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Amateur Gardening

Amateur Gardening 7-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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51 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
think about autumn bedding

AS one door closes another opens, and as summer rides off into the horizon it’s time to bring a new pop of colour into the garden for autumn and winter. Get your autumn and spring bedding plants in now, while there is still a massive choice in garden centres and online. Plant them up and they will build robust root systems, grow and flower through autumn, then go dormant during the coldest months. As soon as the mercury starts to rise again next year they will return to growth and provide a blanket of brilliance throughout spring. Autumn and winter bedding is the same as spring bedding – an umbrella term used for plants that can go in the ground or containers between now and November. Their numbers include pansies, violas, wallflowers, daisy-like bellis,…

1 min.
prick out perennials

1 I reused two old modules that I washed, filled with a mix of John Innes No1 and 2 compost, watered and then dibbed a hole in each. 2 Lift the seedling from the compost using a plastic label or spoon, freeing the rootball and holding the plant by its leaves. 3 Carefully place the plant into its hole, making sure it is large enough to accommodate all the roots comfortably. 4 Firm the compost around the stem and then place in a light room, away from direct sun. Don’t let the compost dry out.…

1 min.
look after existing plants

IN an ideal world your garden should make a seamless transition from one season to the next, keeping colour and interest throughout. This isn’t hard to do, so long as you plan beforehand and put in a bit of work as your plants come and go. One school of thought says you should remove your summer bedding in advance of adding the new season’s plants, but what if you have been diligently feeding and deadheading summer’ nicotianas and cosmos and they are still looking hale and hearty? It seems a dreadful waste when they might have weeks left in them, especially if you live in the south and your garden is sheltered. The alternative is to start planting summer bedding in between existing plants, gradually adding to it as the older plants…

1 min.
filling late-summer gaps with autumn bedding

1 I am starting my display with a chrysanthemum and a few violas, after feeding the soil. 2 Slide the largest plant from its pot (it’s good to see more recyclable taupe containers) and tease out the roots. 3 Plant at the rootball’s depth. Firm the soil, knocking out air pockets and supporting the plants. 4 Add the lower-growing varieties, such as violas, in front of the taller plants to create a carpet of colour. 5 Water everything well and don’t let the soil dry out while plants get established. War of words: In next week’s AG (in the shops 10 September) we publish your reaction to the trend of celebrities taking the spotlight at garden shows, complete with the BBC’s response.…

1 min.
pests and problems

Give your autumn bedding its best chance of putting on a glorious and long-lasting display by starting off with healthy plants. Check they are free from disease, specially pansies and violas that may have contracted a variety of the fungal disease leaf spot (symptoms include blemished leaves). Remove and destroy affected plants or combat with a fungicide such as Provanto Fungus Fighter. As an extra precaution, wait at least three years before planting spring pansies or violas in soil where leaf-spot-affected plants have been growing, as spores will infect the new plants. Check for pests, too, especially around the roots of new potted plants where slugs, snail eggs or vine weevil larvae may be lurking.…

1 min.
caring for old and new roses

IT is time to tidy up your roses and prepare the ground for new or transplanted ones. The tools you will need are a sharp, clean pair of secateurs, a garden fork and a generous supply of well-rotted garden compost or farmyard manure. Deadhead existing roses unless you want to leave some colourful hips for autumn colour and to entice garden birds. If you have multi-flowered plants, carefully snip off each flower as it fades, making room for opening buds. Once the entire flowerhead is spent, remove the whole lot. Single flowers should be cut away along with around 6in (15cm) of stem. Also remove any buds that haven’t opened properly, have turned brown and rotten or ‘balled’. The latter is occurs when buds are soaked with rain, then dried in sunshine so…