Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Try a new, improved strawberry.

Try a new, improved strawberry - Telegraph
Straw suppresses weeds and protects the ripening fruit from rot.
However, it is vital to wait until there is very little risk of frost before laying straw.
Too early and you will only succeed in making the flowers more vulnerable to frost: the straw acts as a barrier between them and the insulating effect of the soil.

Tabletop growing:
Tabletop growing is a commercial technique that uses growing bags raised off the ground and fitted with automatic watering.
Use eight to 10 plants per bag, and support them on a couple of upturned packing crates. Cut a plastic water bottle in half and insert it into the compost upside down. Give a regular dose of liquid tomato feed containing seaweed extract.

Best new varieties
EARLY (pick mid-June to early July)
'Darlisette’ Which? Best Buy.
'Mae’ Very early with large fruit.
'Sallybright’ Which? Best Buy.
MID-SEASON (late June to mid-July)
'Alice’ Large fruits, sweet and crops late into season.
'Amelia’ A favourite for taste in Which? trial but very low yield.
'Elsanta’ An established Dutch variety, reliable with big fruit even in first year, widely available.
'Sonata’ Which? Best Buy, top mid-season for taste, sharp flavour.
'Sweetheart’ Heart-shaped fruit with sweet aromatic flavour, good yields.
LATE (pick early to late July)
'Cupid’ sweet, juicy fruits, good disease resistance.
'Malwina’ Which? Best Buy. Juicy with plenty of flavour, fruits very dark red, yields low.

Where to buy
DT Brown (0845 371 0532;
Dobies (0844 701 7625;
Marshalls (01480 443390;
Mr Fothergill’s (0845 371 0518;
Pomona Fruits (0845 676 0607;
Suttons (0844 922 0606;
Thompson & Morgan (0844 248 5383;

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Which are the best pumpkins? By Sarah Raven.

16 May 2015
Onion Squash 'Red Kuri':
"I have some tried-and-tested favourites: 'Red Kuri' is a useful size, with waxy texture and excellent taste.
It can climb (photo - on Teepee Trellis), which is handy in a smaller garden and is a good producer.

-Squash 'Red Kuri'
Looks and longevity 9/10
Eating 10/10
Also called 'Uchikiri' and red onion squash, this medium producer has deep orange skin and similar coloured flesh with a lovely sweet flavour and waxy texture.
The skin is soft enough to eat.
Seeds tough and not tasty.
This still remains in my top two or three.

The number-one squash in my family, because it has great taste and texture – waxy and sweet, tasting of chestnuts – and doesn't get too huge.
Three or four people can easily eat one of these at a sitting, not possible with some of the larger kinds.
It's also hugely ornamental and looks fantastic climbing up over frames (Teepee Trellis).
Sow under cover in late March.
Soak the seed overnight, then sow 2.5cm (1in) deep vertically (to prevent rotting), one to a 9cm pot.
Once they have 5 or 6 leaves, they're ready to go out.
Harden them off and then plant them out once the frosts are over.
You can also sow them direct into the ground outside from mid May.
Once arms reach 4ft long, pinch out tips to help fruit ripen.
HARVESTING August - October, 4 months from sowing.
Harvest when the skin is hard, leaving out in the sun for 10 days to ripen further.
COOKING NOTES Brilliant for soups and roasted in the oven.
I bought seeds and ready to plant!

How to store winter squashes
Harvest as late as possible and only cut once the skin has thickened and the stalk has become dry, and then store them until late November before starting to eat them.
They are tasteless if eaten fresh because they need six weeks to a couple of months to develop the nutty, sweet flavour.

When you harvest them try to leave a couple of inches of stem if you can and then store them upside down by slotting the stem through a wooden bench or the greenhouse staging.

Squashes stored upright tend to catch the moisture in the depression round the stalk and then they rot off more easily.
Once in store they should keep for at least three months - so they make an excellent winter vegetable from early November until the end of January or February.

To prepare the squash, simply slice it in half, scoop out the seeds, and then cut it up into chunks. Now you're ready to sauté, steam, braise, roast, or boil.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

How to make a bulb lasagne.

Layering bulbs - How to make a bulb lasagne | Sarah Raven:
General Bulb Planting Tips

Bulbs ideally suited to pot growth include Snowdrops, crocus, Iris danfordiae and reticulata, grape hyacinths, scillas, puschkinias, chionodoxas, anemones, hyacinths, narcissus (particularly the small-cupped and species varieties) and tulips (particularly the fosteriana varities (such as ‘Orange Emperor’ and ‘Purissima’), Single Earlies (such as ‘Prinses Irene’, ‘Couleur Cardinal’ and ‘Cairo’), Double Earlies and Triumph tulips (such as ‘Havran’)

Drainage is key with bulbs, so all pots and containers need one of more holes in the bottom. These holes then need to be covered with crocks – pottery shards or pebbles – to keep the holes from being clogged with earth.

In pots, you can plant your bulbs closer than you do in the garden. Even so, they shouldn’t touch each other or the sides of the pot.

If planting just one layer of bulbs, plant at the same depth as you would in the garden – at a depth of twice their height at least (a minimum of 3 inches).

Water on planting, and regularly in the first weeks when their roots are forming. Don’t let the compost dry out.

Pots planted with spring-flowering bulbs can tolerate a certain amount of freezing weather, but will need some protection in moderate to severe periods of frost. Cover them with branches or circle the pots with bubble wrap to insulate.
'via Blog this'

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Что посадить после клубники?

