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and save seed for use next year.Deadheading spent blooms makes plants look tidier and promotes further flowering, but I allow several of my favourite flowers to form seeds. Some are just left to ripen and fall onto surrounding soil to germinate there
made it impossible to sow seeds directly outside in the garden. The ground was just too wet, making it difficult to prepare the surface soil to sow into. Any small seeds I did endeavour to sow got washed away, wasting time, effort and money
thing is just how you can ignore them and they'll still flourish. Despite my heavy clay soil I've just left them in the ground, and they've grown up again every summer. If I was more conscientious I would have spread a mulch of compost over the area
, he'll have Berryfields to work on too, and he says he can't wait to get his hands in the soil there.The first time I ever met Toby was at the Cambridge University Botanic Garden where he was working, and I remember admiring the willow-woven raised bed
of weeding won't go amiss).Many hardy annuals also generously set seed. Either collect seed or let it fall onto the soil around and you'll have more flowers next year for free.So, what's your favourite annual?
keeping pests under control without me needing to do a thing ... apart from enjoying these charming little flowers.When flowering is over I let this hardy annual die down naturally, releasing seed back onto the soil where it will germinate to form plants
refuse to cross.Copper rings were placed round the base of 'at risk' perennials and hostas in borders early in the year. These rings push down into the soil, then sit proud to form a barrier. At first they stick out like a sore thumb, but as plants grow
, such as natural pest or disease resistance.The one rule that would be close to the top of my list is to make every effort to sow seeds at the right time. Often that means making time in your busy diary to prepare pots or soil so that you can actually sow the seeds
pests, and also helps break down clay soils.
closer look when the programme returns, and following its development week by week.I love Monty's very practical, hands-on style of gardening, and the immense authority and trust with which he shares his knowledge. He really is a man of the soil, much