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Gardening Tips

Planting beans and oiking weeds – Grow-how tips for January

Arggghhh, January can seem such a long month, can’t it!  It feels particularly so when the weather has been as unpredictable and damaging as it has been recently. Spring still seems quite far away.  But it WILL come, and in the meantime let’s cheer ourselves up with some jolly little tasks to prepare for its arrival, like…

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Jobs for a great 2023 garden -Grow-how tips, January

January is not generally famed for beauty in the garden, but do have a look at our 3Growbags list of Brilliant Winter Plants (link is below). There are some real crackers amongst them! For me, this month is mostly about anticipation. Can you feel the thrill of a new gardening year? What will we grow?…

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Tending to tools and saving citrus – Grow-how tips for December

Wow! We all know it’s bleak midwinter now, don’t we?  Even in my sheltered southern garden, ‘snow has fallen, snow on snow’ and the earth is definitely ‘as hard as iron’.  At least, I won’t have to do any digging for a while! There are still some gardening jobs to give you a break from making…

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Thrifty tasks – Grow How tips for early December

How can it be December again! Cliché alert, but where did that year go?  It feels as if it was just last week that we took down the Christmas tinsel. Never mind, we can do this. Let’s just make sure our festive to-do lists include some gardening tasks like planting tulips, bringing plants in for decoration…

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Make those leaves work for you! Grow-how tips for November

Arrgghhh, it’s becoming harder and harder to duck and weave around the juggernaut that is The British Christmas! But while we’ve still got some modicum of sanity, let’s get on with some pleasant little gardening jobs like making leafmould, choosing some shrubs for screening and making more lovely oriental poppies………. Leaf-mould for a lovely garden…

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Peas, trees and bees -Grow-how tips for November

November can be rather a miserable month, but we’re not miserable, are we! We can enjoy the relative calm in the garden as it settles for winter. The pressure is off, and we can quietly start preparing for an EVEN better horticultural year in 2023. So how about sowing some peas, pruning some branches or…

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Let’s get planting! Grow-how tips for October

It’s planting time!  Trees, shrubs, roses, wallflowers, garlic…….there’s a myriad of things that you can plant out now. Do it before the ground starts to freeze or become too waterlogged to attempt it.  It will give them such a headstart next spring when everything starts to move again………. Wonderful wallflowers One of my major joys in spring…

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What’s your Autumn action plan? – Grow-how tips for October

Nights drawing in, Virginia creeper acquiring its bright autumn garb, a dankness in the air – it must be October!  We all know that the weather is liable to turn vindictive at any moment from now until at least March. Let’s turn for solace to our seasonal gardening jobs such as covering the pond, and replacing…

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It’s tidy-up time! Growhow tips for late September

After all the intense events and emotions of the past couple of weeks, it’s good to get back to some quiet and reflective early Autumn tasks in the garden, like tidying perennials, planting hyacinths, collecting seeds and moving evergreens… Chop, chop! Are you one of those gardeners who likes everything neat and trim through the…

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Changing times and seasons – grow-how tips for September

Saddened by the death of our Queen but so thankful for her amazing life of duty, we can’t help remembering how much she loved flowers and gardens. King Charles III has clearly inherited that very special interest in horticulture. The seasons won’t stop even if an epic era has ended. So while we remember her,…

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Getting busy with the bulbs – Growing tips for early September

August Bank Holiday, glorious school summer hols over for another year, and the soft days of early autumn ahead of us. In the garden, it’s harvest-time, but we can also get some very handy jobs done now. How about getting started on the bulb-planting? Or sowing some veg seeds and hardy annuals, and ordering bareroot…

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Get to grips with your evergreens – Grow how tips for August

Our blazing August continues in the south. Many of us are now finding that we are having to make tough decisions about what to water with cans, and what will just have to be sacrificed – at least for this year.   But even in extreme weather, there are jobs to be done like trimming evergreen…

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Get the secateurs out! Grow-how tips for August

Once we reach August, I always feel like the year is speeding up – the summer is rushing by too fast!  We need more time to appreciate the lazy, hazy, crazy days! But while we are trying to find moments to appreciate high summer, there are also some jobs that need doing like pruning rambler roses…

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Feeling the heat – Grow-how tips for July

Wow – we’ve certainly had some hot weather this week! We got into the habit of getting out into the garden early, working till lunchtime and then scuttling inside to escape the heat during the afternoons. I expect you’ve been doing some sun-dodging too, though I have heard from Caroline that raincoats are still required…

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Jump into July ! – Grow-how tips

July and the garden can let rip! Flowers and foliage and vegetables are busting out all over the place, and if we’ve been diligent about considering wildlife in our plant-choices and care, our gardens are full of all sorts of pollinating insects to help birds, frogs, hedgehogs etc. too. But there are still jobs to…

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Summer’s off and running – Grow-how gardening tips for June

Flaming June, and it’s National Afternoon Tea Week, so let’s celebrate both this weekend! We’ll have a delicious cuppa and a scone with friends and family in a flowery corner of the garden…..aaaahhh….   But hang on. There are some jobs that we need to do first. We want to keep the display going right on…

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Jobs for Jubilee weekend! Growhow tips for early June

The great Platinum Jubilee is here at last! I’ve the added excitement/stress of opening the garden for the National Garden Scheme this weekend as well, so it’s going to be…….busy round here. If you think you need a break from four days of partying under the bunting, here are a few ideas for gardening tasks…

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Pinching a good idea – Grow-how tips for May

