Amateur Gardening 20-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.

United Kingdom
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51 Números

en este número

1 min.
editor’s note

“With just over a month to go before Christmas, I wonder how many of you are thinking of making or creating gifts for friends and family from the garden? This year, I’ve made gin with sloes picked from a nearby field and decanted into small bottles, whilst my fiancée Gill has made chutney from our apples (sadly not our toms, as the crop was awful). Gill is a natural at houseplants, and will also be potting up cuttings of her various streptocarpus to give away. Have a think about what you could give from the garden. It promotes what we do, and it’s environmentally sound. Contact us: Subscriptions: 0330 333 1113 Editorial: 0330 3903732 Email: Advertising: 0330 3906566…

2 min.
it’s pruning season again

AS autumn advances and the leaves fall from the trees leaving their skeletons bare, it is time to think about pruning. The dormant season between now and late February is when we should be out there cutting back those trees and shrubs that need a trim. Most deciduous varieties, including free-standing apples and pears, roses, fruit bushes and summer-flowering ornamental shrubs are given a trim now. It keeps them in shape, improves fruiting and flowering and also offers the gardener the opportunity to give them a once-over and make sure they are healthy. Pruning can seem daunting to the new gardener, but by following a few simple tips you can remove most of the worry. Always start with sharp, clean tools that are adequate for the job. Secateurs are ideal for thinner shoots, while…

3 min.
shrubs to leave alone

NOT every tree and shrub will benefit from pruning in autumn – in fact some can react badly and even fatally to being cut back now. Evergreens should be left alone as they are more susceptible to cold weather. Frosty weather can burn and damage fresh cuts, causing dieback and blackening. Instead of pruning now, leave them until summer when new growth will cover pruning cuts and they are unlikely to fall foul of low temperatures. You should also steer clear of early-flowering deciduous trees and shrubs including forsythia, weigela and philadelphus. These colourful characters produce their flowers on stems grown the previous year, so if you remove new growth now you will remove their chance to blossom. Instead, prune them immediately after flowering to give them lots of time to grow for the…

3 min.
is a better peat replacement possible?

WITH the Government poised to ban peat by 2024 and TV gardener Monty Don recently describing peat harvesting as ‘an act of eco-vandalism’, demand for peat-free compost is set to go through the roof. Most current peat-frees contain ingredients such as bark, coir, wood fibre or composted green waste, but there isn’t enough to meet demand (AG, 23 October), leaving the industry in a race to find novel materials to replace the 2.3million cubic metres of peat used by UK horticulture every year. Paludiculture, where sphagnum moss is commercially grown, is being hailed as an eco-friendly alternative to digging-up peat bogs. Garden expert and AG columnist Peter Seabrook said he has seen the technique in action on reflooded, cut-away bogs on the Dutch-German border, with sphagnum-planted areas ‘annually recovering a five to…

2 min.
what to do with dahlias

BY now many parts of the UK should have experienced their first frost of winter, which is the cue to take the next step with your dahlia tubers to see them safely through winter. They should be left alone until their leaves have been blackened by frost and then you can either lift, dry and overwinter their tubers undercover or, if your soil drains well and your garden is sheltered, leave them in the soil. If you decide to do the latter, give the tubers as much protection as possible with a generous layer of mulch. Whether you lift or leave, reduce the top growth to around 4in (10cm) of the soil. Don’t remove old stems completely as the plant needs them for when it ends out new shoots next spring. Store the tubers…

2 min.
hellebore happiness

HELLEBORUS niger, also known as Christmas or Lenten roses, are one of the earliest and most reliable of spring flowers. Sturdy perennials, they grow to be sizeable plants with innumerable hybrids, so they flower in a stunning range of colours and styles, from deepest maroon to the most delicate cream and white. I wouldn’t be without them, not just because of their glorious colors but because they are so undemanding. They flower for ages and are happy in most soils as long as their spot is fertile, well-drained and slightly shaded (pale green stinking hellebore – Helleborus foetidus – will also grow in deep shade). Once established, all they need is regular mulching to keep their soil fertile and moist, and the removal of their old leaves in winter to make room for…