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Emma Crawforth


Latest posts by Emma Crawforth

Gardener's World - Monty's Sweet Pea Experiment

Posted: 26/01/2012 at 16:17

Hello Tootles,

There is a long running debate on when to sow sweet peas. In fact on our very own site we suggest sowing them both before Christmas - see Sarah Raven's video:

http://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/projects/creative-projects/how-to-grow-sweet-peas/327.html

and after Christmas (Jan to May) - see the following project:

http://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/projects/seeds-and-bulbs/how-to-sow-sweet-pea-seeds/330.html

Personally I favour after Christmas. I've had good results from spring sowings. It saves you the hassle of looking after them over winter. Giving them nice fertile soil (dig in lots of organic matter) and watering a lot both help enormously.

Also, the earlier you sow, the earlier they'll flower and ultimately die. Ideally you'd probably sow some early and some late, to have sweet peas for as long as possible.

I hope you get lots of bunches of blooms from yours,

Emma

gardenersworld.com team

Hibiscus

Posted: 25/01/2012 at 16:55

Hello Stephanie,

It sounds as though you've given your hibiscus a good spot and mulching and not pruning it is the right approach.

Have you ever tested your soil? Hardy hibiscus do not thrive in acid soil. If you want to know if you have acid soil you can buy soil testing kits from garden centres. Sometimes some parts of the garden are different from others so it's good to test all over. They also like moist (but free-drained) soil, so it's good to give them plenty of water in the summer.

Having said all that, my dad moved into a flat where there was a hibiscus that wasn't thriving at all. His soil is alkaline so it should have been OK. When we dug it out to remove it, we found it had been planted several inches too deep, so that gave us the answer!

Do let us know how your investigations go and good luck,

Emma

gardenersworld.com team

turbo plants

Posted: 25/01/2012 at 15:06

Hello Newallotmenteer,

'Turbo' tomato plants are grafted. The idea is that giving the plants different roots to grow from makes them more disease resistant, helps them fruit earlier and for longer, producing larger yields etc. All of these things may be true. Grafting is a useful technique and tomatoes respond to it well. Commercial growers use it a lot. However the price of grafted tomatoes is quite frightening. I've seen 3 potted plants being sold for £13.00. Packets of good tomato seeds can be bought for under £2.00 and you can grow many plants from them. Some people have real problems with tomato blight, in which case grafted plants would be well worth a go. The same thing goes if you're growing yours for a show. Otherwise I think it's more fun to use seeds.

Emma

gardenersworld.com team

Tool Storage Solution

Posted: 25/01/2012 at 14:30

Hello Tom,

This looks very interesting, thanks for posting it. It might be worth making a similar version for smaller items - like trowels or hand forks. Is this for a college assignment?

Good luck with your plans,

Emma.

gardenersworld.com team

Plant labelling

Posted: 25/01/2012 at 14:21

Hello Cricketbluebell,

This is always a problem and unfortunately the sun will eventually fade pretty much everything. However the best solutions I've found for amateur use are:

Use a permanent marker - I've noticed these in stationers in a large range of colours recently.

Buy a labelling machine from a stationers. You just type in the name on to adhesive plastic tape and stick it on your label. This lasts for a long time.

Use pencil - yes it works well. It's the method I was taught at horticutural college and has the advantage that you can erase your writing and re-use the label. Soft pencils work best.

Good luck!

Emma.

gardenersworld.com team

Hedgehogs

Posted: 23/01/2012 at 16:47

I've just been reading about hedgehogs. Apparently surveys show that hedgehog populations have dropped by almost 50% over the past 25 years. One of the things you can do to help them is to leave a small gap in your garden boundary so they can move around their territory. It only needs to be 15cm high. Has anybody been making changes to their garden to help hedgehog populations?

Gardeners World

Posted: 23/01/2012 at 09:19

Hello Devon Gardener,

We understand it's Friday 9th March. In the meantime do enjoy our video projects:

http://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/projects/video-projects/

If you use our new search facility (white box at the top of the page) you can match your viewing up with what you want to find out about.

Emma

gardenersworld.com team

confused..

Posted: 20/01/2012 at 17:25

I would also like to add my vote for the Dr. Hessayon books. They are really practical and one of the best things about them is that they often use the names that you'll find in your local garden centre or nursery. So you won't be wandering around with a complicated scientific name in your head that many people working in the industry have never heard of!

Also you can often find old editions in charity shops and bargain book stores. I always buy one if I see a cheap edition of one that is not already in my library.

Emma.

gardenersworld.com team

Rust on garlic

Posted: 20/01/2012 at 17:13

Hello Shuv,

I was going to say that rotation is the best solution for your problem, but then I read that you are rotating your crop. So the answer may be that you should plant your next set of bulbs as far away as possible from any of the places you've grown them before. It's also very important to get rid of badly affected plant material - throw it away rather than putting it on the compost heap. Finally, don't plant your garlic too close together. As with most fungal problems, humidity caused by the plants being close together will make the infection worse, and it'll spread more easily.

Have a look at Pippa's blogs -

http://www.gardenersworld.com/blogs/grow-and-eat/rampant-rust/2327.html

http://www.gardenersworld.com/blogs/grow-and-eat/harvesting-garlic/3010.html

even real experts can suffer from this problem!

I do hope you have better luck this year,

Emma

gardenersworld.com team

Views

Posted: 19/01/2012 at 16:13

Hello Happymarion,

How about this one:

http://www.sanbi.org/gardens/kirstenbosch

Kirstenbosch in South Africa. I've never been there but I'd certainly like to go!

Emma

gardenersworld.com team

Discussions started by Emma Crawforth

How old is your houseplant?

Let us know if you have an ancient aspidistra or senescent spider plant 
Replies: 17    Views: 634
Last Post: 11/11/2014 at 16:05

Big Garden Birdwatch

Big Garden Birdwatch 
Replies: 7    Views: 886
Last Post: 24/02/2012 at 15:50

Hedgehogs

Do you want to help hedgehogs? 
Replies: 26    Views: 2362
Last Post: 15/05/2012 at 21:27

Winter pruning

Replies: 2    Views: 1162
Last Post: 13/01/2012 at 17:00

children and gardening

Replies: 7    Views: 773
Last Post: 27/02/2012 at 15:44

lawn edging shears

Replies: 5    Views: 1783
Last Post: 02/02/2012 at 23:47

Mildew

Replies: 4    Views: 711
Last Post: 06/01/2012 at 15:41

sweet peas

Replies: 2    Views: 820
Last Post: 05/12/2011 at 09:28
8 threads returned