Friday, 18 November 2016

Plant in the winter time.

The best chard I've found for eating quality is red-stemmed 'Fantasy' (Thompson & Morgan) – if anyone's got any experience of how robust this is, I'd love to know as I sowed it in a mild winter. A tunnel cloche of fleece is handy.
choose a variety showing strong resistance such as 'Oarsman' (Marshalls).
Leek moth is more widespread these days (it used to be just confined to the south), so if it's known in your neighbourhood, cover plants with fine mesh netting or fleece to thwart it.
Purple-leaved varieties tend to be hardier, such as the French classic 'Bleu de Solaise' (Real Seeds) and the British bred 'Northern Lights' (Dobies).
A row of black Tuscan kale (such as 'Nero di Toscana', from Real Seeds, who have a mouth-watering selection of kale varieties) is a welcome treat on any plot.
Savoy cabbage
to be sliced, lightly boiled or steamed and dressed with butter and black pepper – casserole fodder like no other.
'Alaska' (Marshalls) is a favourite of mine because it's compact and stands incredibly well through the winter. It's an F1 hybrid and an RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit) winner, to boot.
Brussels sprouts

I left an August sowing of 'Tetona' (Nicky's Nursery) over winter last year on the allotment, alongside 'Reddy' (Kings). Both provided pickings all through winter (uncloched) and well into spring – I'll definitely be doing that again. 'Tetona' is a classic arrow-shaped green spinach; the leaves developed a beautifully meaty thickness and deep colour as the weather cooled, but they remained incredibly tender. The foliage widened and hugged the ground for warmth so needed a good wash. 'Reddy' is a different beast altogether – its leaves became much more spear-like (a little like a dandelion), and the taste wasn't as buttery, but the prolific harvests of melting foliage let me forgive that fact.
There are a few things to watch for: the seed's shelf life is short so buy fresh each year; avoid over-rich soils, as this can give excess leaf at the expense of root; don't sow too early as germination will be poor on cold soils and it also increases the likelihood of canker disease; sow seeds in clumps in the soil, then thin to the strongest seedling.
Don't let all this put you off – just sow little clusters of fresh seeds in May and avoid being heavy-handed with the fertiliser.
There are some great canker-resistant varieties out there: 'Gladiator' (D T Brown) and 'Countess' (Mr Fothergill's) being two.
Jerusalem artichokes
Sprouting broccoli
Most of us are familiar with the purple form of this brassica (affectionately referred to as PSB) and it is one of my favourites. There is also a white form, which is underrated, prolific and delicious (try 'White Sprouting Early' from Kings). Both types make large plants when grown well – at least 1m tall and wide – and they need to be sown in April in order to give you crops worth waiting for. The classic season for this plant is early spring (when growing, for example, 'Purple Sprouting Early' from Thompson & Morgan) and such old types are reliably hardy. Improvements in spear size and expansions of seasons have led to some varieties being less hardy, so a harsh frost would knock things on the head (a bit frustrating when you've waited so long for those precious pickings). I'm an old stick in the mud here and like the ones I grow.
Beginner gardeners take note: winter- and spring-cropping caulis are far easier to grow than summer or autumn ones. Pop yourself a few plants in, in June or July, water well to avoid any check in growth, and await impressive curds come the cool season. Wider spacings (80-100cm) will give you larger curds – great for big families. Plant closely (20cm apart each way in a grid) for mini-curds, ideal for one person portions. 'Moby Dick', 'Aalsmeer' and 'Mayflower' (all Mr Fothergill's and all with an RHS AGM) will together give a good harvest over a long period. Try 'Clapton' if clubroot is a problem in your area, because it shows resistance to this troublesome disease.

- Top ten winter vegetables | Life and style | The Guardian:

'via Blog this'

- How To Grow Vegetables & Fruit | Growing Guides & Tips | Grow Your Own Magazine

- 6 crops you can plant in the winter time – Fennel and Fern:
Spring Bulbs
During the winter it may seem your garden has nothing going on, but there are plenty of jobs to do in preparation for the coming weeks and months.
If you go to the Bakker website you will find a wide variety of seeds and bulbs that can be planted during the winter for spring.
Sitting back and deciding how you would like your garden to look the following year can be a great way of relaxing and planting spring bulbs can be one of the most rewarding of all.
Once your flowers start to grow you know it won’t be long until you have colour back in your flower beds.

