News - Page 85

Start a square foot veg garden

Start a square foot veg garden as the perfect way to squeeze a lot of veg into the tiniest of gardens. When you're short of space, packing variety into your patch becomes incredibly important. But with square foot gardening, you can harvest nine or ten different vegetables from a bed just a metre square.

The idea is that you divide your space into small, manageable proportions, ideally 30cm (1ft) square. Add plenty of well-rotted manure to the soil, as this is an intensive system...

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Prune pyracantha just after flowering

Prune pyracantha just after flowering to make the most of the fabulous display of berries you can expect from next month onwards.

You'll find a great selection of this truly year-round shrub in our garden centre here in %locations%, with berries in a traffic light range of colours. Among the best scarlet-berried pyracantha are 'Saphyr Rouge'. If you prefer orange berries, look out for 'Saphyr Orange' or 'Orange Glow', and there are also pyracantha with berries in butter yellow, s...

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What to do in the garden in August:

The lazy, hazy days of summer are with us at last, and it's a great time to kick back and enjoy the rewards of your hard work. But don't take it too easy: there are still a few things to be getting on with!

General tasks:
Feed containers and hanging baskets once a week with high-nitrogen liquid fertiliser to maintain a really good display.
Raise the height of mower blades in hot, dry weather – if grass is left a little longer it survives drought bette...

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August's plant of the month is the hydrangea

August's plant of the month is the hydrangea, one of our all-time favourite shrubs for its gorgeous showy flowers, easy-going nature and superb versatility.

You may not realise, for example, that you can have a hydrangea flowering every day from early July through till the first frosts if you choose well. That's because there are an amazing 23 species, all with their own particular charms.

First to flower is Hydrangea serrata, a Japanese variety with delicately prett...

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Top up your pond in dry spells

Top up your pond in dry spells as plants and wildlife soon start to suffer if you allow too much water to evaporate away in the hot weather. Rainwater is best, but tap water can be added little and often without upsetting the pond's natural balance.

While you're at it, take a close look at your fish. If they're gulping for air close to the surface, there's not enough oxygen in the water - quite a common problem on sunny days. In extreme cases, they could die. For...

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Water tomatoes with care

Water tomatoes with care this month as they'll struggle to perform at their best unless everything is just right. The heaviest crops and most flawless fruits come from plants kept at an even temperature, good light levels, and above all, constantly moist soil.

Tomatoes like the soil to hold the same amount of water at all times: neither too wet nor too dry. Let them dry out and then give them a thorough drenching, and they'll reward you with split fruit, or worse, an outbreak of ...

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Plait your garlic

Plait your garlic after harvesting and hang in the kitchen to dry for a practical and good-looking way of storing the bulbs through winter. Once dry, garlic bulbs keep for months and will see you well into next spring.

There are two types of garlic, so make sure you've got the right one. Softneck garlics such as 'Solent Wight' store well and are best for plaiting. Hardneck varieties (such as 'Chesnok Wight' or 'Red Sicilian') are highly valued for their fantastic...

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Tatton Park in Cheshire opens its gates

Tatton Park in Cheshire opens its gates this week to welcome in gardeners from all over the country to the extravaganza that is the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park.

As always it's packed full of green-fingered excitement. Among the glamour of the set-piece show gardens are five designs based on the elements earth, wind, fire and water, as well as a garden designed and built by prisoners at HMP Styal in Manchester and the RHS National Young Designer of the Year competition where you c...

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Tackle blackspot on roses

Tackle blackspot on roses as soon as you notice the ugly black lesions begin to spread across leaves. This  nasty and very persistent fungal disease often takes hold in summer, particularly after long spells of damp weather, and it'll defoliate and seriously weaken your plants if you let it.

Spray early on, before the disease gets a hold, and you'll keep on top of the problem from the start. In our garden centre you'll find a range of products to help you blitz the blotch: i...

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Sow leafy greens for winter

Sow leafy greens for winter and you'll keep your supply of veg going well past summer and into the colder months of the year. Now is the time to fill a few seed trays with the exciting range of leafy winter veg available on our seed racks right now, giving them plenty of time to grow into big healthy plants before winter sets in.

Burgundy radicchio 'Palla Rossa' is a perfect choice, adding vibrant colour to the veg patch on even the dullest day. Crisp, succulent Chinese cabbage b...

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