It’s nearly Chelsea Flower Show time – woo hoo! There’s more than a frisson of horticultural excitement in the air: what will the big stories be this year? We 3Growbags will all be there together on the final day (brace yourselves everyone!), so we’ll be chatting about it all in our blog on Sunday rather…

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Marvellous May! Gardening tips for spring

What a fabulous month May is! Everything is shooting up and there’s bright fresh growth in every corner of the garden or the countryside. But there’s a whole raft of work to be done while you’re drifting round the garden smiling at all the spring gorgeousness. That includes some more seed-sowing and dealing with the…

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Run off our feet! Gardening tips for late April

What a thrill it is to see all my baby plants suddenly realising the fun of life and shooting up out of their pots and trays! Oh yes, that does mean that they all need moving into bigger spaces …the work is piling up….. This week, we’ll also be tidying up winter jasmine, propagating thyme,…

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Full throttle springtime – garden tips for early April

Busting out all around us now, spring in all its excitement and hopefulness! It’s all systems go, go, go in the veg patch (did you see my article in the April issue of Garden Answers, by any chance? We 3Growbags got very over-excited about that!), and a mountain of other tasks such as thinning out…

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Perfect plants for a patio! Gardening tips for early April

Spring has well and truly popped its cork now – hurray! But oh boy! Suddenly there is not enough time in the day – lucky the clocks go forward this weekend, and we can stay out there a bit longer in the evenings…..let’s get on with planning our pots for summer, putting in supports for…

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Great veg the easy way! Gardening tips for March

No apologies this week for focusing on getting some veg going!  I do want to mention a few ‘flower-jobs’ as well, but mostly mid-March is all about the luscious new-season edibles.  Growing your own vegetables and salads makes even more sense than ever now that the cost of transportation is rising so alarmingly…………… So here are some…

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Spring’s a-coming! Gardening tips for early March

Oh, when named storms aren’t blowing our trees sideways, you can sniff it on the air – spring is getting its snout above ground! Certainly here in the south, the birds are out singing, the weeds are out growing, and we should out there too, preparing for the coming horticultural havoc. Let’s have a go…

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Great ideas for early spring – Gardening tips for February

So pleased to see more and more green shoots pushing up through the soil now! I realise that it’s probably not the case in all parts of the UK, but could we all at least admit to a touch of excitement now that spring is on our doorstep?   Our jobs this week include forcing some…

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Itching to get going? Gardening tips for February

Here we are on the brink of another busy spring-season – full of hope that we’ll be able to make our gardens even more fabulous than they were last year! We know that by the end of February, we’ll be madly trying to keep up with our horticultural to-do lists, but for now, there are…

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Gardening on gloomy days – tips for January

Second half of January and it is often difficult to see how we are going to reach the glory of spring, isn’t it!  But if you look hard, you’ll spot little signs that Nature is girding itself – an early primrose here, a hellebore bud there.  And while we’re waiting for the all the fun and…

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Get set for a topping 2022! – gardening tips for January

Here we go – a brand New Year full of promise!  And amazingly, this is the 100th edition of our fortnightly Gardening Tips column – it’s quite a back catalogue now!  I hope your New Year’s Resolutions include throwing yourself into gardening with renewed vigour this year, ready to make 2022 the best one EVER. If you’d…

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Deck the halls – Gardening Tips for December

Not long to the big day now! Lots of lists to be written, lots of decisions to be made about catering, cards, decorations, what gifts to buy and for whom…….Stay calm, you’ve got this. And even if you haven’t, a few hours spent doing some quiet garden jobs will put things in perspective………………….. Lifting the…

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Gardening tips for early December

The festive season is upon us, and we must brace ourselves for browsing the shop-shelves while listening to Slade, Mariah Carey and Wizzard once again.  Because so much of Christmas was cancelled last year, I wonder if we’ll welcome the Yuletide Muzak a little more this year than normal? No, me neither, but I’ll be humming…

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Gardening tips for November

Mid-November – Can you hear the faint tinkle of jingle bells on the wind? Time to start making wish lists for yourself, and planning and ordering lists for your family and friends too, perhaps? There are a few really useful jobs to tackle outside too, including giving your garden tools an early Christmas present……… By…

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Cuttings the easy-peasy way – Garden tips for early November

Here we are, already at Halloween weekend! In between scraping out pumpkins and dressing excited small children in spooky outfits, there are some very handy tasks in the garden you could tackle/escape to, including reviving your mint pot, taking easy cuttings and digging out the horror weeds. Just a reminder that if you don’t have…

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Buckling up for autumn – Grow-how tips for October

We all know the weather’s going to turn soon enough into something a little more…errr… challenging… So here are some ideas to get you out there before that happens. And don’t forget that if you don’t have time to read this blog, no problem! Click on the podcast link at the bottom and listen to…

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Cutting back and sorting out – Growhow tips for early October

There is a certain wistfulness at the start of October about another summer gone by, but this month has its glories too – be sure to stop and appreciate the coming autumn colours and harvests while you are busy cutting-back or making leaf-mould amongst other tasks….. Pruning for protection The usual time for the serious…

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Busy, busy, busy – Growhow tips for September

Aarrrgghh – suddenly SO much to do in the garden again! The lazier days of July and August are over, and we must buckle to it with all sorts of propagating and preparing – and shopping! – while we enjoy the soft air and beauty of September. My resident robin has started serenading me loudly…

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The show must go on! – Growhow tips for early September

I’m struggling to remember an early September when the grass looked greener and the plants (and weeds!) looked lusher. There are compensations to having a summer as we have had in the south, when the sun has been VERY reluctant to put his hat on (although quite fed up with Caroline’s reports of daily sunshine…