Что посадить после клубники?
Выкопав кустики клубники, землю перекапывают.
На следующий год весной сажают огурцы, тыкву или кабачки,
- еще через год - лук или редьку с репой.
Примечательно, что бобовые культуры обогащают почву азотом, поэтому после гороха, чечевицы, бобов, чеснока и лука можно уже посадить любые культуры, к примеру, капуста, которая требовательна к содержанию азота в почве.

Не нужно выращивать клубнику после представителей семейства пасленовых - томатов или картофеля.

Оздоровление почвы с помощью специальных растений - сидератов.
Самые известные сидератные культуры:

редька масличная

Sunday, 6 September 2015

The nectar rich garden in September.

The nectar rich garden in September | Sarah Raven

- Aster amellus 'Veilchenkonigin'
- Echinacea 'White Swan'
- Sedum 'Herbstfreude'

MacPennys, a family run plant nursery with a difference

MacPennys, a family run plant nursery with a difference

How to grow asters.

How to grow asters - Telegraph
Growing tips

Forms of Aster amellus (including 'Veilchenkönigin') and forms of Aster x frikartii (like 'Mönch') are best planted in spring rather than autumn unless you have very well-drained soil. They also need a sunny position. Varieties of A. amellus will need dividing every fourth or fifth year to maintain vigour. Lift in spring and pull into hand-sized pieces and replant in a fresh position about a foot apart. Add grit to
the base of the hole on heavy ground. Water until established. Cut down after flowering.
All asters are best divided in spring as new growth starts. Lift and then use two back-to-back forks to split the clump. Mind old stems, they can be sharp. Some varieties are denser and may need a knife or spade. Discard old woody pieces.
Good companions
Asters are good value because their attractive buds are a feature long before their flowers. But you should combine them with spike or saucer shapes and avoid more daisies. 'Violet Queen' is very vibrant and I love to see it nudging against the fluffy beige awns of Pennisetum orientale. It's also good against the spires of pale pink and blush-white penstemons like 'Pearl' and 'Hidcote Pink'. Purple is also an excellent foil for lemon yellow.
Where to buy
Hardy's Cottage Garden Plants, Priory Lane Nursery, Freefolk Priors, Whitchurch, Hants RG28 7NJ (01256 896533)
Beth Chatto, Elmstead Market, Colchester, Essex, CO7 7DB (01206 822007)
Cotswold Garden Flowers, Sands Lane, Badsey, Worcs, WR11 7EZ (01386 422829)

- Asters | Old Court Nurseries and The Picton GardenAsters | Old Court Nurseries and The Picton Garden

- Aster Amellus 'Violet Queen' or 'Veilchenkönigin' (Italian Asters)

Aster 'Violet Queen' has now become 'Veilchenkönigin', reverting to the German name first chosen by its raiser Karl Foerster in 1956.
Whichever name you use, this vibrant purple aster is a wonderful addition to the late summer garden; its straight-rayed daisies are held on erect stems that reach just 15in high.
It is also a butterfly magnet, perfect for the front of a sunny border and it flowers generously from late August and throughout September.
Each flower has a thick layer of slender petals surrounding a tight golden eye reminding me of thickly coated purple mascara on a young girl.
'Violet Queen' is a selection from the Italian starwort Aster amellus.
The species name is thought to have come from the River Mella, an Italian tributary of the River Po.
This aster, now rare in the wild, can still be found on free-draining ground on sunny limestone slopes through central France, northern Italy, the Czech Republic and the Caucasus.
It was used medicinally as a decoction and a poultice by the Greeks and Romans for a variety of inflammatory ailments, which is possibly why it became rare.
The older variety 'King George' was raised by Amos Perry in 1914 and made Italian asters popular within months.
Apparently Perry intended to call his star plant 'Kaiser William' until history intervened so it became 'King George'. There are 30 named varieties of A. amellus, but I think 'Veilchenkönigin' is the most sparkling and pristine.
All amellus varieties are drought-tolerant and perform in well-drained soil.
This makes them useful in drier gardens where later-flowering North American asters either fail to thrive or develop mildew.
In 1918 Swiss nurseryman Carl Ludwig Frikart (1879-1964) also produced three drought-tolerant asters by crossing A. amellus with A. thomsonii – the latter a Himalayan aster. He named the seedlings after Swiss mountains and 'Eiger', 'Jungfrau' and 'Mönch' are still with us.
The finest is A. x frikartii 'Mönch' – surely the longest flowering aster bred.
It reaches 3ft tall but is slightly lax, with dark green foliage that flatters the loosely rayed lavender-blue flowers. These begin in early August and go on for months. Frikart also produced 'Wunder von Stäfa', but the one sold seems almost identical to 'Mönch'.
This difficult cross has rarely been repeated, in part due to the disappearance of the true A. thomsonii. But Alan Bloom did breed an excellent lilac pink 'Flora's Delight' in 1964 using
A. thomsonii 'Nanus' and the Twenties A. amellus 'Sonia'. It has greyer leaves and is less vigorous. He conceded "it needs well-drained soil to avoid loss from winter wet". 'Nocturne' is another variety with lilac flowers.

- Shades of blue … | Deep Cove Garden Club
- Gorgeous plants and ideas from Marks Hall Garden. - Growing Nicely

Piet Oudolf.

Piet Oudolf: Hauser & Wirth Somerset | The City Planter

Asters for a dry garden.

Gardening Q&A: asters for a dry garden

Gardening Jones What Veggie Gardening Can Teach Us.

Gardening Jones What Veggie Gardening Can Teach Us » Gardening Jones

Premier Seeds Direct Ltd.

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