Huis & Tuin
Amateur Gardening

Amateur Gardening 21-Sep-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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1 min.

“It is interesting to consider how our relationship with flowers has changed over the years. Senior readers may recall when the well-dressed gent would complete his sartorial ensemble with a flower in the buttonhole of his jacket. Ladies, too, would regularly comple their dress with a floral tribute. What a lovely finishing touch, and what a shame that aside from weddings the practice is now moribund. On page 48, we have reprinted AG’s advice on building bottonholes from 13 June 1896 – perhaps we could revive the trend!”…

1 min.
what not to prune and why

Plums, apricots, almonds, cherries and their families should only be pruned in high summer to avoid infection by silver leaf disease. The disease is caused by the fungal spores of Chondrostereum purpureum that are active between September and May. Symptoms include a silvery sheen on leaves followed by dying branches that reveal dark interior stains when cut. You can control the problem by only pruning vulnerable species in summer when spores are inactive and disinfecting cutting equipment after each job. If it is a recurring problem, using protective paint such as Neudorff Prune and Seal on pruning wounds may help.…

2 min.
move trees and shrubs

THE dormant months of autumn and winter are when we can do much to care for our deciduous trees and shrubs. Once the leaves have fallen (and been collected for leafmould) and the sap has retreated down the trunk, we can prune and reshape most trees ready for the following year. (See the panel, right, for varieties that should only be pruned in the summer months). Although it is still a few weeks too early to prune trees and shrubs, there are various tasks you can perform, including harvesting tree and shrub seeds. Another job you can take care of if you live south of the border or have a sheltered garden is to give evergreen shrubs and hedges a final trim before the colder weather arrives. Early autumn is also the time to…

1 min.
moving a young apple tree

1 Dig the new hole large enough to take the rootball. Rough up the sides of the hole on claggy clay soils to help the roots spread. Add compost. 2 Then dig deeply around the roots of your tree (use the span of the branches as a rough guide), lifting it from the soil as you go. 3 This is where you need another person opposite you to help lever the tree and its stake. Carefully raise it so the roots are severed from the soil. 4 Water the roots well and wrap them in plastic. This helps prevent dehydration and keeps a coating of protective soil around the roots. 5 Place the rootball and stake in the new hole, making sure it is perpendicular, then start to infill with the removed soil mixed…

1 min.
care across the pond

1 Cut back and deadhead marginal plants to 6in (15cm) above the water surface. Non-hardy varieties should be removed and stored before the first frosts or wrapped in fleece, if possible. 2 Remove and clean pumps and filters. Do so before any pond fish go to ground in semi-hibernation among the silt at the bottom of the pond to avoid disturbing them. 3 Fish will be preparing to overwinter and gradually become more sluggish and less hungry. Change their feed to a low-protein variety that is easier to digest, and remove any leftovers before they rot. 4 Remove blanket weed and duckweed covering the surface of the pond as it will block light to oxygenating plants. Never use weedkiller as it will kill all the other plants and water creatures, too. Top Tip After removing…

1 min.
dealing with fallen leaves

Rotting leaves cause a silt build-up Lay netting over your pond to collect fallen deciduous leaves, or lift them out each day and then add them to the compost heap. If left in the water they will rot down and become silt at the bottom of the pond. If your pond starts to pong it means there is not enough oxygen in the water. This means the rotting process (called the nitrogen cycle) can’t compete with the production of methane and hydrogen sulphide, which are poisonous to fish and other pond inhabitants. If this happens, dredge out some of the collected silt using a flat-edged dipping net. Do this early in autumn before any fish or invertebrates and their nymphs go into hibernation, taking care to put any creatures and larvae back in the pond…