Garden Tips Week Ending 11th July 2014.
Gardening Tips Week ending 3rd July 2013
Tips For week Ending July 6th 2012.
Once again it’s 2 or 3 days with your Summer clothes on and then it’s back to Autumn weather with lots of wind and torrential rain. I won’t grumble too much though as the garden flowers are still looking lovely even if they are quite bedraggled.
you like flowers for the house and like to grow some of your own there
are quite a few easy perennials that are ready to plant and on sale in
the garden centres now. But you can easily grow your own from seed if
you prefer, however, they need to go in as soon as possible and it is a
bit late for some varieties. Many seedlings of perennials are best kept
in a cold greenhouse or frame for the Winter and then planted out the
second year. We have a good selection in the garden for cutting now,
which were grown from seed last year. The trailing Lysymachia, or
creeping Jenny makes a real splash of bright yellow in tubs and baskets
in sun or shade. It is always on sale in garden centres, but if you
plant a bit in the corner of your garden you can keep it growing on for
cuttings next year. It will almost root itself as it trails across the
garden and all you have to do is dig up some pieces early on in the
season and pot them up to bring them on for your baskets and tubs. There
is also a tall variety that grows to 2 ft 6 or 3 ft high and is just as
bright, so don’t get them confused as this type might look a bit silly
in a hanging basket!
I have just re-done my vases of flowers for the house with flowers out of the garden, including Pyrethrums, Marguerites and Campanulas that are commonly called Canterbury Bells of which there are a rich blue and white. I also have Monarda Didyma, or Bergamot seedlings coming on that will be planted out next year. The Gladiola are starting to come into flower now and they are ideal for cutting as they last well in water.
the kitchen window ledge there are 3 Amaryllis bulbs in flower and they
flower each year even though all of the bulbs are 5 or 6 years old. The
bulbs are of course potted in pots that are only just big enough for
them and planted so that they are half above the compost to discourage
“Pups” from forming. They get a good baking on the upstairs window
ledge in full sun after flowering, when the leaves are allowed to slowly
die off and are kept dry in the same pots until Spring. Then they are
gradually woken up with a little water. There is also a Hibiscus on the
kitchen windowsill that I keep taking cuttings off. The Hibiscus looks
so bright and being in line with the front door it makes a cheery
greeting as most people look straight ahead when entering the hall.
Tomatoes are growing well in the greenhouse now and often get a gentle
tap to disturb the pollen and set the fruits in case there are no bees
the months of June, July and August everything is in full growth in the
garden as well and there is always lots of tidying up to do. Flowers
should be dead-headed regularly to stop seed pods forming which will
halt flowering and bushes and hedges made up of Privet, Buxus, or
Lonicera Nitidia should be trimmed as well as conifer hedges.
that’s all for now.
Tips For Week Ending July 3rd. 2011
I think some places were getting desperate, but at last we had
some rain on and off last month. Some people were putting sprinklers on
their lawns which is not necessary especially on established ones,
because even if they go a bit brown and discoloured, they will soon
recover again with a quick shower of rain. We have kept the birds fed
and watered during the dry weather, but they have rewarded us by
pinching bits of the coir liners out of my baskets for their nests. My
wire stand and hanging basket have had to be re-done with some more moss
to fill in the spaces as the cheeky birds had taken so much lining the
soil was all running out. I suppose it was a nice soft and easy source
of nesting material for them.
Autumn, some Alyssum plants that had gone to seed, were left in a narrow
border for the birds. A lot of the seed must have escaped being eaten
and started germinating on its own early in the Spring and now we have a
lovely, solid carpet of white filling the bed which looks very nice and
bright. Bedding plants generally, are coming on well now, but there are
still plenty for sale as well as lots of vegetable plants. Why not try a
few such as Lettuce, Spring Onions, Courgettes, the round Carrots, or
the small Cucumbers, in large pots, or boxes from the green grocer.
Beetroot could also be grown in the flower border as the leaves look
nice and give a different colour.
you are growing Tomatoes in the greenhouse it can be a good idea to
gently tap the stems to disturb the pollen in case there are no bees
about to pollinate them. If you have planted young fruit trees, or
bushes, scatter a little slow release fertiliser such as “Growmore”
around them and then water well and cover the soil with bark chippings
to keep the soil damp and suppress the weeds. My peach tree was carrying
lots of small peaches, so I removed one or two from along each of the
branches with lots of fruit on to thin them out and to help the
remainder grow bigger. Other fruit may need thinning as well, but some,
like Pears and Apples, often thin themselves with what is called June
exotic fruit trees are leafing up now, although they are coming late,
including my Pomegranate plant which spent its first winter outside this
year. What a bad choice of winter I chose to plant it, although
surprisingly, it has come through. It has got some die back, but the
buds are bursting into new leaves and more are also coming on nice new
stems produced from ground level. Some Figs, Bays and Eucalyptus, which
looked quite dead after the winter, are also doing the same now and
producing new growth from dormant buds that are often below the soil.
