Amateur Gardening 19-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.
editor’s letter

“Gardening can be an extremely emotional experience. You get an amazing sense of achievement when things go right, but a numbing sense of failure when things go wrong. I think our emotions are heightened by the long gap between planting and the end result. The other day I hit one of those highs when I spied a dahlia poking its leaves through a woodchip mulch. Last year I decided to leave my dahlia tubers in the soil and not dig them up. It was a risk, but I mulched heavily – and waited and waited. We’d had frost and snow in April, and I thought the game was up. Then, at the end of May, eureka! And I still can’t stop talking about it!”…

2 min.
jewels of the summertime

IF you haven’t got round to planting your bedding, don’t panic, as there is still plenty of time and lots of choice available. In fact, the variety is so wide it can be quite overwhelming, if you also include perennials such as dahlias and cannas, lavenders and pelargoniums, as well as foliage plants and even edible varieties. Trailing herbs and tomatoes grow brilliantly in containers. Their scent adds so much to a warm summer evening, and I have even added ‘Cavolo Nero’ kale to a pot as a dark and striking foil for the more colourful plants! I also like to intersperse bedding with grasses and interesting plants bred for their foliage, as they provide a cool contrast to the colourful flowers. Silver-leaved plants including cineraria and the perennial stachys (lamb’s ears) are…

2 min.
planting a pot of bedding

CONTAINERS and baskets are the perfect vehicles for the flamboyant shapes and colours of summer bedding. We recommend using peat-free compost as it has enough climate-friendly goodness for a season’s growth. However, it does work slightly differently to compost containing peat, so read the packaging carefully, and follow any feeding and watering instructions. Plants in containers are tightly packed and vying for food and water so you won’t do any harm by adding fertiliser granules (I use Growmore or Vitax Q4) to give the compost some extra nutrients. Once plants are growing well, around six weeks after planting, supplement this every 10-14 days with a liquid feed when watering. Tomato fertiliser or an organic product such as PlantGrow will give plants the boost they need. Plants in pots and containers also need…

2 min.
have your say on waste

THE Government is calling on AG readers to take part in a national survey to establish the future of garden-waste collections. The two relevant questions in the survey relate to what should be classified as ‘garden waste’, and whether householders with gardens would be interested in a ‘free minimum collection service for garden waste’. Rebecca Pow MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), told AG she is keen for readers to take part as they are the key target audience the Government wants to reach. Ms Pow, who used to write a column for AG, said: “We did the first consultation about garden waste in 2019, and we are now on the second one and getting down to the real nitty-gritty of finance and…

1 min.
the ban on peat

THE Government has vowed to ban the sale of peat composts by 2024. The move is part of the ambitious Tree and Peat Action Plans, which were drafted to support the Convention of Biological Diversity Climate Change Conference (COP26) being held later this year. The aims include investing £21m between 2020 and 2025 to support UK tree nurseries and treble the UK’s tree-planting. More importantly for gardeners, the peat initiative includes the banning of retail peat compost by 2024 and ploughing millions into the restoration of 35,000 hectares of degraded peatlands in England over the next four years. There’s an appetite for the peat ban This includes £2.7 million to be directed towards the Great North Bog in the north of the country, which covers vast areas of the Pennines, Yorkshire Dales and Forest of…

3 min.
greenhouse up to date

A PERFECT storm of a week’s holiday, a pulled back muscle and almost comically unseasonal spring weather means we have been playing ‘running to catch up’ in the greenhouse. Mature plants that should have been moved out were still undercover and seedlings needing hardening off were also still waiting. I could almost hear them tapping their feet and tutting impatiently with every day that passed. We have caught up a little, and the lemon tree and tender perennials have been moved out, with the seedlings relocated to the coldframe and mini greenhouse. Our tomatoes have been divided, with some staying under glass and the rest going against a sunny wall. Plants in the greenhouse need as much, if not more, care as those outside. They experience higher temperatures and will dry out faster,…