Amateur Gardening 13-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.

“There was a time when buying garden products was simple. If you wanted multi-purpose compost you just went to the garden centre and either bought the cheapest or a brand you trusted – same with plant food and pest deterrents. However, in future, if you want to do your bit for the environment, you will have to check products a lot more closely. Are you happy to have green waste or coir in your compost? The former may contain microplastics and the latter has environmental questions around its production and shipping. Do you know what is in your plant food and pest deterrents? Producers are working to improve the environmental impact of their products, but we will have to shop more carefully to embrace those environmental benefits. Contact us: Subscriptions: 0330 333…

2 min.
benefits of bare root planting

Kind cuts: Most deciduous trees have lost their leaves and are dormant, so they are ready for their annual trim. Next week I show you how, why and what to prune now EIGHT years ago we hired professional tree surgeons to take out a monstrous, half-dead Leylandii hedge at the back of the garden. A few months later we planted a double staggered row of mixed native trees, bought as little bare root whips. They included hazels, maples, hawthorns and spindles, as well as guelder rose, wild and hedge roses. The main photo above doesn’t really do them justice, but now, they have created a dense and attractive boundary around 20ft (6m) high that produces a wealth of flowers in summer and a richness of berries and hips in autumn and winter. This…

2 min.
storing whips before planting

THERE may be reasons why you can’t plant your bare root whips when you get them home. Maybe the soil is frozen or waterlogged, or you still have space to clear before you can get them in. Although bare root plants can remain out of the soil for a few days if their roots are kept damp and wrapped, any longer than this and they start to deteriorate. The answer is to plant them temporarily in a sheltered patch of garden. This is called ‘heeling in’ and they can be left there until spring. Start by digging a trench with a sloping side, then lay the bundled whips in the trench with their stems lying along the sloping side. Fill the trench with soil, so all the roots are covered. Tread down the soil to…

3 min.
make time for a tidy

AS the weather closes in there are worse things you can do on a damp and dreary November day than get your shed and its contents in order. Keeping the shed tidy is a good habit to get into (and one I have yet to acquire…) as it saves you money once you know where everything is, so you avoid buying unnecessary duplicates. It also prevents silly mistakes – we have had letters from readers who have sprayed weedkiller when they meant to use a pesticide, with devastating results. These issues can be prevented by keeping everything in its original packaging and correct containers (very important where chemicals are concerned) and in an appropriate place away from naked flames. It goes without saying that products should also be kept out of the reach…

2 min.
last call for spring bulbs

AS the weather closes in and soil loses the last of its summer heat while becoming increasingly rain-saturated, this is your last call for planting spring-flowering bulbs. (Also, most of them will have sold out or been replaced by Christmas lights and fripparies on garden centre shelves!) Bulbs can be planted in beds, containers and in the lawn, so if you have any remaining in your shed, get them in now. It may also be worth checking any you bought last year and forgot to plant. Dispose of any that are obviously rotten, but if they are only shrivelled, try soaking them in water for a few hours. If they expand and regain some heft, it may be worth chancing them. If not, get rid. Traditionally, November is the month for planting tulips…

2 min.
it’s been a successful year

WE had some hits and misses in the veg patch this year as I suspect most of you did, but one of the massive hits was our bean crop. We grew broad beans and runners, as usual, and for the first time a very tasty dwarf purple French bean called ‘Purple Queen’, which turns green when cooked, and borlotti beans. All four did well (we have a freezer drawer packed to capacity to prove it) and some pods of the broads, runners and French were left unharvested to grow large and ripen on the plants. Once the pods were shrivelled I collected their contents and will store the dried beans somewhere cool and dry to sow in 2022 for the next crop. The borlottis were different as they are beans that you leave to…