Starting a vegetable garden may seem like a daunting task but once you harvest your first crop you’ll appreciate the freshness.
Growing onions is relatively easy, and these bulbs do well deep in the ground over the winter months.
Look out for the Onion Electric variety, if you’re trying to add a stunning red colour to your cooking.

Gorgeous garlic
Garlic responds well to cold temperatures and frost.
This wonderful bulb is popular in stews, omelettes, salads and a whole host of meals, and it is reputed to be good for thinning the blood.
There are two main types of garlic to look out for, according to The Independent gardening blog: soft neck and hard neck.
If you’re thinking of storing your crop, then opt for soft neck.
Garlic doesn’t grow well in damp mild winters.

The potato is one of the easier root vegetables to grow and is resistant to frost if planted at the right depth.
The best time to plant them is February and they are usually grown from pieces of tuber that has at least one eye, or from small whole tubers, they will be ready to harvest three months after planting.

This plant needs to be well watered and planted in fertile soil; the seeds should be planted in January or February, but check which type of seeds you buy, as some plants prefer warmer months.
There are dozens of varieties available so you should find the right ones to suit your needs.

The best time to plant the humble pea is between November and February and the seeds should be planted approximately two inches deep in rich soil.
You should build a frame for them to climb up once they start to grow.
They will wind their tendrils around netting or poles as they develop, but you should be aware that birds love the fresh pea sprouts so try and cover them with some netting.

'via Blog this'

Friday, 11 November 2016

Monty Don For The Daily Mail.

None | Search Results | Daily Mail Online | Daily Mail Online


Monty Don: Herbs are the easiest and best thing to grow in your garden, partly because a small amount can improve a whole range of other ingredients
Herbs are the easiest and best thing to grow in your garden, partly because a small amount can improve a whole range of other ingredients

Mediterranean herbs
This group includes culinary herbs such as rosemary, thyme, sage, coriander, tarragon, bay and oregano.
Decorative and medicinal herbs such as lavender, santolina, artemisia and hyssop share the same growing conditions.
You must be cruel to be kind to these plants.
Always add drainage to your soil and never, ever add compost or manure.
If you grow them in pots, mix ordinary peat-free potting compost with the same volume of sharp sand or grit.
Do not feed these plants as the harder they are grown the better they will be able to resist problems of weather, pests or disease.
However, do not forget to water them in summer, though they can dry out in winter, and as long as they are not too wet are very hardy.
But the combination of wet and cold is often fatal.

Annual herbs
Like any other annual plant, annual herbs do all their growing, flowering — and critically — seed production within one growing season.
Many promptly die, although some can live on for a few more years.
But the gardener can harness this speed of production through managing seeds.
Sow them in spring and you will have a crop.
But sow some every few months and you will have a daily supply.
My favourite annual herbs are basil and coriander.
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is tender so needs protection from frost, but the others are very robust.
Basil is a very strong-growing plant that needs plenty of space to develop properly and which can be picked all summer long to provide fresh leaves.
I grow mine alongside tomatoes in the greenhouse from May onwards and outside in the garden once the nights get reliably warm in July, allowing at least 15cm (6in) space between each seedling.
Another favourite herb is parsley, which is a biennial, meaning it sets seed in its second year.
Like coriander, it’s a robust plant that will grow in some shade.
I grow both all year round, inside and out, making a sowing every few months.