Any dead branch tips without buds showing signs of life, can now be
safely cut off.
you have an outside grapevine with bunches of grapes just forming it is
a good idea to cut the stems above the grapes. Pruning the stem just
above the first leaves that have grown above the grapes makes the plant
put more energy into the grapes instead of making more stem.
For Wk Ending July
of the new fruits we are growing this year is the Tomatillo which is in
the same family as the Golden Berry, Physallis or Cape Gooseberry,
(depending on which name you prefer to call them) We are growing them
like ring culture Tomatoes and they are flowering quite happily now.
Tomatillo’s are supposed to be a little bit spicy so should be nice in
a mixed vegetable dish. The Courgettes that did nothing last year, are
romping away in a grow-bag as well on the greenhouse floor and fruiting
already this year. It seems that they are not too happy with the extra
damp in the greenhouse as some of them are getting Blossom end rot, but
according to the experts a regular watering with a Seaweed feed should
cure the problem. My
Tomatoes are setting well and will need a feed regularly with a high potash
feed such as Tomorite. My Runner Beans are flowering, but my Meddlar and
Peach trees finished flowering some time ago and have lots of fruit
growing very nicely. My Fig tree is loaded as usual, but we need a bit
more rain to make the fruit swell!
Some of the more tender shrubs, including one or two Hebes and Penstemmons, did not survive this winter, but those that did are flowering well. When these early flowering shrubs have finished flowering they should be cut back as soon as possible. My Rhododendron has been really good this year and when the flowers have finished, if like me, your soil is not very acid, it is a good idea to give them a feed of Sequested Iron. This counteracts any lime in the soil to make it more acidic, and it helps if you always use rainwater when possible for watering. This treatment also includes Azaleas as well and some fruit, such as Cranberries and Blueberries, also like to be treated the same. It has been suggested that a few pine needles occasionally scattered around the plants will do the job as well as they are acidic, but don’t over do it. Hydrangeas are another plant that can benefit from acidic soil to bring out the true colour of the flowers. Hydrangeas are making a show now, but if the heads are not wanted for drying when they have finished flowering, just snap dead flowers off as close as possible to the flower, as next years flowers form just below the old ones.
it is a bit early to think about next year, but it is a good time to
decide whether you want to continue putting in Summer Bedding plants in
your borders forever, or change to Perennial plants that come up each
year. There is a much wider range of “Herbaceous plants” about now,
with many improved varieties, than there used to be. Mature plants are
in the garden centres now with some in flower, or if you fancy growing
some from seed, it is not too late to sow some of them, but they should
be sown as soon as possible. Perennials are grown one year to flower the
following year and will continue to come up and possibly divide each
year. Bi-annuals grow one year to flower the next year only. (Bedding
Wallflowers sold in bare root bunches in the autumn are a good example)
Annuals grow and flower in the same year. I know most of you will know
all that, but I still sometimes get asked what the differences are by
people who are new to gardening. One thing about buying perennials is
that sometimes you can divide the whole plants into two as soon as you
have bought them. It must be done with care though, or otherwise you can
often take small pieces from round the edges of the main plant and grow
them on in pots.
that’s all for now. Enjoy your gardening.
Tips Week Ending July 4th 2009
The gardens are all looking good now as bedding plants in the
borders, tubs and baskets are growing well and coming into full flower
with masses of colour.
fact everything is growing vigorously in our garden including the lawn
and to save the everlasting job of edging it all round the flower beds,
my son has been putting green plastic lawn edging down. It is rather
awkward to put down, but the job is much easier after some heavy rain,
because then it almost taps into the ground with a rubber mallet, or can
even be pressed in with a well placed boot. Put in properly, so that the
top is just below the lawn edge, it keeps the edge of the lawn tidy,
stops the roots from the lawn coming through and the lawn mower will
still go over it. We have put the edging in because our lawn is full of
“Twitch” or “Couch Grass” as some people call it and the plastic
edging stops the shallow “Twitch” roots from spreading into the
borders. The edging is a bit expensive at about £5 for a 30 foot roll,
but it will last for many years.
putting in the edging and digging the borders we had some heavy rain, so
we put a thick layer of bark chippings on the beds. It not only keeps
the moisture in, but will improve the soil as the worms will gradually
pull the chippings down into the soil over the coming months.
have 4 water buts installed on all the down spouts of the house and with
the changeable weather up until now, as they have been emptied for
watering the tubs etc, one days rain has filled them up ready for the
next few days sunshine.
of the garden plants seem to like the changeable wet and dry spells this
year with the shrubs especially putting on a lot of growth and they have
made lovely splashes of colour with both their early flowering and
though, have been very slow to come into growth this year. In fact if
they were left in the ground over Winter, even in well drained sandy
soil, they could well have rotted with all the wet we had, so it is
are still flowering bulbs on sale which have been reduced, but do check
that the bulbs, tubers or corms have not dried out or shrivelled up
while they have been on sale in the shops. If they have, save your money
as they will do no good.
that’s All For Now.
