Archive | Practical gardening

Maximising your veg harvest

Succession sowing and inter-cropping The month of May sees the height of sowing and planting for the summer vegetables  and succession sowing and inter-cropping are two different ways to get the maximum vegetable harvest from your space and delivering a steady flow of produce to the kitchen through the summer. Succession sowing simply means that […]

Saving water and Garden irrigation

There are two strands to the use of water in the garden – and I am talking watering plants here, not choosing water features.  These are reducing the need for watering and efficient irrigation in a domestic garden. Saving water Mulching is a good way of reducing water loss by evaporation from the soil surface. […]

What is Soil and what is Soil Improvement?

You already know that the soil in your garden is key to growing great plants. But exactly what soil is made of, why this matters and what is meant by soil improvement might warrant a bit more explanation to turn the frustration of plants that struggle into the success of blooming borders. Soil Type There […]

Win my ‘Box of Tricks’ video gardening tutorials

GREAT NEWS: during February 2018 you can win my Gardening by Design ‘Box of Tricks’ video gardening tutorials absolutely FREE in an Amateur Gardening Magazine competition.  There are ten copies of the videos on offer.  The competition is run online by the magazine and their terms and conditions apply. click here to go to the […]

Grow Your Own : Crop Rotation

Grow Your Own rotating vegetables If you grow vegetables, whether in a small veg plot at home or on a larger scale on an allotment, you will have come across the term ‘crop rotation’.  There are good reasons for moving your veggies around each year and it need not be complicated once you understand the […]

Winter flowering bulbs

Winter flowering bulbs If you have been given winter flowering bulbs for Christmas or are growing your own to cheer up a dull January, here are a few tips to keep them tip-top. Compost dries out quickly in centrally heated rooms so check twice a week. Water from the bottom by standing the pot in […]

Houseplants and gardening indoors

There is good news for gardeners who miss their gardening fix when the winter weather prevents outside work. Indoor gardening with houseplants is back in fashion and some of the stalwart plants of our childhood homes are now right on trend instead of being “so last century”. You should be seeing an increase in the number […]

Autumn pruning to prevent winter damage

I am often asked what pruning should be done in autumn and the answer is “very little”.  The main aim of autumn pruning is to prevent damage to tall shrubs during winter storms and wind rock.  This falls into the category of Housekeeping pruning.  It applies to late flowering shrubs that have produced tall, whippy […]