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Amateur Gardening

Amateur Gardening 6-Jun-2020

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

in deze editie

2 min.
create a healthy garden

EVERYTHING is burgeoning in our gardens and there is a sense of optimism in the air. Warmer days with a little rain make this the best season for gardening and we are looking forward to a year of glorious colour and scentfilled borders and bountiful harvests. It doesn’t all happen by magic, though, and now, as the growing season moves up a gear, is when we need to be on our guard for potential problems and nip them in the bud. Good garden hygiene is essential and needs to be an ongoing thing. There is no point ignoring things for a week or so and then hitting the pests or diseases with all guns blazing. These can be fast-moving, prolific multipliers and if left too long the damage will already be done and…

1 min.
know your nematodes and other biological controls

THE fact that nematodes can seem a bit ‘sciency’ can put people off using them, but once you know the ropes they are a safe, simple and natural way of dealing with pests. Nematodes are parasites that attack and kill pests. Some are added to water and used as a soil or compost drench, such as for vine weevils, slugs and snails. Others are wasps or mites released in the greenhouse to combat whitefly, scale insects, aphids and other pests. The period between late spring and autumn, when temperatures rise, is when nematodes can be used, though those against slugs and snails can be used once the soil warms reliably above 5ºC/41ºF Most nematodes are ordered online or from garden centres when needed, as they are living organisms, but some, such as those…

2 min.
prevention better than cure

WHETHER you are dealing with pests or diseases, there are similar rules that apply to both. Make sure equipment is kept sharp and clean, especially cutting tools that have been used to remove diseased plant material or pots that have held plants and compost you fear might have been contaminated by pests or diseases. We aim to grow our plants as organically as possible and only resort to chemicals in worst-case scenarios. This style of gardening doesn’t appeal to everyone, but I would urge anyone who does use chemicals to do so sparingly, sticking to the manufacturers’ instructions. Never use pesticides on plants in flower or trees in blossom because you will kill pollinating insects, not to mention the lacewing flies, wasps, ground beetles, ladybirds and hoverflies that will help you in the…

1 min.
secrets of better watering

1 Don’t waste water by splashing it onto the leaves as this can cause scorching in harsh sunlight and mildews when it’s still. Water around the roots, let it sink in and then add some more. 2 If water threatens to run off very dry soil, create a moat around plants to keep the water in place. Once it is absorbed, mulch the plant’s root area to prevent evaporation. 3 Harvested rainwater is better for plants that tap water. Keep it clean by applying a water purifier, such as the organic Envii Water Butt Klear tablets that also help nourish plants and soil. 4 Use ‘grey water’ from the washing up, washing and bathing (as long as it isn’t too dirty or contains bleach). Collect the run-off while you’re waiting for the hot…

3 min.
natural benefits of lockdown

THE Coronavirus lockdown has impinged on everyone’s life, but for wildlife and the environment, a lot of the changes have been for the good. A survey carried out by Tristan Carlyle and Oliver Bulpitt, ecologists at Ecology by Design, shows that wildlife has been in the ascendancy while we have been shut indoors. Obvious signs have included wild goats ‘taking over’ Llandudno in North Wales, but there have been more subtle results as well. With wildlife reserves closed to the public, birds and animals have been nesting earlier and more securely and as the roads emptied, so the amount of roadkill has dropped. “Good weather has suited us and our wildlife” Project Splatter, a citizen science group formed to log roadkill across the UK, has shows a decline in the number of dead animals recorded…

1 min.
book review

THE C19 lockdown brought out the homespun in many of us, with bread and mask-making becoming the norm rather than a quaint artisan pastime. When the ‘new normal’ is finally realised I suspect a lot of people will want to keep this going strong, with a few added extras. This is where this fascinating and informative book will come in useful. Seasonal Plant Dyes walks you through the seasons and shows you the plants you can use to make your own easy ecological plant dyes. There’s sexy red bay leaf dye and vibrant green nettle in spring, summer’s bright yellow buddleia and vibrant indigo woad, sweet yellow dyer’s chamomile in autumn and a warm burnt orange made by eucalyptus leaves in winter. There are chapters on tools, fabrics and the mordants (such as soya…