Perennial herbs
Some herbs are herbaceous perennials that survive the winter by the top growth all dying back in autumn and growing fresh foliage and flowers in spring and summer.
My own favourites from this group are mint, chives, lovage, marjoram, fennel, sorrel and horseradish.
There are many different mints but the three to grow for the kitchen are spearmint (Mentha spicata), peppermint (Mentha x piperita) and apple mint (Mentha suaveolens).
Mint grows in most soils and conditions, though it prefers a rather damp, sunny site.
However, it will spread invasively if given the chance, so I recommend growing it in a container.
Chives are an allium, like garlic, and are very easy to grow from seed and become long-lived perennials that can be chopped into sections with a spade to create new plants, and each will regrow with fresh vigour.
The flowers are beautiful and edible but cut them back to the ground as soon as the blooms start to fade and they will quickly grow new shoots.
This can be repeated every four weeks or so throughout the growing season.
Lovage (Levisticum officinale) has very deep, fleshy roots and does best in fairly moist soil.
The leaves have a subtle and delicious celery flavour that’s excellent in soups and stews.
It grows very large with a giant flower head that should be cut back along with the older leaves at least once in summer to encourage fresh growth.
Sorrel (Rumex acetosa) is another shade and damp-loving herb with a distinct lemony astringency, that’s especially good with egg dishes.
Common sorrel is spinach-like and best cooked, but buckler leaf sorrel (Rumex scutatus) has smaller, less bitter leaves and is better used in salads.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) will seed itself freely and bronze fennel is a welcome self-seeder all over my garden.
The seedlings have a deep tap root so must be transplanted when very young if they are to survive the move.
The leaves and seeds of green fennel are delicious with any fish or pork.

Read more:

Six steps that will help you grow your own vegetable patch.

Six steps that will help you grow your own vegetable patch | Daily Mail Online
Anyone, anywhere can do it — no garden is too small.
A window box or pot is ideal for herbs that transform dishes and a patch of ground a metre square will provide salad leaves all year.
I have seen spritely 90-year-olds digging on allotments and three-year-olds helping to plant rows of beans.

- Follow the sun to pick your plot.
Vegetables all grow best in good soil that is free-draining with direct sun for at least half the day - preferably longer.

- Getting warm!
A greenhouse is best, but cold frames are very good and a porch or spare windowsill is perfectly workable.
When they have germinated and are reasonable sized seedlings, put them outside to harden off before planting them out at 22cm (9in) spacing when the soil is warm and they are big enough to withstand any kind of slug or snail attack.

- Mulch to do.
The best soil is rich in humus or organic matter that comes from the roots of plants and the addition of decaying plant material such as compost or manure.

If you can’t dig, a mulch on the surface will do the job and work into the soil, albeit more slowly.
Root crops such as carrots and parsnips grow best in soil that is very free draining and hasn’t had fresh organic material added in the past year. That’s because it can cause roots to fork and split and encourage lush foliage at the expense of the roots.
So it’s a common practice to heavily enrich one third of the plot for potatoes, legumes and salad crops, and to top up another third with a mulch of good compost, which is good for brassicas such as cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli plus alliums such as onions, leeks and garlic.
The third section is left unenriched and used for root crops, such as carrots. This last one becomes the first next year — so is heavily enriched; last year’s first gets a top-up; and the one that was second (brassicas and alliums) is left alone to grow carrots and roots. And so it goes on. In practice, there is usually much more mixing and matching than that and crops are squeezed in among each other. It doesn’t have to be slavishly obeyed, but it is a good guiding principal.

- Easy-reach beds.
Don’t make the beds too wide: 1m (3ft) to 1.5m (5ft) is the maximum workable width, and it is best to keep them to less than 4.5m (15ft) long so they remain quick and easy to walk around.
Mark the beds out with string and dig the ground deeply, adding as much manure or compost as you can obtain. This will raise the surface of the soil. Use bark chippings, paving or grass for the paths.

- Slugs and snails.
The healthiest plants are those that respond best to the situation that they grow in — whatever and wherever it might be. Encourage predators to get rid of pests for you. Thrushes, frogs, toads, beetles, centipedes, shrews and hedgehogs all love eating slugs and snails.
It means avoiding toxic chemicals — ie slug pellets — and a degree of tolerance for collateral damage.

