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Amateur Gardening

Amateur Gardening 14-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.

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51 Issues

in this issue

1 min.

“The debate about TV coverage of gardening shows continues (see News , page 7), but I have to confess that my recent call for more in-depth content from BBC Gardeners’ World was clumsily written and as a consequence misconstrued. I felt that the programme is aimed at the more general viewing public than AG readers, but some of you ( Letters , page 50) took it to mean that those who enjoy the programme are not serious gardeners. That was not what I was trying to get across at all, so I apologise for not being clear. Healthy debate is the cornerstone of a free society and I am delighted so many of you joined the conversation. We may not always agree, but we all want the very best for gardening.”…

2 min.
caring for lawns in autumn

AFTER a summer of use, hot weather and – this year – torrential rain, our lawns may not be looking their best, which makes autumn the ideal time to do some serious repair work. The soil is still warm enough for some growth and rain will help regenerate any brown and bare patches. I usually start by scarifying the grass by running a rake over the surface to remove the thatch of dead grass and moss that can stop moisture, food and oxygen penetrating down to the grass roots. If you have large areas of moss on your lawn, consider using a moss killer a few weeks before scarifying. This gives it time to work and means you can remove more moss before re-sowing the grass. “Use a moss killer before scarifying” Early autumn…

1 min.
preparing for leafmould

Rake up deciduous leaves as soon as they start falling on your lawn. If left, they keep sun off the grass turning it pale and also can harbour pests and disease. Gather them up to make leafmould, which is an excellent soil conditioner and can be mixed with compost for sowing and potting on. Add leaves to the compost heap, store in mesh bins or collect in black bin liners. If you do the latter, damp the leaves first and make holes in the bags. Tie the tops and store. It can take up to two years for the leaves to break down and they may need more water and turning over to ensure consistent decomposition.…

2 min.
the rise of robot mowers

UNLESS you are the sort of gardener who delights in painstakingly creating a lawn of bowling-green perfection, mowing the grass is one of those jobs that always seems to take more time than is strictly necessary. This means that while you are pushing your mower around the lawn, your mind is scrolling through a list of other urgent jobs: roses to prune, crops to harvest, containers to water. But what if you could steal back time by never mowing again? Not by tarmacking your sward, but by investing in a robotic mower. I have always regarded such mowers with extreme prejudice, partly because we leave a large area of lawn as a wild meadow and partly out of fear that it might run amok. But this summer we tested one for two months…

1 min.
honda miimo: sizes and prices

Miimo 310: Will mow an area up to 1,500 sq m and costs £1,799. Miimo 520: Will mow an area up to 3,000 sq m and costs £2,399. Miimo 3000: Will mow an area up to 4,000 sq m, costs £2,599 and can even be controlled via an app downloaded on to your smartphone. The mowers are installed by trained Honda staff and their only requirement is an electricity supply for charging accessible from their docking station. They come with a comprehensive owner’s handbook and are easy to set up – you programme in your preferred mowing days and times and blade height at the press of a button. For full details and local dealerships visit Honda.co.uk or call ✆ 0345 200 8000.…

1 min.
installing your honda miimo

1 The perimeter cables are buried just below the surface of the lawn so they are invisible and not a safety hazard. The two ends are then connected to the docking mat that has a waterproof terminal. 2 The docking mat is where the Miimo returns to recharge after each mow. It can be placed somewhere unobtrusive, but needs to be within easy reach of a power point. 3 Once in place it is easy to programme the days and times you wish the mower to operate using an intuitive, user-friendly keypad. You can change the times to suit your days (and holidays).…