Tips week Ending 7th July.
It is supposed to be Summer time now and everywhere bright and cheerful with flowers, but enough said about that.
It is a good time to take cuttings of shrubs now, soft tip cuttings or semi-ripe are the easiest. You can buy small bags of cutting compost, but I prefer ordinary compost with either extra fine grit added or I just use compost with a thinnish layer of silver sand on top so that when pushing cuttings in the sand goes in as well. Don’t use builders sand as there will probably be lime in it and it will burn the tender stems.
Take cuttings 2 or 3 inches long, trim off to just below a leaf
joint, take off excess leaves leaving just 2 or 3 small ones, if
remaining leaves are large cut them in half. Cuttings can then be dipped in
rooting powder and put in the pot you have ready prepared. It is best to use a dibber,
old biro, or pencil to make a small hole for each cutting, then firm the
soil round them. You can put several round the edge of the pot as they
seem to root better in company. Cuttings should be put in an unheated
propagator or in a polythene bag, but leave some air in the bag and tie
the top and stand it in a shady, fairly cool place.
should be setting well now so they should be given a potash feed such as
Tomorite, as that encourages the fruit, where as a nitrogen feed
encourages more growth, if you want to grow perennial seeds for
flowering next year, now is the time to sow them. These include primroses and
primulas, winter pansies, penstemons and foxgloves. There are more, but I
will leave it at that. Runner beans are making good growth but I
haven’t seen many bees about yet for pollination. Let’s hope the
weather will warm up and dry up soon.
tips week Ending July 13th 2008
The months are passing by so quickly we shall be seeing Christmas
cards and crackers in the shops soon, but we have had no Summer where we
could laze in the garden and listen to the birds and bees yet.
you have tomatoes in the greenhouse it is wise to give the canes a
gentle shake each day to distribute the pollen as there doesn’t seem
to be many bees about. Another little reminder for you is it’s a good
idea to start giving tomatoes a weekly feed with a high potash
fertilizer such as Tomorite when the young fruit are like small marbles.
If you are going on holiday and cannot get a friend or neighbour to do any necessary watering for you, you can get drip hoses to connect to the tap to water tomatoes etc in the greenhouse. Some seep hoses as they also called can be bought to fit on water tubs rather than the tap. Or another idea is to put a large tub of water with a piece of very thick string or even rope (not Nylon) dangling with one end in the tub and the other end trailed through the soil where the tomatoes are. This is not ideal but will help. Also you should shade the greenhouse and make sure there is plenty of ventilation to keep the temperature down, but ensure that the windows are secure in case the wind gets up while you are away. If you place a really wet, dripping, thick towel or small blanket in the bath with a small amount of water in the bottom as well, house plants that have to be left, can be stood on it. Of course the pots should be well watered first, and if the bath is not suitable and the kitchen sink is not in full sun, you can use that instead.
is the time to trim conifers and tidy them up. Winter and spring
flowering shrubs should have all been trimmed by now, but Spring
flowering perennials that have finished flowering can be lifted and
divided. The whole clump should be uprooted and split with the old
central piece discarded on the compost heap. When replanting the new
young pieces they should be well watered to give them a start and not
forgotten if we have a dry spell. Hostas are better divided earlier in
the Spring and things like Polyanths in the autumn, but things like
Lupins and Red Hot Pokers (Kniphophias) should be finishing flowering
that’s all for now
Cheerio, Frances Hartley
Gardening Article 15/7/06
Hello folks –
This is not really for the garden, but felt I had to write this as I have heard quite a lot of people say Amaryllis bulbs won’t flower a second time. At the moment I have one bulb out with two stems each holding 4 large flowers. It was a dormant bulb when I had it and it is in flower for the third year. I have another different bulb also in bud for the 3rd year. With a little T.L.C. Amaryllis will flower every year for as long as you have them.
When the flowers have died, snap off the heads and leave the stems on 'till they start to go yellow. If you don’t remove them, the old heads might set seed and that drains the energy from the bulb. Later cut the yellow stem down and give the leaves a foliar feed, then water sparingly till the leaves go yellow as well. When they have yellowed give them a very gentle pull and if they don’t come away leave them as they are still feeding the bulb. When all the leaves are off stop watering, peel off any crisp brown bits on the bulb and keep the bulb in full sun for as many hours a day as possible for several weeks. They like a real baking. Do not water at all until you see a green shoot coming up from the centre of the bulb at the start of the next season. Then water sparingly until in full growth. Flowers usually come before the leaves.
When re-potting do not over pot the bulb. There should be barely enough room to put two finger widths between the bulb and pot each side, or you will get lots of babies come up round the bulb and no flowers. When potting these bulbs, half the bulb should be above the compost.
I have flowered Amaryllis from seed which takes about 5 years, and that is why they are so expensive to buy in the shops. If the bulbs are in flower at Christmas it means they have been forced and may miss their natural flowering time, which is round June-July, but if you treat them as described before they should flower the next year.
Well, good luck with them. More gardening next month.