Amateur Gardening 6-Nov-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 rather like this time of year, when late autumn melds into winter. Leaves change colour and fall, and you can see nature evolving to its next phase all around you. There seem to be more tasks to do, and the colder weather makes the physical side of gardening more enjoyable for me. A couple of hours of bulb planting, clearing leaves and some rigorous forking of the compost heap sets you up for a hot brew and a hearty late lunch. You feel a sense of achievement that is very different from garden work in the summer. I do wonder if we nurture our garden, or is the gardening nurturing us?” Contact us: Subscriptions: 0330 333 1113 Editorial: 0330 3903732 Email: Advertising: 0330 3906566…

2 min.
how to welcome in wildlife

GARDENING is a joy, and one of the greatest pleasures for us is the wildlife it can bring into our orbit. This year our garden has hosted baby hedgehogs (hoglets), a violet carpenter bee, more wild birds than I can count plus several savage forays by a sparrowhawk that sweeps through and scatters the sparrows and starlings, often departing with one of their number in its talons. We have had so many grasshoppers that the wildflower lawn has sounded like a sewing machine factory, while bees have been a constant presence since early spring. Nationwide, our gardens are increasingly important to wildlife and insects as their natural habitats shrink. Autumn is the perfect time to think about how you can help them, often by making the simplest of alterations to the way you…

3 min.
small changes make a difference

BIRD, insect and mammal life may be quietening down in your garden, but there is still lots you can do to lay the foundations to welcome more wildlife back when spring comes around. I will be spending the next few weeks adding to our habitat pile of twiggy prunings stuffed with moss and straw. If space is tight in your garden, you can do your bit by leaving a little corner to grow wild, or by filling plant pots with straw and tucking them away beneath shrubs and in quiet areas. We also have a ‘hedgehog barn’ from Wildlife World (, call 01666 505333). It is tucked away in a quiet spot and stuffed with straw so hopefully one of our local hogs will consider it des res enough for winter. Bundles of hollow twigs stuffed…

3 min.
growers’ hi-tech challenge with peat-free

WHILE buying peat-free compost is a top priority for many environmentally-conscious gardeners, many of the plants on sale at garden centres remain rooted in pots that are brimming with peat. Peat consumption by UK commercial nurseries, which grow millions of shrubs, trees and seasonal plants for gardeners, fell from 63.9 per cent in 2015 to 62.3 per cent in 2020 – a decline of just 1.6 per cent, according to the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA). Machinery headaches for growers AG set out to find out why growers, who produce plants on an industrial scale, remain so dependent on peat. Firstly, the Government gave professional growers until 2030 to phase peat out, although a current consultation may see the deadline reviewed. Growers use high-tech, computerised nursery automation that has been engineered to handle peat, which…

3 min.
houseplants in winter

AS the days grow shorter and cooler and the central heating is switched on, we need to rethink how we care for our houseplants. During spring and summer, they grow just like plants in the garden, but as winter arrives they have different requirements. Feeding isn’t necessary in winter as houseplants stop growing. They also need less water, so only add moisture when the compost is dry to the touch. The exceptions to this rule are flowering plants such as African violets, streptocarpus and orchids, which will need watering and feeding fortnightly. Position plants where they can get the most light, but keep them off windowsills where curtains are drawn at night, as this traps cold air that can damage the leaves or stunt the plants’ growth. Your houseplants will be at their healthiest…

2 min.
it’s time to plant garlic

THERE’S one vegetable above all other that our kitchen is never without, and that’s garlic. This member of the allium (onion) family is an essential part of everyday cookery chez Hayes and each autumn we make sure we plant enough bulbs to see us as far through the following year as possible. Tradition states that garlic does best if put in the ground by Christmas, as it needs winter’s cold to produce truly flavourful and healthy cloves. It likes a sunny, sheltered spot with fertile soil that drains well. If space is tight, this versatile crop will also do well in large containers. However, as it is a member of the allium family it should not be planted in soil that was used the season before for onions, shallots and chives. Garlic bulbs are widely…