Gardening Tips Week Ending 5th June 2014.
Gardening Tips Week Ending 2nd June 2103.
If, like us, you invested in water tubs before the Winter, you should check they arenít
split as you will need them now. If they are, they will of course be empty, but you may be able to get them replaced under guarantee, as they were obviously not up to the job they were sold for. If they have been full over Winter there will probably be lots of debris in the bottom such as rotting leaves that will need cleaning out. A tight fitting, custom made, lid will stop this, keep the water clean, will prevent midges and may stop some evaporation if we get any hot weather. If you can get a piece of wood cut roughly to cover the tank instead, this will help.
Tips For Week Ending June 8th 2012
It should be safe to plant out everything now, but with our mixed up weather you never know. The old saying was ďNeíer cast a clout Ďtill May is out,Ē that means when the Hawthorn is in flower there will be no more frosts, so keep your fingers crossed and hope that it is correct. Some of the hedges seem to be covered over with white flowers and a few red Hawthorn trees dotted that are about look lovely as well.
Trees and shrubs are best planted when they are dormant in the cold months of the year, but when planting them in the Summer, it is a good idea to stand them in a bucket of water for an hour or two before planting. Then make your hole ready and add a good amount of water before putting in your tree or shrub while the ground is still wet. By soaking the deeper soil this way it encourages the roots to go down for water instead of just growing at the surface. After filling in the hole, especially if it is hot, dry weather, water again and use some home made compost, bark chippings, or even spent compost, as a mulch to keep the soil damp.
The green house is better having a good watering early in the morning, but do remember to keep the windows open at the top as heat rises and can then escape. Simply splashing a bucket of water on to the slabbed floor of a greenhouse when it is hot will help to cool it down. Glass whitening mixtures can be bought everywhere that will provide light shade for the greenhouse and also reduce the temperature. The whitening should be roughly painted over the roof every few weeks as it will wash off after a few heavy downpours!
Gardening Tips For week Ending June 3rd 2011.†
You should have finished sowing all bedding plants in the greenhouse, but now the soil has warmed up, it is still not too late for some outdoor sowings. Things like Runner Beans, Chrysanthemums and Sweet Peas should be growing well and have been planted out. When planting Beans it is a good idea to plant something that flowers well, near to them, to attract the Bees to pollinate the flowers, or the beans will not set so well. My son replanted our Raspberry bed this Winter with various Currant bushes and put a lot of small flowering bulbs of all sorts round them which flowered early and attracted more insects to the bed to help set the fruit. As the bulbs have gone over he has now planted lots of small herbs like Parsley, Chives, Sage etc to make the most of the space.†
The warmer weather has started to bring out the Aphids and other pests, so I like to hang a couple of the sticky yellow cards in the greenhouse that are especially designed to catch Whitefly, Green fly and Black fly, but not Ladybirds. As we use these no sprays are needed in the Greenhouse and we also encourage birds in the garden because they clear plants of all Aphids, Ants and even Slugs outside, consequently, no chemicals or Slug pellets are needed at all, anywhere.†
There seems to be a terrific amount of young vegetable plants for sale in the garden Centres that can all be planted now, as well as many herbs and unusual things like Sweet Corn. If you are tempted to grow some Sweet Corn they need to be planted in blocks, or in a double row to aid pollination. The tassels, which grow near the tips of each plant, will wind pollinate the lower buds that develop into the cobs. Sweet Corn cobs are lovely when picked fresh from the plant and used straight away. Having nowhere to grow any last year, I put 4 plants in a very large tub. The cobs were a bit small, but very tasty. This year we have an allotment so my son has put a few more seeds in to give them a proper try.†
The Daffodils and the other early flowering bulbs have finished now, so when all the foliage has died off, you can take the bulbs from any pots and lift them from the borders in your garden, to dry them off. Then they can be stored in the nets that bought fruit, or onions are often packed in. If you donít have any you can use some old tights, but do not store any bulbs in plastic bags or else the bulbs will sweat and go mouldy. The garage, or shed are ideal places as long as the nets are hung up out of the way of any mice. Some of the late Spring and early Summer bulbs are still making a good show now though, so leave those for a while yet.†
Well thatís all for now.
Cheerio. Frances Hartley.
Article Week Ending June 5th
in the garden is coming on nicely now, but we
could do with some rain. Our five water tubs were empty by May 11th.
Weíre never satisfied are we? The farmers in some areas will be
getting their sprayers out soon to irrigate their crops. Just about all
bedding plants should be planted out by now, although it is still worth
putting in some of the later flowering types. Most vegetable plants
should be growing well with Runner Beans climbing up their canes, but
you need to keep an eye on some of them for water, especially things
like onions and Shallots or they will pack up growing and run to seed.
hope my Courgettes will fruit this year as last year they flowered well,
but not a single fruit set as they produced only male flowers. I kept
talking to them, but it made no difference they were still naughty!
