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Amateur Gardening

Amateur Gardening 28-Mar-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 Issues

in this issue

1 min.

“Doing the right thing environmentally can be more complex than we think when it comes to replacing plastic pots (see Tim’s article on page 48). For example, bamboo seems a good choice, but what if the pots have to come all the way from China? For many, the best answer is re-using the plastic pots we have. Keep them in good condition, and they will last many years. And you are stopping them going into landfill. It’s your choice.” Contact us: Editorial: 01252 555138 Email: amateurgardening@ti-media.com Subscriptions: 0330 3331120 Advertising: 07817 629935…

3 min.
summer lawn preparation

THIS long, wet winter probably did more damage to our lawns than any other area of the garden, so as spring takes hold and the weather warms, don’t be surprised to see mosses and weeds proliferating in the grass. This will be a particular problem in areas with clay soils that hold onto water, which may drown the roots and kill off the grass. Once the grass has died and gone, problem plants have free rein to move in and take over. But don’t be disheartened, as there is plenty you can do to return your lawn to a decent state, and once the grass starts growing again it will soon look lush and lovely once more. Mow as and when needed, when the grass is dry. Keep your blades at their highest setting…

2 min.
top tips for a quick lawn fix

1 Improve the circulation of air by punching 2in (5cm) holes into soggy areas of lawn with a garden fork or aerating roller. 2 Edging borders helps get rid of straggly grass that can hide slugs and other pests, and it is a quick and easy way of smartening your garden. 3 Feed your lawn and get rid of weeds and moss with one of the many easy-to-use multi-purpose products on the market. 4 Perennial weeds such as dandelions and chickweed can be a real menace, so extract them with a weed-puller. 5 Remove ‘thatch’, the bits of dead grass and moss, to let light and air get down to the roots of the grass and promote healthy growth. 6 Worm casts are unsightly and will create a breeding ground for weeds. Let them dry,…

2 min.
refreshing permanent pots

YOU may be lining up your plug plants and considering schemes for this year’s summer annual plantings, but don’t neglect the inhabitants of any permanent containers. If plants have been in the same pots and compost for more than a year, their compost will be starting to run out of steam and the plants may be potbound. When repotting isn’t practical, refresh the top layer of compost and feed the plants, or prune their roots so they are less congested and more efficient. Because our soil is so alkaline, I’m also top-dressing and feeding our acid-loving container plants with ericaceous fertiliser and compost. If your tree or shrub is potbound but you can’t move it to a larger pot, consider root pruning, though this should only be done every five years. It frees up…

3 min.
tackling group one clematis

THIS week, I’ve been turning my attention to our winter-flowering clematis ‘Freckles’, which, once again, put on a superb show despite the weather’s bettering. This is a group one plant, which means it flowers early in the year on last year’s growth, and can be given a light trim after flowering and then fed with an all-round fertiliser such as fish, blood and bone to promote healthy growth through the rest of the year. I then tackled our Clematis montana plants (another group one variety) to get them ready for this summer’s show. We have one massive plant that is at the point of needing some hard pruning as most of its flowering happens in a high, tangled mass of growth. This time, I simply sheared off the most unruly bits of growth, leaving…

2 min.
buttonholed in the pink

ALL my jackets have buttonholes ready to hold a single flower, ideally one which is fragrant. The arrival several years ago of three cut-flower garden pinks – namely, Dianthus Bridal Star (white), D. Pink Ruffles (the strongest scented of the three) and D. Red Carpet – has been most useful in this respect. Out in the open ground, they have flowered non-stop from June, and still had battered blooms in March. Why these dianthus by Whetman have not received more publicity is hard to explain. “They flowered non-stop from June until March” When you think of all the scentless spray carnations sold at supermarkets and garages, it is a great pity they are not replaced by Pink Ruffles. At least we can grow our own, young plants either potted up into three-five-litre containers…