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The summer is just about over and the harvesting has been taking place for a fair few months. I have been getting courgettes, tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, for a while now and they are beginning to show telltale signs of either blight. With children back in school and the weather a bit dodgy I have taken it upon myself to be the chutney queen this year, trying out lots of different recipes and phoning up friends to ask how they make theirs. read more
August is a time to reap in your harvests, this is sort of true with me and sort of not as this has not been a very good year for me. read more
Here’s July’s list of jobs from our garden guru Madeleine Cardozo
Going outside today determined to have a look at and a weed of my vegetable patch, I found that some things were actually doing OK. read more
Gardening crisis? Set yourself 20 minute tasks says Garden Guru Madeleine Cardozo
I have been planting like mad – still, and weeding like mad. There is so much to do, lawns to mow, edges to trim, hedges to cut. read more
Here’s a list of catch-up jobs from our garden guru Madeleine Cardozo
Finally summer must be here, everything has started growing like mad – including the weeds! A good excuse to spend lots of time in the garden. read more
It’s National Gardening Week and Madeleine Cardozo has been out there persevering in torrential rain. Rain or no, here’s her list of jobs for this week…. read more
Rotivating, sowing seeds, pruning and planting out – it’s all going on in the garden now, says Madeleine Cardozo.
1.Rotivate. The softer and smaller your soil the better your plants will grow in it, especially if you are planting seeds in directly. Make it easy for them. read more
The sun is shining and lawn mowing season is upon us, says Garden Guru Madeleine Cardozo. Time to get stuck in….
1. Sow more seeds, lettuces and rocket can now be sown every other week, only about 15 seeds at a time, the packets contain hundreds, don’t use them all up at once! This is called ‘staggered’ sowing. Sow flower seeds, marigolds, nasturtiums, sunflowers – we are holding a family competition on who can grow the tallest and best – lupines, delphiniums, aquilegia’s – these cost a fortune in garden centres and don’t take long to grow at all, I also find them easy to grow.
Sow peas and beans, this may seem a little early, but I am going to have two batches, you can wait a few more weeks for these if you prefer.
2.Transplant your broad beans out into the vegetable patch, but only if you have a small poly tunnel in which to cover them with, a frost could kill them. If you sowed sweet peas last Autumn they should be also ready to be planted out, try to keep these covered too with maybe some kind of cloche or solar bell. If your tomatoes are large enough, you may feel that they are ready to be transplanted from their seed trays into larger pots and put into a greenhouse/on windowsills. Mine are getting large and leggy, so I will. Use ordinary compost with a 1/8th mix of sand to help with retaining water.
3. Dig or rotavate beds to get ready for planting out your potatoes.
March is upon us, there are jobs in the vegetable garden that need doing and the weather this week has been glorious. So, no excuses says Garden Guru Madeleine Cardozo. read more
February might seem like the one month of the year when you can just forget about the garden. But, says Madeleine Cardozo, it’s actually the time to catch up on sowing and planting.
There’s snow out there (a tiny bit anyway) and the ground is rock solid. Seems like the perfect opportunity to light the fire and leave the garden to its own (frozen) devices. But Get some indoor planting under your belt and you’ll be set for the Spring.
1. Sow seeds in seed trays, pots or root-trainers such as broad beans, cabbages, chillis, some cucumbers, horseradish, kale, lettuce, peppers and tomatoes. All these seeds are better off if they are covered and kept either on the windowsill or in the greenhouse.
2. You can still plant out garlic cloves, but they will only produce 1 large garlic bulb rather than the normal cluster of cloves.
3.If you have manure dollop this over vegetable beds everywhere except where you are going to plant root vegetables such as carrots.
4. If you are going to prune your fruit trees now is a good time before they spring into action. Do not prune fruit trees that have stones in them such as peach, cherry, plum, apricot… as a rule these should be pruned in the early summer.
5. Chit (sprout) your potato seeds. You can now buy potato seeds, select the ones you want and then before planting them spread them out on a tray or in egg boxes and leave them in a light airy place. This will allow the shoots to sprout. Leave them for about 4-6 weeks.