There is a good range of Herb plants on sale everywhere and if you are
not normally in the habit of using herbs why not be adventurous and try
some. They can be grown in pots individually, or several different ones
can be grown in a fairly shallow tub together, but do not put Mint with
them of course, or it will take over. We grew some Little Gem Lettuce in
a box like crate that was only nine inches deep and they grew well. It
was nice to pick and eat a lovely fresh lettuce whenever we wanted.
Tomato, or fruit boxes, can often be had from the green grocers who are
usually glad to get rid of them. Spring Onions and Radishes will grow in
the same type of shallow container, so there is no need for a vegetable
plot. There are some Tomatoes that are sold to grow inside a greenhouse
in grow bags, but they will also grow out-doors in large pots, about 10
inches, or even in the garden, but of course they will need regular
watering as they can be very thirsty when it is hot. We find Gardeners
Delight, very good and tasty, even though they are only a small tomato.
grass will often need cutting now and the cuttings will make good
compost, but they must be spread out in thin layers otherwise they will
make a thick smelly block. They can be mixed with vegetable peelings,
broken egg shells, tea bags, dead cut flowers, small broken twigs and
even vacuum cleaners bags if they are broken up. In fact almost anything
can go on except glass, plastic and cooked food, such as meat, that
might attract rats. About twice a year it is a good idea to sprinkle
some garden lime on to the heap. If looked after properly there will be
no smell at all. Another point to remember is do not put bits cut from
Potatoes where the eyes were, or you will have potatoes growing in the
all this sunshine and dry weather donít forget that the birds need
water, both to drink and wash in.
thatís all for now.
Tips June 2009
should be growing well in the greenhouse now and starting to flower. If
like me, you havenít seen many insects about to pollinate them, you
can gently tap the canes each day to help to distribute the pollen. I
may have mentioned before about what to do if the bottom leaves start to
go yellow, but will remind you anyway. Yellowing of the leaves on Tomato
plants and many other plants is usually a sign that they are getting
short of Magnesium Sulphate. To cure this water round the roots of the
tomato plants with some water containing a solution of Epsom Salts at
about 1 teaspoonful to 1 pint of water.
was a short article in the daily paper saying that plant nurseries
generally and especially growers of large quantities of salad crops are
importing Lady Birds to keep crops clear of Aphids. Using natures own
natural little predators to keep pests at bay is very ďGreenĒ and
environmentally friendly. You can buy little packs of eggs or larvae
from specialist dealers to put in your own greenhouse, but they are
quite expensive. Myself, I never use insecticides in the garden and
certainly not in the greenhouse, but I do hang up the sticky yellow
cards that you can buy. The cards are specially made for greenhouses and
are not toxic. Aphids go for yellow and will get stuck on the cards as
will many other insects such as flies, but Ladybirds, are not attracted
by them so are perfectly safe.
should be safe to put all bedding plants out now as well as vegetable
plants such as Runner Beans, Courgettes, etc.
need a little protection as they donít seem to like the wind on them,
but are quite easy to grow in either a glass or polythene greenhouse.
are trying Sugar Snap Peas, Okra and Radish Mooli in pots this year, so
I will tell you how they do later on. Lets hope the Runner Beans do
better this time as nobody I have spoken to seemed to do very well last
Rhubarb has done really well this year with good stems and the leaves
could almost be used as umbrellas. If you leave the stems too long
before you pick them they can get very tough, so make sure you only pick
the young ones to eat unless you cover the plant with something like a
very large upturned plant pot to draw them up.
You might want to try growing a few vegetables in large pots as there are plenty of young plants for sale in the garden centres. It is easy to transplant young vegetable plants, but remember that root vegetables are best not disturbed after sowing as it can cause the roots to fork or divide. Sow things like Beetroot and Carrots directly where you want them and thin them out afterwards. If your vegetable plot is full you can easily grow Beetroot and Carrots in borders among bedding plants as they have rather attractive leaves.
thatís all for now.
Gardening Tips Week Ending June 1st
For my Birthday this year two of my sons took me to the ďDorothy Clive GardensĒ on the Nantwich road from Stone. The gardens are built in a quarry and are fairly steep, but the paths are gravelled and the few steps there are have rails at the side. The main attraction is the huge variety of Rhododendrons and Azaleas. Unfortunately they donít last for long, but are very colourful during their peak time in May. There are banks of white, yellow, orange, red, pink and mauve everywhere. A few Bluebells were still out as were the white and red Brooms and the lovely yellow cup shaped flowers of the Freemontedendron. We also saw a wooden pavilion tucked away with a white Wisteria trained along the front of it. Then we came across a long arch of covered in laburnum with itís racemes of yellow flowers hanging down. One of my sons is 6 foot and he had to duck once or twice to negotiate the path between the mass of hanging flowers, but it looked really good.
