Register with us or sign in
harsh sun. Organic gardeners usually refer to companion plants as those deterring pests in some way. Tagetes planted alongside tomatoes and crops is a good example, where the strong pungent scent of the tagetes foliage helps mask the scent of the crop
I've just picked, and eaten, my first home-grown tomato of the year – and it was delicious. It's actually a brand new outdoor bush variety, and yet to be named, but on my sunny patio it has even beaten the greenhouse crops to produce the first ripe
There's a mouse living in my compost bin. I first saw it one evening the other week, when I added a fresh layer of tomato side shoots and yellowing leaves. It leapt out of the bin and charged through the border. That frog looks just like a mouse, I
seed sowing. My sowing list includes greenhouse tomatoes, chillies and sweet peppers, plus a few half-hardy bedding varieties – all plants that benefit from early sowing and a long growing season.My plan for the week involves something of a spring clean
locked in the soil and the plant suffers. Acid soils always have low levels of calcium. If treated early, later fruits will go on to ripen successfully. The problem can also be triggered by applying fertiliser to dry soil. Just when your tomatoes, peppers
simply sold as 'sweetcorn', 'tomato' or 'white potato' when you haven't a clue what the variety actually is? We can be far more discerning, as both consumers and gardeners, choosing and growing named varieties of crops that have the flavour and eating
. Grow strong-smelling plants, such as French marigolds, alongside your tomatoes as a deterent. Every two to three days spray the underside of leaves with a soap-based spray containing fatty acids to kill emerging adults. When the temperature remains
For the boldest, brightest display in a hanging basket choose a large container (no smaller than 35cm) and pack it with plants. But keeping them flowering is thirsty work, so for a really successful show the plants will need plenty of water on a regular basis.Hanging basket Water...
, they don't need much space to grow, so you won't need to thin them out. They also grow over a long period, so you can harvest the leaves in winter and early spring.Cut-and-come-again salad leavesBush tomatoes are easier to grow than cordon varieties
These tiny, sap-sucking pests may be only 0.5mm long but they can wreak havoc in a greenhouse or on houseplants indoors. For most of the year they are a pale green colour with two dark spots on their back; it's only in autumn and winter that they turn orange-red. They thrive in h...