It’s time for a mini makeover – Grow How tips for early September

September has such a wonderful mellow quality about it – all the summer fandango is fading but the weather is often still very pleasant for gardening, so here are some tasks to have a go at, including cutting back spent plants, giving the hedges a final trim, and taking some herb cuttings: CUTTING BACK If you want a good show of general loveliness in September, you need to think about what to cut back. There will probably be a lot of plants in your garden that have done their thing beautifully through the summer but are now ‘past it’...

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Thinking ahead – Grow How Tips for Late August

Once we’re into late August, it’s hard for a gardener not to start thinking about next summer! So some of my tips this week have something of a forward-planning theme – planting bulbs, trimming lavender, improving the compost-heap….. BULBS FOR THE FUTURE If you’ve been wowed by a stand of lilies this summer either your own or someone else’s, then start to investigate buying and planting more, anytime from now until the end of September.  Planting such bulbs as Lilium regale now rather than in spring, gives them a chance to really establish before the winter sets in. These were...

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Free seeds anyone? Grow-How Tips for August

‘Summertime and the livin’ is easy’, so my tasks for you this time are of the more relaxed kind – a little gentle seed-collection, pruning the rambler roses, some feedback from earlier topics…. Nothing too demanding, I trust – you’ll have time to relax and enjoy these all-too-fleeting days of high summer… SEEDS FOR SAVING Lots of plants will be going to seed now, and it feels almost criminal not to be collecting this marvellous free harvest. I’m thinking of things like foxgloves (Digitalis), love-in-a-mist (Nigella), sunflowers (Helianthus), Cosmos, Allium, honesty (Lunaria), Aquilegia, Verbena bonariensis, poppies (Papaver), Primula.etc. Seeds from ‘species’ plants...

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Enough is enough, time to cut back – Grow-how tips

August, and the hot colours of late summer are starting to glow in the garden. Holidays are in full swing, but there are still a few garden tasks to be getting on with, such as tending to tomatoes and vines, taking some conifer cuttings and picking pears….. TOMATO TIPS Tomatoes that have been looked after with some degree of care will go on and on creating new trusses of fruit. But much as you might like the idea of picking tomatoes till Christmas, the fact is that a lot of that later fruit at the top won’t ripen properly...

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