News - Page 5

Now is the perfect time to sow French, climbing and runner beans

Now is the perfect time to sow French, climbing and runner beans into pots under cover. It’s a great year to do it, as 2017 has been declared Year of the Bean, so there are loads of new varieties to try plus old heritage favourites returning to our shelves too!

Sow runner beans

Most climbing beans are frost tender, so it’s worth waiting till late spring to sow as the risk of late frost is much lower. Sow about 5cm deep in small p...

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Create a bed of hardy annuals

Create a bed of hardy annuals for a splash of colour that costs pennies. It’s a great way to fill a patch of spare ground quickly and cheaply, as annuals grow quickly from seed, flower enthusiastically all summer then die out – leaving the space free for a redesign next year.

Hardy annuals

The bed can be any shape or size, but find a sunny spot to maximise flower power. Weed thoroughly, then fork over the soil and rake to create...

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Plant of the week: Prunus

Flowering cherries all belong to the Prunus family and offer such staggering variety you’ll find one for every spot in the garden. All offer a long season of interest, with spring blossom and yellowy-orange autumn colour. Some are even at their best in winter, such as copper-barked Tibetan cherry (P. serrula) and P. x subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’, which flowers from November to February.

For spring blossom it’s hard to beat snowy white ‘Taihaku’, the...

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Buddleja, pulmonaria and heather are among the top plants for wildlife

Buddleja, pulmonaria and heather are among the top plants for wildlife according to a new survey carried out by the Wildlife Gardening Forum.

Top plants for wildlife

The group asked volunteers around the country to score a wide range of garden plants. They found that butterflies were drawn to buddleja before anything else, justifying its common name of ‘butterfly bush’. Second-best for butterflies was tall, airy Verbena bonariensis. Bumb...

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Now is the time to start frost-tender vegetables

Now is the time to start frost-tender vegetables including courgettes, cucumbers, French beans and squash. You’ll find these on sale at the garden centre in Holt both as seed or as young plants, ready-grown for you. These plants are destroyed by cold weather so can’t be planted outdoors until after the last threat of frost has passed: luckily they grow at lightning speed, so it doesn’t matter that you’re starting them off later in spring.

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Fill your garden with sweetpeas

Fill your garden with sweet peas for a summer full of scent and colour! You’ll find potfuls of seedlings on sale at the garden centre here in Holt right now, ready to go straight into the garden at the foot of a sturdy wigwam or obelisk. Put them near a door, seat or path so you can really appreciate their simple yet delightful flowers and lovely scent.

Sweet peas

Sweet peas thrive in the open ground or in containers of rich pottin...

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Plant of the week: Viburnum

Handsome, versatile, and in full flower in winter and early spring when there’s little else around: every garden should have a viburnum. Many of the winter flowerers are fragrant – snip a bloom-laden branch in December to bring indoors and fill the house with perfume – and some also have handsome blue, red or black berries.

Many are evergreen and all are more or less maintenance free: just trim back to size if they outgrow their space. Find them a warm...

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What to do in the garden in April

April showers may feature this month – but so does increasingly warm sunshine, making planting and pruning a pleasure. Here are a few of the jobs to be getting on with this month:

General tasks:

  • Clean water features scrubbing off algae, fallen leaves and other debris then rinsing before refilling.
  • Rake over patches of coarse grass in the lawn to raise them up before mowing so they’re...
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Give spring bulbs a little TLC now

Give spring bulbs a little TLC now and they’ll bounce back even better next year for an even bigger and more colourful display.

Spring Bulbs

As blooms fade, pinch or cut them out to stop the bulbs wasting energy producing unwanted seedheads. This make sure that all the plant’s energy goes back into the bulb and encourages bigger clumps to form.

The only exception is bulbs you are naturalising in long grass, like snowdrops...

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Slugs and snails are back in top spot as the most-hated pest

Slugs and snails are back in top spot as the most-hated pest for gardeners, after a year of playing second fiddle to box tree moth. The slimy critters topped the annual RHS poll of the most asked-about pests and diseases, based on enquiries they received at their Gardening Advice Service.

Slugs and Snails 

Honey fungus was named most troublesome plant disease for the 21st year running, with RHS scientists identifying...

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