Preparing for the Chilly Season – Grow-How Tips for Early October

A real change in the air now as the garden takes on its autumn colours. There’s plenty to do as you pack away the outdoor furniture and make sure that your plants are ready to face the winter. Here are some ideas for tasks such as sowing Hardy Annuals and broad beans, laying a soil mulch, and taking hardwood cuttings – all the sorts of jobs that are usually done in the company of an inquisitive robin round here at this time of year…….. HARDY ANNUAL SEED-SOWING Plants from annual seeds can complete their life-cycle in one summer and...

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Do you need a greenhouse?

As you get more into gardening you may start daydreaming about a greenhouse to maximise your horticultural potential, but will this be a sound investment or a white elephant? Perhaps a greenhouse isn’t what you need, and a sunny porch, cold frame or a full blown orangerie is the structure that will make your garden dreams come true. I think you need to be quite clear from the outset about what you want to achieve. Do you want to grow early veg, over-winter tender perennials, bring on half-hardy annuals or simply have a sunny bolthole to escape to with...

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Grow-How Tips for Mid-May

Here we are, full-on Chelsea season and a heap of gardening jobs clamouring for your attention!  Let’s have a go at bedding plant cuttings, successional sowing and putting up greenhouse shading, amongst other things: EXTENDING THE BEDDING  I expect you’ve bought your summer bedding – fuschias, pelargoniums, dahlias, chrysanths, Surfinia petunias, osteospermums, busy Lizzies, verbenas, argyranthemums, penstemons, salvias, plectranthus……..and are poised, ready to plant these into your pots and borders. But did you know that you can take shoots from them right now, to grow into lots more plants that will flower towards the end of the summer?  In a nutshell,...

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Hardwood cuttings and hellebores – Grow-how Tips For December

There are some easy and calming garden tasks such as taking hardwood cuttings, tidying hellebores and pruning apple-trees that will provide a short escape from the mad and panicky festive fray that is now upon us,  and this is how to do them: HARDWOOD CUTTINGS Here is a very satisfying and simple way to make more of your favourite shrubs. You do need a bit of patience because these cuttings are unlikely to create a decent root system in less than a year, but honestly, it’s a doddle. Oh my goodness, there are SO many candidates for your attention: for example,...

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