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In order to get the best out of your garden plants and crops, it’s worth testing your soil pH. In the UK this ranges from 3.5 (strongly acid) to 8.5 (strongly alkaline), with 7 being neutral. Most fruit and vegetables prefer soils that have a
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Going for walks in Dulwich and Sydenham Hill Woods, Peckham Rye or Nunhead Cemetery, I often hear the tap-tap-tapping of great spotted woodpeckers from high up in the trees as they test the dead boughs for tasty insect morsels. We have no large
I've had some cracking crops this year. Some are tried and tested varieties that I know are good and reliable, while some vegetable varieties are completely new to me.I've grown quite a few potatoes, my favourite variety, ‘Charlotte’, has performed
. The ideal soil (loam) has equal amounts of all three, which make a fertile, free-draining soil that's easy to dig. There are six main types of soil: chalky, clay, loamy, peaty, sandy and silty. To test your soil, the first thing to do is take a look
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...
Joe Swift demonstrates how to introduce fish into a garden pond, having first checked the cleanliness of the water using a pond testing kit. spring to autumnMore on ponds and water featuresHow to grow marginal pond plantsGrowing marginal plants in a
of your crop being affected the following year. You then need to harvest the potatoes (big and small) before it rains, otherwise the fungus will reach them and render them inedible and rotten. Luckily, the other day I was sent a potato blight testing kit
-composted bins and spread over bare soilWash cold frames and cloches to let in more lightChoose a dry day to treat fences and timber structures with stain or preservativeTest soil with a pH kit to measure acidity or alkalinity to help you plan plantings next
Wash out flower pots and seed traysTrim back ivy, Virginia creeper and other climbers on walls that are close to gutters and window framesTest the pH of your soil with a kit and add lime if it's too acidicScoop leaves and debris from ponds and water