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I can never understand why people get twitchy about offering free accommodation. Not to humans of course, but to smaller critters with six legs and a serious tendency to help out in the garden.I'm thrilled to say that the first of the overwintering lacewings have started to seek ...
Last year I ripped out an old strawberry bed as the plants had gone past their best. As if by magic, I was sent several new strawberry varieties to trial. Of course, my son soon had his eye on the plants and suggested he grow them instead of me
A couple of years ago I finally took the plunge and planted an asparagus bed. Its a crop I'd never appreciated until a few years ago, but now I love it (especially lightly steamed, with a little salty butter). Now I'm all of a flutter, because
It’s always great fun making Gardeners’ Question Time programmes. Sometimes it comes with an added bonus when we do a feature special, like when I took the opportunity to go and visit the labs at FERA (Food and Environment Research Agency) in York.FERA carries out masses of envir...
In those wonderful James Herriot stories, there is a woman called Mrs Pumphrey, whose spoilt dog is known as ‘flop-bot’. With a name like that, there is no need for a description. When a tray of seedlings suffers with the horticultural equivalent, and the whole lot keels over in...
germinated.I've recently installed some raised beds, which should make growing root crops easier. I'm also growing parsnips and carrots in woven polythene planters. Filled with a mixture of some sandy imported soil, a bit of the native soil and a little well
and removing algae from between the panes, using a combination of strong water jets and a slim piece of plastic cut from a margarine tub. Then, having finally cleared the last of the tomatoes from the bed, I removed any lurking traces of grey mould from
, winter hardiness. In particular, what should be sold as a suitable ingredient for a winter container or bedding display and what should not? Take the cyclamen. Often for sale at this time of year as a small potted plant, it's generally labelled 'winter
into beds and pots. Few have survived the attentions of the squirrels that lurk in the Hampshire hillsides. The newly planted bulbs were fine for a couple of days, but, with other things on my mind, I forgot to cover the area with mesh. The squirrels have
. Indeed it was so perfect that another trailer load has now appeared - the first batch having been added to the main growing beds. This time the fruit is benefitting; a good, deep carpet of the stuff has been applied around the raspberries and fruit trees