We seem to be having a pretty fair summer this year (sorry if, by the time you read this, rains of biblical proportions have returned!) and the hard winter seems to have promoted really good flowering. Recent prolonged sunny weather, Read more »
Sowing in August will maximise yields from your garden. Early August is a good time to plant turnips, wild rocket, chard and perpetual spinach, Little Gem lettuce, spring cabbage and oriental leaves. Day lengths are declining now, so timing is important. Your altitude and micro-climate have a bearing, and you are also gambling how warm the autumn will be. Generally the beginning of the month is best to sow.
Time to take stock; what have you got planned for your garden this month? Yew hedges should have had their annual cut by now; summer borders tidied but not necessarily cut back to nothing (this can wait until spring); too early for blanket mulching; too late for taking cuttings from tender perennials; too late for applying herbicides – what can you do?
As the summer draws to a close, bare earth begins to appear in the vegetable garden, and we are always keen to keep as much of it as possible green with growth. Apart from garlic, over-wintering onions and broad beans, Read more »
The last gasp of summer or the first breath of autumn? September keeps you guessing as so much depends on the weather and how benign it turns out to be. Of course the legendary, and these days almost mythical, ‘Indian Summer’ can make this month a real bonus.
Good watering is a precise art and one worth mastering, as the right amount of water makes a big difference to crop growth. Above all, avoid over-watering, especially on germinating seeds and seedlings. Factors to consider are: how warm is it, what is your soil, and what plant are you watering?
Oh dear! I really shouldn’t have tempted fate, last month, by suggesting that July might actually be warm and sunny; cue Biblical deluge. It has meant that I’ve saved loads of time in not having to water my remaining containers so often and everything in the ground has romped away.
The garden show season continues; Last month I was at the ‘Gardeners’ World Live’ show at the NEC in Birmingham. I hadn’t set foot in the place since I’d last filmed there in 1995. To begin with the scale of Read more »
It’s a good year for greenfly, blackfly and aphids. The real answer is to grow strong, healthy plants, and encourage as many natural predators as possible. We’ll look at why spraying works against you in the long run.
The great thing about writing these articles at the last minute is that it gives me the chance to be a little bit topical. I was at the ‘RHS Chelsea Flower Show’ yesterday and, apart from a surreal moment when Read more »