Amateur Gardening 12-Jun-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.

“I recently reported that I was conducting my own test of peat vs peat-free compost. Nothing scientific, just a simple test any AG reader could do: growing two sets of container spuds - one with peat and one peat-free. I already use peat-free compost, but my aim is to encourage more people to join me, particularly with the much-improved products available. However, one reader felt that I should not mention peat at all (see letters page 64). Let’s be clear, the use of peat compost has to stop – and it will. But we are in a transition period and it’s important to continue to educate and inform. We’re all in this together.” Contact us: Subscriptions: 0330 333 1113 Editorial: 0330 3903732 Email: Advertising: 0330 3906566…

3 min.
roadmap for a healthy garden

Going potty: Next week I look at containers and baskets, including how to fill them, unusual plants to use and how to keep them colourful all summer WOULDN’T it be wonderful if our cultivated plants grew like weeds? How simple (though probably less interesting) gardening would be if we could just plant or sow in the knowledge that our job was done until it was time to harvest crops or pick flowers for arrangements. Life ain’t like that, which is why this is one of the busiest seasons for us. Our gardens are full of new growth and young plants, many incredibly vulnerable to pests, diseases and the whims of the weather, so they need careful husbandry now. Keeping a garden growing healthily through summer isn’t as daunting a prospect as you think,…

2 min.
eight steps to a great garden

1 Soil: It goes without saying that the health of your soil is key to everything in your garden. Mulching when it is damp, especially in spring and autumn, adds nutrients and improves its structure. I like to add chicken manure pellets a few weeks before planting as well, to give it an all-round boost. 2 Feeding: Correct feeding is a key defence against plant problems. Established perennials only need supplements after deadheading and pruning, but annuals and crops need regular top-ups. Give bedding plants a fortnightly water with liquid tomato feed and greenhouse crops a weekly feed. 3 Watering: Regular watering early the morning and in the evening during dry spells stops plants wilting. Keeping the roots well watered also reduces the risk of powdery mildew and other debilitating fungal problems.…

2 min.
tidy up perennials

SPRING perennials will have passed their best now and many will probably be starting to look untidy, their spent flowerheads splaying outwards as they fade and set seed. This week I have been tackling our hellebores and pulmonarias, both of which put on a wonderful show but now need some attention. Hellebores have large flowers on thick stems that often collapse outwards onto other plants as the flowers turn into seed pods. Not only does this look untidy, and can hinder or damage surrounding plants, but it can also leave you with a flowerbed full of baby hellebores as they are such prolific self-seeders. Pulmonarias are another early bloomer that start to look a mess as soon as they go over, with stems flopping and leaves starting to look bedraggled and sad. As they…

4 min.
the move to peat-free

Got a story? email LAST week in AG we spoke to two garden-industry leaders about their views on the issue of peat. This week we talk to Mike Burks, chairman of the Garden Centre Association and managing director of the The Gardens Group chain of garden centres in Dorset and Somerset. The Gardens Group is made up of three outlets in Poundbury near Dorchester, Sherborne and Yeovil in Somerset. They have been encouraging customers to go peat-free for more than a decade and use peat-free compost in their nurseries. Their growers are also peat-free or use reduced-peat media. Managing director Mike Burks said: “We have been working on this for many years and it hasn’t been straightforward. Ten to 12 years ago our sales of compost would have been 80% peat and we…

2 min.
the ever-giving gift

I ALWAYS think that autumn is one of the most beautiful times of year, as its palette naturally turns towards fiery shades and warm russet tones. Many plants flower in autumn, too – those that still have fuel in their tank after summer, and those that naturally bloom as the days shorten. Many that fall into this latter category can be planted now as bulbs, corms and tubers, which makes them some of the easiest plants to add to your garden. In the right spot with the right soil, they will come back year after year, multiplying as they grow and mature. There are bulbs for every situation, and don’t forget many of them will also grow well in pots. Autumn crocuses and sternbergia, plus cheerful yellow winter aconites look stunning naturalised in…