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Amateur Gardening

Amateur Gardening 24-Aug-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.

United Kingdom
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51 Edities

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2 min.
time to revamp and revive

WE are in that twilight zone of summer when many plants are past their first flourish but can be brought back by some timely cutting back and feeding. Containers too may have peaked and can either be replaced or re-energised by some judicious plant replacement. If you are conscientious with your care you can keep them going well into autumn. Deadheading regularly, watering daily (twice in prolonged hot, dry conditions) and feeding weekly with a high-potassium tomato fertiliser will keep them going right up to the first frost. Don’t neglect your pest-control duties. either; snails, slugs and vine weevils can destroy a container arrangement in a trice if you aren’t vigilant. I have spent much of this week tidying containers and creating space in the areas of borders where crowded plants are falling…

1 min.
beat pests and problems

SUMMER is a boom time for pests and diseases, so get to know your enemy and you can keep them at bay. Vine weevils are a particular problem for containers. The adults bite notches out of the edge of leaves while the young cause even more devastation by eating the roots (a serious problem in severe infestations), which will kill the plant if action is not taken soon enough. Treatments include lifting plants, washing the roots thoroughly and then repotting in fresh compost – which may not guarantee an end to the problem – or using a chemical or nematode soil drench to kill the pests. If you have a vine weevil problem with contained edible plants, only use the nematodes, though the chemical is fine for ornamental use as long as the…

1 min.
planting a late-summer container

1 Stand plants in water for at least 30 minutes so their roots have a thorough soak. 2 If you are reusing a container, wash it out well to remove old compost, pest eggs and disease spores. 3 Put crocks at the bottom and fill with container compost. Add the central plant, loosening the roots first. 4 Add the other plants around the edge, teasing out their roots and infilling between with more compost. 5 Stand the pot on feet and water well. Keep compost damp, watering each day if necessary.…

1 min.
restarting cyclamen

Jewel-bright indoor cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) are a delight in winter, and if you have stored yours through summer now is the time to restart them. When their leaves yellow and wither in spring, stop watering and store somewhere cool, dry and frost-free (they are not hardy). In late summer or early august they will throw out new shoots, so repot them and start to water again. If you water before new growth appears, hold off any more watering until you see signs of life. Place somewhere cool and light, water when needed and they should flower after Christmas.…

1 min.
get ready for autumn

1 Keep greenhouse glass clean to let in the maximum amount of light and warmth. Hang unripe tomatoes upside down so they redden faster. 2 Cut back flowered perennials before they brown and start to rot, and deadhead annuals to eke out the last few flowers. 3 Rake up early fallen leaves so they don’t sit on the grass. Turn and empty leafmould bins to make room for more. 4 Rake up lawn moss and thatch to improve airflow around grass roots and make aerating holes in areas prone to waterlogging. Top Tip Study your borders and decide what you want to plant in any gaps this autumn. Divided perennials and spring-flowering bulbs are all ideal space-fillers.…

1 min.
time to plant colchicums

WHILE we are still a few weeks away from planting next year’s spring bulbs, this is the perfect time to carry out some planting for autumn colour. Colchicums are best planted now. Their pink or white blooms will burst forth in September and October without any foliage (one of the reasons their common name is ‘naked ladies’) and then die back after a few weeks. The leaves flourish in spring and return energy to the bulb when they wither and die, providing food for next year’s flowers. The bulbs can last for years so they are a wise and beautiful investment for the garden. They will do best in sunny, free-draining soil that has been enriched with lots of well-rotted compost or manure. Plant the bulbs around 4in (10cm) apart so their tips…