- Sow little & often.
Succession is the key and gives a steady supply of fresh vegetables for as long as possible.
It means sowing two or three batches of your favourite vegetables across the season, so when one batch nears the end, another is ready to be harvested with perhaps a third being sown or grown on.
Start with some fast-growing salad leaves raised indoors in plugs that can be planted out as soon as the ground warms, and follow it with regular additions, raised in plugs and directly sown, until September.
Crops such as peas and beans, chard, carrots and beetroot grow more slowly but can be spread over months to provide two or three overlapping waves of harvest.
Finally there are long, slow crops such as most brassicas, chicory, garlic or celery that will tie up space for most of the growing year.
I always inter-plant these with a fast-growing catch-crop such as radishes or rocket that is ready to eat before it competes with the slow-grower.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Winter Sowing - A Step By Step Guide

- Winter Sowing - A Step By Step Guide

- Container Gardening For You Site Search Results

- Sowing Seeds in Winter | WTIP North Shore Community Radio, Cook County, Minnesota

- How to Winter Sow Seeds Outdoors

- Winter sowing vs. cold frames

- Winter Sowing – Germinating the Natural Way - The Permaculture Research Institute

- Подзимние посевы цветов

Подзимний сев.

- Подзимние посевы цветов

- Зима – мое время сева - Садовое обозрение
Время и место подзимнего сева я перенесла с поздней осени на начало января.
Почему? Да потому что даже в Подмосковье и в декабре случаются оттепели на фоне бесснежья, а значит, семена трогаются в рост, а затем погибают из-за сильных морозов.
В январе же длинные каникулы, времени много, можно спокойно разобраться с семенами, заполнить контейнеры почвой и посеять.
И после этого поставить контейнеры не на подоконник, а закопать в саду в приличном сугробе.
Останется только пометить место своего «клада», а в марте его раскопать и перенести контейнеры либо в теплицу, либо на балкон.
Таким образом, семена, нуждающиеся в стратификации, быстрее дадут всходы.

Для зимнего сева необходимы плодородный грунт, состоящий из листовой земли, торфа и перегноя.
Еще сенью его нужно просеять, перемешать и полить раствором фитоспорина.
После этого выдержать в тепле не менее месяца, а затем можно вынести на холод.
Контейнеры для сева должны быть не глубокими, с хорошими дренажными отверстиями.
Это могут быть как промышленные цветочные контейнеры, так и изделия из молочных пакетов.
Важно, чтобы максимально плотно они входили в большие пластиковые ящики из-под фруктов, потому что закапывать в сугроб удобнее именно ящик, а не каждый контейнер в отдельности.
Кроме того, понадобятся этикетки.
Рекомендую для этих целей использовать одноразовые пластиковые ножички.
Они дешевы, надежны, на них можно писать специальным маркером, а для прочности еще и покрыть завалявшимся бесцветным лаком для ногтей.
Кроме того, я составляю план посева в своем садовом дневнике.

Почему сеять нужно не в большой ящик, а в отдельные контейнеры?
Да потому что так можно посеять каждый сорт отдельно и никакой путаницы весной не будет.
К тому же у разных растений и сортов разные сроки всходов и разная энергия роста.

Процесс сева таков.
Заполнив контейнеры почвой, слегка уплотните ее и полейте.
Дайте верхнему слою слегка подсохнуть, тщательно разровняйте и разложите семена.
Крупные вдавите спичкой на глубину 1 см.
Затем поверх семян насыпьте слой рыхлой просеянной почвы или прокаленного речного песка.
Глубина заделки овощных культур должна быть немного больше, чем рекомендуется конкретному растению, цветочные же культуры лучше не заглублять, а просто семена прижать и слегка присыпать песком.
Через 10-12 часов все контейнеры с этикетками составьте в ящик, прикройте нетканой пленкой, отнесите в сад и закопайте в сугроб с южной стороны дома.
Это важно, потому что уже в конце февраля здесь начнет поддаивать снег и будет легко вытащить ящик.
Учитывая разные сроки вегетации, можно будет сначала перенести в тепло контейнеры с растениями, которым нужно расти дольше, затем остальные.
Я, например, уже в феврале откапываю контейнеры с луком пореем и сельдереем и заношу в дом, а большинство цветочных культур сидят в холоде практически до середины марта.

