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A seed in an embryonic plant waiting to get out, one of the biggest pleasures of gardening is to turn the seed into a living thing by providing warmth, light, air and moisture. Seeds don't even need food, they have their own food supply to start them off until they can put down roots and draw nutrition and water from the soil. Many seeds are quite unfussy about the conditions that trigger growth, but others are incredibly sensitive and require a carefully controlled environment to germinate at all. Unfortunately for gardeners, weeds fall into the former category and will germinate everywhere without any help whatsoever! The best date to sow your seeds will vary on the area in which you live, the weather and the type of plant you are growing. In cold Northern areas in the UK you may have to plant seed several weeks later than in warmer, drier areas in the South. The recommendations you find on packets of seeds are merely a guide which should be considered against current weather conditions and your own experience of your local area and past results.
Planting is a garden task that is well within the scope of most amateur gardeners providing they are physically able and of course have the time. However if you require the services of a gardener, it is important to make sure they are professional and reliable, with the skills and knowledge required to make your garden a success. One of the best ways to find a suitable gardener in your local area is to simply ask around your neighbours, friends and family. They could be able to recommend you a few good local gardening companies or gardeners. Alternatively, you could use the internet or local Yellow Pages to search for a gardener. In this case it is advisable to ask for references and view previous clients work. You can also check for professional qualifications such as LANTRA awards, City & Guilds or NTCP, RHS or the Institute of Gardening. In addition check that they have Public Liability Insurance should injury or damage to a property occur. Gardeners on average will charge anywhere from £10 to £25 per hour depending on the job and their qualifications. Some gardeners may also have a minimum number of hours which they will work on a job, so if you only want one simple task completed, they may offer a fixed quote rather than an hourly rate.
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