. And don’t forget, we offer all the pots and planters you’ll need to get growing!

How to plant in pots infographic

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Next up in the Complete Guide to Container Gardening is Part 2: How to Repot a Plant.

GeoffGeoff works within the Primrose marketing team, primarily on anything related to graphics and design.

He loves to keep up with the latest in music, film and technology whilst also creating his own original art and his ideal afternoon would be lounging in a sunny garden surrounded by good food, drink and company provided there is a football nearby.

While not an expert, his previous job involved landscaping so he’s got some limited experience when gardening.

See all of Geoff’s posts.

Gardening, George, How To, Planting

How to Grow Moss in Your Garden

Is your garden in need of a design shake up? Do you dream of smooth rolling lawns, but without the hassle of maintaining them? Then perhaps a moss carpet would be a great alternative for you, either across the whole of your garden or for a particular area. Contrary to popular belief, many types of moss can actually grow in the sun as well as the shade, so there’s no need to limit where you can place your moss garden. The key is to look for moss that’s growing in similar conditions to your chosen location when you’re picking samples to transplant. In this guide you’ll learn how to grow moss in your garden with just a few simple steps.

Preparing the area

Pretty much all soil types are suitable for growing moss, except the most sandy soils as these might not be stable enough. Begin by clearing the intended area of any remaining grass, leaves and other debris. Smooth out the soil but feel free to leave curves, bumps and ridges in as desired. Remember that moss clings very closely to the shape of the ground, so any landscaping will be clearly visible. Lightly scratch the earth with a rake to make it easier for the transplanted moss to gain a grip.

Gathering moss

In order to grow a new moss lawn, we’re relying on the natural ability of moss to grow outwards and cover a horizontal area. All you need are samples of living moss to expand and cover your chosen ground. As mentioned earlier, the best way to pick the type of moss that will grow best is to look for some growing in similar conditions – soil type, shading and access to moisture. Obviously ask permission if you’re going to take samples from somewhere outside of your own garden. Scrape some moss from the ground or trees at the original location using a trowel or spatula. This will be easiest when the moss is slightly damp, so go out after a rainfall or spray it with some water yourself. Once you have your sample split it up into lots of small pieces – enough fragments as you can to get good initial coverage of your intended area.

Transplanting Moss

Transplanting the moss

Start by wetting the earth you’ve prepared, though be careful just to make it damp to the touch rather than completely waterlogged. Then push the small fragments of moss into the dirt, not spread out too sparsely but enough so that the whole area is fairly well covered. If you’re worried about the pieces shifting, you can secure them in place with netting or pins to start with.

Settling in

After the transplant it’s important to water the moss regularly – at least a few times a day. Spray the whole moss lawn lightly with water, using a fine head on the hose or a spray bottle for smaller areas. Keep pressing the fragments down, either with your hands or by walking over them. Be aware that it will take some time for the moss to acclimatise and expand to fill in all the gaps. But soon enough you will be enjoying a rich, smooth, spongy lawn all year round.

Moss has great potential to really enhance your garden and differentiate it from a standard turf lawn, which can often be a struggle to keep looking healthy and trimmed. Whether you want a natural secluded cove at the end of the garden or just a place to lay out in the sun, a moss lawn is definitely worth considering. You can transplant the moss any time of year, just keep in mind any falling leaves and adjust your watering depending on the weather. Remember to choose moss suited to your intended place, and you can find varieties that will thrive in shade or sun. A lot of moss is also drought tolerant, all it needs to grow well initially is constant moisture and a lack of competition from other plants.

If you do decide to take the plunge and try out growing moss in your garden, please get in touch and let us know how you get on!

George at PrimroseGeorge works in the Primrose marketing team. As a lover of all things filmic, he also gets involved with our TV ads and web videos.

George’s idea of the perfect time in the garden is a long afternoon sitting in the shade with a good book. A cool breeze, peace and quiet… But of course, he’s usually disturbed by his energetic wire fox terrier, Poppy!

He writes about his misadventures in repotting plants and new discoveries about cat repellers.

See all of George’s posts.

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