The warmer weather is here which means a drier period for the garden so it’s time to water or spray your plants! Which is the best water to use – tap water or rain water? If you are watering potted plants, check the soil in the pots. Water gradually until the soil is moist and the water starts to run through the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. …Read More
Midsummer’s day came and went, much like England’s world cup dreams. For me the sadness of shortening days is tempered by the joy of much less chat about football. Now we’re in high summer; it’s all about the long drowsy days of Wimbledon (much more civilised) and – even better – most of the season’s hard work is done on the allotment. There’s lots to pick – everything’s growing apace …Read More
“Oh so you’ve done the Chelsea Chop have you?” – accompanied by a knowing nod of approval and a slight air of smugness. It’s one of those gardening rites of passage, a little piece of jargon that makes those in the know feel just a little wiser than the rest.
It’s nothing to do with illicit substances or even anything vaguely highfalutin’ – merely a seasonal shearing of some of May’s …Read More
Herbs are the icing on the gardener’s cake. They’re that ‘little extra something’ that you don’t really need, but yet… they’re one of the types of plant that almost everyone tries to grow. After all, what would roast lamb be without mint sauce made from leaves that were growing in the garden not two hours ago? What would roast pork be without sage and onion lending their subtle depths of …Read More
“Can I grow it in a pot?” is possibly the gardening question I get asked most frequently of all. As gardens get ever-smaller and people get ever more keen to do a bit of grow-your-own, patio plots become ever more popular.
There are plenty of reasons why growing vegetables and fruit in pots makes sense. Not only can you fit more in to a tiny space, but growing in pots …Read More
Fishing some rubbish out of the pond on my allotment a couple of weeks ago I was surprised to see what I thought were three small fish in the bottom of the net… and then even more surprised when I realised they had legs.
“Oh My God, newts!”, I muttered to no-one in particular, beaming like an idiot. The allotment pond, you see, is not a thing of beauty, its battered …Read More
I have a confession to make. As a ‘professional gardener’ I haven’t used good old-fashioned farmyard manure in years. No trailers of stinky muck have been deposited on the driveway, there have been no sorties to stables with a shovel.
Now, if you read old gardening books this would be something of a heresy. After all, I love growing vegetables and roses. Victorian gardeners used to order manure not by the …Read More
February may seem like a strange time to be thinking about growing fruit, but it’s actually the ideal moment to get going if you fancy a summer full of luscious juicy berries.
There are lots of reasons to grow your own fruit. First and foremost (for me, anyway) it’s about taste. Nothing, repeat, nothing prepares you for the first home-grown strawberry you taste, properly ripe and still warm from the sun. …Read More
Generally speaking, container growing is a water-extravagant form of gardening as most plants grown in containers dry out much faster than if they were planted direct into the garden soil. On the other hand, ornamental tubs and the like can be a very attractive feature of a garden. If for one reason or another containers are essential, use as large ones as possible, fill with soil-based compost, and incorporate water-retaining …Read More
Most gardens can be modified to use much less water than they already do. There are many ways to make a garden much more thrifty where supplementary watering is concerned. How many of these ideas are necessary depends very much on geographical location and temporary climatic conditions, but there are few gardens which would not benefit in some way from at least one of these ideas. Remember, too, that cutting …Read More