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Amateur Gardening

Amateur Gardening 4-Apr-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.

“At the time of writing, the Coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) means many of you are having to self-isolate or – as is the case with AG staff – work from home. For those who can’t get out, I’m sure the garden is a lifeline. So readers don’t feel entirely cut off, AG Gardening Editor Ruth Hayes will be posting a daily blog on our websiteamateurgardening.com.com. Ruth is currently self-isolating, so she will be able to relate her experiences which will hopefully help those in a similar position. Please visit the site to read her blog, and do keep safe.”…

2 min.
supplementary benefits

LIKE all of us, plants get hungry, and while they probably won’t throw a low-blood-sugar temper tantrum, they may start to look a little peaky. This is because over time soil gets depleted of its essential nutrients and minerals, the ones that keep plants strong and robust. Once these start to wane, leaves may turn brown or yellow, flowering and fruiting falls off and plants become susceptible to pests and disease. There are several reasons why soil loses its goodness: it gets absorbed and used by questing roots; it is washed away by prolonged spells of rains (this may be a common problem after this winter); and certain soils are less able to hang onto their goodness in the first place. Calcium, potassium, magnesium and copper become more soluble – and easier to…

1 min.
natural remedies

1 Rot down comfrey leaves in water for a pungent brew that’s rich in nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus drawn up by its deep tap roots. Use diluted in 10 parts water, or as a foliar feed. 2 Nettle tea is nitrogen-rich, which promotes leaf and stem growth. Make with water, dilute and feed. (Nettle-shoot tea is also allegedly good tea for eczema, hay fever and muscular aches). 3 Grass clippings can be used as another nitrogen-rich mulch for the roots of plants. Don’t mulch too thickly otherwise the grass becomes warm and slimy and attracts slugs. 4 A sloppy bag of well-rotted manure will clear any blocked noses and also gradually impart nutrients into the soil when dug in or used as mulch around plants.…

2 min.
ongoing container care

Houseplant help: As indoor plants start to revive after winter, I show you what you can do now to get them going and keep them growing well. CONTAINERS and growbags are easy to maintain, but their plants will need extra feeding through the growing season. Although most container and growbag composts have several months of slow-release goodness built in, it soon depletes when planted up, whether you are growing ornamental bedding or vegetable crops. You may need to feed your plants every 10-14 days (more regularly for hungry vegetables) with liquid fertilisers such as Maxicrop, Tomorite and Big Tom, which are rich in nutrients and help produce bountiful blooms and improved crop yields. Potted shrubs and trees also need supplementary feeding during the growing season. Acid-loving rhododendrons, azaleas and blueberries require an ericaceous fertiliser…

1 min.
knowing which supplements you need

THERE is a bamboozling array of products available, so it helps to know where to begin when buying them. Start by looking at the nutrient balance of each product. The main components of most general fertilisers are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, which can be seen on labeling as ‘NPK’. These are the building blocks for robust, healthy plants with lots of flowers and generous cropping. Nitrogen (‘N’ on labels) is essential for plants grown for their leaves, such as ornamental foliage shrubs and leafy veggies. Sulphate of ammonia would be a go-to fertiliser here. Potassium (K) boosts development of flowers and crops, and can be found in liquid tomato feeds. For strong root development you need a feed that is rich in phosphorus (P), which can be found in bonemeal. Liquid seaweed feeds such as those…

5 min.
new products for 2020

Rosa ‘Silas Marner’ from David Austin David Austin Roses is continuing its literary theme with two new plants for 2020. ‘Silas Marner’ is an ‘unfussy’ pink bush rose with a medium fragrance, distinctive red stems and medium-sized cup-shaped blooms. ‘The Country Parson’ is a shrub rose with yellow flowers that have a sweet, natural scent. Prices for both £29 container, £22 bare root. Sluggo Ultra granules Slugs and snails are proliferating thanks to the mild, wet winter, but organic garden expert Neudorff has devised a new way of beating them Sluggo Ultra pellets are free of the controversial poison metaldehyde and are smaller than standard pellets, which makes them ideal for targeting young molluscs before they have a chance to breed. Price £7.49 for a 600g bottle. NemaKnights nematode granules If you want to use nematodes…