Garden Survival Guides
Why not escape the hectic run-up to Christmas by getting out in your garden? There’s plenty of things to do, not least protecting your plants and garden equipment from the cold.
Hotter than Tahiti, Brazil and Cor-phew! Headlines scream ‘heatwave’ as gardens plead for help. It is warm and dry so here's what to do to keep things happy in the garden: water, obviously, is required and in the absence of rain your hosepipe will be on red alert. Use water wisely and only water plants that need water! Established trees and shrubs will be fine in the dry weather but baskets, containers and anything newly planted will need your help. And leave your lawn alone as, yes, it will turn beige but equally, yes, it will turn green when it rains again.
No longer do gardeners have to spend their weekends and evenings trawling through the age-hardened pages of endless magazines, or struggle with heavy, outdated textbooks just to find the answer to a simple horticultural question. In today’s world, thanks to the wonders of the internet, a quick search yields thousands of results in mere seconds. Atop Google’s results for all things flowers and vegetables? The UK’s premier gardening and allotment blogs, of course.
Is there a better way of discovering the tried and tested tricks of the trade, the old tips, and the new ideas, than spending a quiet moment or two reading the musings of experienced gardeners, conveniently condensed into relatable, entertaining articles? We think not. We’ve done our research and analysed dozens of different blogs to find our favourites; why not take the time
It has been a good few years since we’ve seen a snowfall quite as impressive as this week’s influx. And, as the latest snow storm hit the UK, we suddenly all remembered that we meant to buy a snow shovel, we fully intended to have some rock salt kept in the garage and we were definitely going to get some of that fluffy white stuff to protect our plants. Most of us didn’t.
As the snow and ice starts to thaw, don’t put it off again. We’ve got some key tips so at least you’ll know what to do next time the cold weather strikes, covering Britain with a blanket of snow and ice. While the snow has the brilliant ability to turn everyday sights into beautiful, picturesque scenes, it can also cause a multitude of frustrating problems. It’s best to be prepared.
I'm not sure where the year is going as August tips over onto the calendar and everything in the garden is growing so quickly. In the greenhouse, the cucumbers and tomatoes are, to say the least, prolific. Cucumbers are being passed over the garden hedge to neighbours and no visitor to the house goes away empty-handed. I do wish the aubergines would get a move on though. Lots of leaves, plenty of flowers but no fruit yet so I'm helping the pollination along by tapping the plants as I do with the tomatoes (fingers crossed they’ll hurry up as moussaka is a favourite!).
Temperatures in the greenhouse reach extraordinarily high levels on sunny days, even in the UK. I always make sure to open the door and damp the floor (but I still reckon the temperatures have 'cooked' some embryonic cucumbers). However, the plants do look great so any of the few fruits that fall off early won't be missed.
I've got a lot of plants growing in containers and they need a litt
March at last – and it's spring! Well, that’s the idea but forget about what is says it is – what exactly is it doing out there? If the soil is frozen and waterlogged then don't waste your money and time in sowing seeds that will rot in the ground. Either wait until things get warmer, and it surely will as the sun is already sending the temperature in my greenhouse soaring (and then plummeting at night) or think about sowing indoors. Windowsills and greenhouses start to groan at this time of year as the patience of most gardeners breaks and seed packets ripped open. There are thousands of different plants to be grown from seed and the best piece of advice is to read the packet. If it says sow seeds and place in a propagator at 25C then that is best. If you skimp or change on instructions you will not get the results.
Outdoors and plants are looking superb with camellias and magnolias taking centre stage in my own garden. I love magnolias – from large,
After the relative slumbers of the first month of the year, things begin to hasten now that February has blown in. The gales have had a few fence panels down but my new greenhouse stands firm. Gusts in the Midlands have been nothing like parts of the north, so I am happy the structure is here to stay and where it was put up! I still haven't sorted the sparky out to run electricity to it yet (I'm, still recovering from the quote for the armoured cable and he has become incredibly busy) but that is now due end of this month, so I'll need to keep a careful watch on the weather with anything I do in there that might be sensitive to frost.
Outdoors the garden is beginning to look like spring with daffodils now joining the crocus, primroses, snowdropsand hellebores. All seem to be a few weeks ahead of themselves, and here's tempting fate, the long range forecast seems to indicate relative mild conditions, so hopefully nothing will come to a cropper.
I have noticed a few sl
November can be a mixed up month. The halfway house between autumn and winter when leaves, particularly this year, cling on and show wonderful colour, whilst birds start tapping at windows asking for feeders to be filled and birdbaths to be cleaned and topped up. It's also the traditional month to be burning dried twigs, cuttings and twigs. It's a cathartic process of clean up and a superb time to get things in tip top order before the real winter strikes. Sheds and greenhouses can be tidied and any stored crops in either should be checked for any signs of rots. Mice are coming back in from the fields so make sure they haven't spotted your onions and root crops. Teeth marks on your tubers are most off-putting. There's also plenty to be planting in November. Wallflowers look and smell terrific in spring if plants are put in now. Shrubs can be planted if the soil is dry and warm. If the soil sticks to your boots then it is too wet to work. If it is deep frozen then keep your spade in
Posted: April 07, 2015|Categories: Garden Survival Guides|
About Nigel Clarke
Nigel works on both Foods Matter and Green Legacy Guernsey websites. The foods matter website is an absolute must if you suffer from allergies and is run by the wonderful Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, who has also provided an article for Green Fingers. The article on Green Legacy Guernsey will help you get a picture of how after about fifty years working with plants Nigel found himself writing pointers on how to create an Allergy friendly garden. Another site recommended by Nigel is Safe Gardening. This website is the brainchild of Thomas Leo Ogren, whose latest book will provide you with everything you need to know on creating an allergy friendly garden which is now
Posted: March 24, 2015|Categories: Garden Survival Guides|
About Michelle Berriedale-Johnson
Michelle runs a site devoted to aiding those suffering from allergies - http://www.foodsmatter.com/ and also runs her own blog here. She is a self professed average Jane gardener who has achieved fantastic results.
"I am not a professional gardener. Truth be told, I am not a very good amateur gardener either. I have never managed to work out what the PH of my soil is beyond north London clay, my cuttings rarely throw a shoot, the seeds I plant wither before they hit teenage-dom and on average, over the year, I doubt that I spend more than two hours a week gardening. Yet, somehow, I seem to have created this quite large London garden which evokes cries of ‘oh, what a wonderful garden’ from almost everyone who sees it..."