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Amateur GardeningAmateur Gardening

Amateur Gardening 16-Mar-2019

Every week, Amateur Gardening is the first choice for both beginners and knowledgeable gardeners looking for advice and easy-to-follow practical features on growing flowers, trees, shrubs as well as fruit and vegetables. Be inspired, by our beautifully illustrated features covering plant and flower groups, both home grown and exotic, and take a sneak peek into some of the most beautiful private gardens around the country. Plus, every week we feature expert opinion and tips from some of gardening’s most influential exponents including Toby Buckland, Bob Flowerdew, Anne Swithinbank, Peter Seabrook and Jo Whittingham.

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51 Edities


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get to grips with seasonal problems

1 Honey fungus is the name for several species of Armillaria fungi that attack and kill the roots of woody and perennial plants. Symptoms include white growth between bark and wood and clusters of honey-coloured toadstools in autumn. There is no control – all you can do is remove the tree, stump and root, so there is no plant tissue left to feed the fungi. (Stu Phillips) 2 Aphids are small sap-sucking bugs that weaken, stunt and distort plants and exude sticky honeydew, causing sooty mould to form. Rub them off with your fingers, encourage predatory insects such as ladybirds, or control larger colonies with a natural pyrethrum insecticide. 3 Moles are active in spring and will disfigure lawns and borders, and disrupt and hinder…

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start tender tubers into growth

Dahlias and begonias add sumptuous summer colour and are easy to start in spring Starting dahlia tubers in compost DAHLIAS and big blowsy begonias, which take centre stage in many summer gardens, come from humble beginnings. Both shoot from tubers, though dahlias can be left in the soil in milder areas while begonias need lifting, drying and storing somewhere frost-free.Early spring is when healthy stored tubers will start sprouting again, and newly bought ones can be started off. Rest begonia tubers on compost The bulbous ‘fingers’ of dahlia tubers should be potted up in general-purpose compost, and the rounded begonia tubers are set hollow side up on pots of dampened compost. Both tubers should soon shoot and you can use these to make more plants for free.In the…

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how to pot up begonia tubers

Rest the tubers, hollow side up, on dampened compost Tuberous begonias are the stars of the summer’s baskets and containers.Their tender tubers should be dried and overwintered somewhere frost-free and then started back into growth the following spring.Simply fill pots with dampened multi-purpose compost and nestle the tubers into the top, their hollow sides facing upwards.Place them somewhere light and warm – a windowsill is ideal – and keep the compost damp. Leaf shoots will soon start to appear and the tubers can be planted up. Shoots will soon appear…

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take dahlia cuttings

1 Cut away healthy 3in (7cm) shoots with a small sliver of dahlia tuber still attached. 2 Dip the cut end of the shoot in hormone rooting gel or powder. This will promote the development of strong root systems. 3 Insert two-three cuttings around the edge of a 4in (10cm) pot filled with dampened seed and cuttings compost mixed with perlite. 4 Inflate a clear plastic bag over the pot to create a mini greenhouse and stand it somewhere light and warm until roots form. …

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rockery and alpine care

Replenish gravel that has slipped over time Plant up an alpine trough I am adding a couple of new stones to our rockery EARLY spring is the perfect time to renovate your rockery, add new stone, give the plants some love and replace any that didn’t survive the winter.Check that the stones are securely set in the soil and firm in those that have worked loose, replenishing the gravel in between. If you are adding more stones, use locally sourced ones in keeping with the surroundings, and buy reclaimed or salvaged natural pieces of differing sizes, so your rockery looks as naturally created as possible.Alpines are sturdy little plants suited to hostile, high-altitude environments. They are not, however, typically happy in our mild, damp winters.These low-growing beauties can be…

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what’s on

The Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Somerset hosts a rare plant fair on 17 March 16: Orchid Days with Ian Parsons of the British Orchid Council: Brimsmore Garden Centre, Tintinhull Road, Yeovil, Somerset, BA21 3NU. ✆ 01935 411000, thegardeneronline.co.uk 16: Plant Hunters’ Fair: Carsington Water, Ashbourne, Derbyshire.planthuntersfairs.co.uk. 16-17: Sweet Pea Workshop: RHS Harlow Carr, Crag Lane, Harrogate, North Yorks HG3 1QB. ✆ 0203 176 5830, rhs.org.uk/gardens/harlow-carr 17: Rare Plant Fair: The Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Somerset BA5 2PD. ✆ 01278 661352, rareplantfair.co.uk 17: Plant Hunters’ Fair: Alderford Lake, Whitchurch, Shrops SY13 3JQ.planthuntersfairs.co.uk. 19: Photography Talk and Slide Show, Ruislip Central Hort Soc, St Lawrence Church Hall, Bridle Road, Pinner, HA5 2SJ. (7pm for 7.30pm, £5 plus concs) 19: Grafting for Beginners: RHS Garden Rosemoor, Great Torrington, Rosemoor, Torrington, Devon EX38 8PH.…