There is a restaurant and there are various grassy places with benches where one could have a rest or picnic. It was a beautiful day out and made a memorable birthday.
Well back to gardening and getting those tubs and baskets filled. The weather is so changeable, but it should be safe to put all those bedding plants out now and also Runner Bean plants. With Runner Beans I like to make a trench and spread a few sheets of newspaper in the bottom, not a thick layer though, or it wonít rot very well. If your vacuum cleaner bag needs to be emptied spread the contents of that along as well, then fill in with some good soil. I like to add some water retaining crystals and some slow release fertilizer mixed with soil before completely topping up. I also add some of the water crystals and slow release fertilizer to baskets and tubs.
Late Chrysanthemums should be ready for their last potting soon. If you have Tomatoes flowering in the greenhouse and havenít seen any bees to pollinate them, you can do it yourself. When watering the Tomatoes in the morning, give the canes supporting them, a gentle shake and this will make the pollen fly about and aid pollination.
Well thatís all for now.
Tips week Ending 6th June
have had such a long dry windy spell the soil was so hard I couldnít
put a fork in my garden, but it is gradually improving now with the
addition of lots of home made compost. My 3 water tubs were all empty so
I was glad to see some rain. The only problem is that the rain brings
out the slugs and if you have trouble with slugs and snails crawling up
planted tubs there is now something to stop them;- It is called ďSlug
barrier copper tapeĒ and is easy to stick round tubs and troughs. I
tried it last year with success and have put fresh on again this year.
The tape can be bought from most garden centres and probably from all
sorts of other garden shops. It comes in 4 metre rolls, (roughly 12 Ĺ
foot) priced at £4.99.
Rowan or Mountain Ash trees have been smothered in flowers this year so
there should be plenty of berries for the birds later on in the Autumn
and Winter. The trees are suitable for a small garden and the flowers
are highly scented. Everybody knows of the red-berried variety, but I
also have a yellow berried and white-berried one that has pale pink
flowers. We have about a dozen Rowans growing down the length of our
short road that I have grown from the berries since we moved in 14 years
ago. The different coloured berries look attractive on the trees in the
Autumn, but they are not only good for the birds to eat, because if they
are boiled with apple they make a tasty jelly.
should be all right to put hanging baskets out now and you can also get
your tubs planted up because the danger of frost should have passed.
Runner Beans, Lettuce, Courgettes and any other vegetables will be all
right to plant out as well. I am trying Squash outside this year and
have also put out some Golden Berry plants. In case they are not very
well known the fruit is sold in small packets in supermarkets just
labelled as Physallis. This is a bit misleading as the Chinese Lanterns
are also called Physallis. They are all the same family but different
varieties, with the ones you can eat called Physallis Edula. Some
restaurants now put a few of the berries in with things like fruit
salads and round the plates as a garnish with things like sliced melon.
My family have been eating Physallis berries for years and they can be
eaten fresh as a fruit but they can also be cooked and used in pies.
Well that's all for now
Tips Week Ending June 24th.
Sweet Peas should be flowering well now, but to keep them so, they should not be allowed to set seed, or they will think, ďJob doneĒ and stop flowering. Also the more flowers you cut the more you will get. Tomatoes should be fruiting now. If so and you have baby ones on, start feeding the plants with a high potash feed such as Tomorite. If you give a Nitrogen feed you will get a lot of growth, but not much fruit. I have not seen many bees about yet to pollinate plants so when watering the tomatoes I like to give the support canes a little shake to disturb the pollen.
Any winter and Spring flowering shrubs should be pruned without delay if not already done. If you can get into garden Centres you will find most of them are clearing out Dahlias, Spring flowering bulbs and the big beautiful Lilies. They will all be reduced quite a lot now and will still flower as the flower will already be in the bulbs waiting for a good drink and a little T.L.C. but do check that the bulbs are not shrivelled.
If you are fond of Salads sow a few seeds of Lettuce at a time and a few more after a couple of weeks. If bending is a problem sow them in a trough stood on bricks. The cut and come again Lettuce, where you can pull a few leaves at a time, are quite good if you donít mind having small leaves. Scatter a few Radish seeds in between the lettuce as well if you like them because they will be ready at a different time.
If slugs and snails are a problem, Vaseline smeared round pots and tubs about 1 Ĺ -2 inches up from the bottom will stop them. I was fed up with them blocking the spout of my watering can so that was what I did and it worked.
All for now.