Amateur Gardening 15-May-2021

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 Números

en este número

1 min.
editor’s note

“I’m hoping for this season to be my best year for roses. Four varieties (three climbers and a rambler) were planted in different parts of the garden three years ago, with three taking well and one a lot less happy — probably due to my putting it too close to a thirsty hedge! That one was moved to a new site with less competition in January, and is now looking much better. For the first three years, their up-keep consisted of regular watering and pruning, as well as mulching in winter, but this year I’m also going to be feeding them like newborn babes. I’ll let you know how we all get on. Have a great gardening week!” Contact us: Subscriptions: 0330 333 1113 Editorial: 0330 3903732 Email: Advertising: 0330…

3 min.
control pests and diseases

IF you are a plant grower, then pests are a given, whether they be whitefly homing in on growbag tomatoes on your urban balcony or badgers and wild boar turning your rural lawn into a ploughed field. The same goes for the diseases that stalk our plants, ready to strike as soon as they sense a weakened individual or the perfect conditions they need. In the past gardeners often took a ‘nuke-em’ attitude to problems, launching all-out attacks with an arsenal of high-velocity chemicals and poisons. Attitudes started to change in 1962 when environmental scientist Rachel Carson wrote the powerful book Silent Spring about the effects of indiscriminate chemical use not just on pests, but on the wider natural network. Although the big chemical companies launched fierce opposition, public opinion was behind Carson and…

3 min.
my personal garden foes

1 Rose black spot: A common fungal disease causing black/yellow lesions on leaves and stems, leading to leaf fall. Remove and destroy affected material, spray with a fungicide such as Rose Clear or treat with cornmeal, as I am trialing this year. 2 Rust: A fungal diseases affecting many plants including hollyhocks and leeks, onions etc. Get rid of affected hollyhock material and treat with a fungicide. There is no chemical control for leek rust so plant alliums with lots of space and feed and water well. 3 Lily beetle: We love glamorous lilies and, sadly, so do lily beetles. They defoliate plants leaving them unsightly and without the material needed to refuel bulbs for next year’s show. I recommend using Grazers G4 beetle deterrent, reapplied every 10 days or so. 4 Vine…

3 min.
tomatoes in the family

WE love hearing readers’ stories about the horticultural exploits of their family, so we were thrilled when John Bryan contacted us about his wife’s greatgrandfather, Peter Bryant Westcott. Peter, who was born in 1867, lived in the village of Braunton in Devon and was a keen gardener who also ran his own market garden. This was something of a first for the Westcotts who were a family of keen seafarers, but from an early age Peter knew that horticulture was the career for him. His first job was in the garden at Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, where he earned the princely sum of £1, a shilling and fourpence a month. He learned a lot while he was there and when he returned to Devon he set up a market garden in Barton Lane,…

2 min.
it’s time to face the chop

THE RHS Chelsea Flower Show may have been moved to September thanks to the continuing effects of Covid, but there is one very important showrelated task you should still be carrying out round about now. The ‘Chelsea chop’, is a nifty and simple technique that helps keep sprawling plants in check and encourages a second flush of flowers later in the summer. I use it on our large Nepeta (cat mint) bush, but it can also be used to give flowering a boost in later-flowering perennials such as echinacea, heleniums, Phlox paniculata and strongly upright-growing sedum. Our Nepeta (catmint) grows beautifully until late spring when it starts to collapse outwards, leaving its shrubby centre on display. Matters aren’t helped by our two cats who favour it as their drug of choice and go…

2 min.
next step for seedlings

WE have seedlings everywhere right now, some in their original compost, others pricked out and potted up. Tender half-hardy varieties are on windowsills indoors or in the greenhouse, while hardy sunflowers, clary and larkspur are thriving in the mini greenhouse and cold frame. Seedlings are vulnerable to pests and disease, so need close monitoring and regular care. Watering is best done from below, by standing your seedtray or pot in water and letting it soak up through. Good ventilation is also important and helps avoid fungal diseases such as damping off, which can wipe out a tray of seedlings in a day. When seeds germinate, remove the lid or open the plastic bag sealed around the pot. This week I have been pricking out AG’s free Tagetes ‘Starfire’ seedlings. When large enough, I will…