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Sarah Raven offers advice on which tomato varieties to grow, and demonstrates how to sow tomato seeds in coir pellets.springMore advice on growing tomatoesGrowing tomatoes in pots and grow bagsGrowing tomatoes from seedGrowing tomatoes outdoorsGrowing tomatoes in earth beds and g...
Tomato plants will thrive on a sunny window sill or in a greenhouse, and may even be transplanted outside in the warmest months. You will need just two small pots to sow your tomato seeds; use a good quality seed compost and keep them in a bright place to ensure they germinate.To...
on infected stems and branches. The most serious consequence of scab is reduced vigour of the trees caused by early leaf fall. This may limit the crop of fruit. The disease also causes scabs on the skins of fruit, although they are still edible. A preventative
Apple sooty blotch is caused by an overwintering fungus, which is typically found on trees or branches growing in shade and damp. It creates a splatter of dark, sooty spots all over the skin of the fruit, although the flesh isn't affected at all
Any tree fruit that has been wounded by insects or is split can be infected by this fungus. If the affected fruit is still on the tree, inedible and rotten, the fungus can even spread back into the spurs. Damaged, harvested fruit can also
The adult codling moths lay their eggs on or near developing fruit. These eggs hatch into small white caterpillars, which eat their way into the fruit and feed inside while it's developing. The caterpillars may be found inside the fruit at harvest
the emerging aphids. Don't wait for the symptoms to appear, as there's no point in spraying once the leaves have become puckered.blackcurrants, redcurrants, whitecurrants early to mid-winter, springCommon garden pests affecting fruit treesWolly aphids on apple
for the plant and in its weakened state, the flowers and fruit fall off. Trees may recover sufficiently to make a second flush of growth and these leaves are usually unaffected by the fungus. Fungus survives on fallen leaves and branches to re-infect next season
All plants need nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous to thrive, plus various trace elements. Without nitrogen the leaves turn yellow and growth is spindly. Potassium generates good flowering and fruiting and helps ripen wood. Plants lacking potassium
The evergreen foliage of the skimmia, pittosporum and ivy set against a backdrop of carex, provide year-round interest in this elegant container display. Red tulips add a splash of colour in spring, while skimmia berries provide autumn and winter interest.The addition of the bird...