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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Grow-How Tips for July

Once July really kicks in, the goodies keep coming if you’ve done all your earlier spadework – early crops to pick, fruit ripening and flowers everywhere! But no time to rest on your laurels – let’s have a go at pruning the plum trees, taking semi-ripe cuttings and harvesting courgettes, amongst other jobs ……. PRUNING THE PLUM TREES There’s a nasty disease that plum trees are prone to, called Silver Leaf.  If you see a silvery sheen on any leaves or a purple-white fungus on the branches, you must remove those branches immediately before the whole tree succumbs. The...

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Grow How Tips for early July

Now the gorgeous lazy summer days have arrived our gardening tasks are mostly of the gentler and easier kind – hurray! So let’s get going on some deadheading, planting for later summer colour and thinning fruit among other jobs……. DEADHEAD FOR A BETTER BED! One of my favourite summer tasks is to wander among the flower beds at this time of year with my beloved little Spear & Jackson sécateurs and snip off the wilting flower-heads, particularly of roses but plenty of other things as well – foxgloves, sweetpeas, marigolds, phlox…..and a host of others. After a spell of heavy...

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