Что же можно посеять зимой?
Из овощных культур всегда сею порей, шалот и репчатый лук, сорта которого могут дать полноценную луковицу за один сезон, сельдерей корневой и черешковый, свеклу, пастернак.
Для супераннего урожая сею в горшочки мангольд, листовой салат, шпинат, укроп и кинзу, чтобы в марте высадить их в теплицу.

Из цветочных культур пригодны для зимнего сева алиссум, астра и хризантема однолетняя, годеция, календула, мак, космея, лаватера, табак душистый, флокс Друммонда, эшшольция и другие декоративные однолетние культуры, семена которых выдерживают морозы.
Под зиму можно посеять также семена аспарагуса (спаржа), аквилегии, горечавки, гвоздики, декоративных луков, дельфиниума, купальницы, лаванды английской, проломника...
Кстати, только при таком способе можно получить нормальную всхожесть примул.
Увы, при посадке в открытый грунт, как правило, именно ценные сорта теряются или вообще не всходят.

Есть растения, чьи семена очень быстро теряют всхожесть, поэтому зимний посев для них просто необходим.
Только таким способом можно получить саженцы адонисов, аконитов, джефферсонии, хохлаток, печеночниц, пульсатиллы (прострел), морозников, ясенца и триллиумов.

Какие-то цветочные культуры весной можно занести в дом, а какие-то прикопать на разводочной грядке.
А можно поступить, например, и так: один контейнер с алиссумом в марте перенести в теплицу, а другой прикопать в открытый грунт.
Таким образом, у вас будет рассада разных сроков активного цветения, что важно для поддержания декоративности сада весть теплый сезон.

Поделюсь и своим секретом выращивания крепкой рассады.
Сразу после того, как оттает почва в контейнерах, обильно поливаю ее теплой водой с добавлением Экстрасола.
После этого важно, чтобы контейнеры стояли в месте, где температура не ниже 10 градусов тепла.
Живые бактерии начнут стимулировать прорастание семян, рост растений и подавлять болезнетворную микрофлору.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Cut Flowers.

- Cut Flowers | wellywoman

At first I did grow flowers in raised beds in my back garden, and then when I took on an allotment I decoded to devote two beds on the plot to cut flowers.
Each year I learnt which plants gave me the most flowers, which were easy to grow and which lasted the longest when cut.
Early spring is the best time to start growing cut flowers but there are still plans and projects to be getting on with.
It is sowing biennials in summer or hardy annuals in autumn it is choosing the right plants.

Planning a cutting patch:
- sweet pea
- dahlia
- corn flowers
- love-in-the-mist
They are disappointingly short lived.

Most cut flowers prefer neuteral soil PH7.

Shopping list:
1 dahlia karma choc
2 ammi visnaga
4 Sweet William (dianthus barbarous)
12 Sweet pea (Lathers ordoratus)
30 Narcissus Tate a Tate
2 Scabiosa atropurpurea 'Black Cat'
2 Cosmos bipinnatus 'Candy Stripe”
2 Daucus carota 'Black Knight'
6 biennial stock matthiola flower

Dahlia karma choc

Ammi visnaga.
- Ammi visnaga: 500 seeds - £1.95.
Sarah Raven: Seed-only orders have P&P charged at £2.50.

- Ammi Visnaga | Higgledy Garden: 500 seeds - £1.95
P&P charged First Class post: £2.00 (order £15 is free).

Sweet William (dianthus barbarous)

Sweet pea (Lathers ordoratus)

Narcissus Tate a Tate

Scabiosa atropurpurea 'Black Cat'

Cosmos bipinnatus 'Candy Stripe”
Everything you need to know about cosmos, the flower of 2016 | The Telegraph

2 Daucus carota 'Black Knight'

6 biennial stock matthiola flower
Brompton Mixed:
- Stock 'Dwarf Mixed' (Brompton Stocks) - Perennial & Biennial Seeds - Thompson & Morgan

- Annuals and Bbiennials -

Hardy annuals
Opium Poppy
Sweet pea

Half hardy annuals
Floss flowers
Blue lace flowers
Black eyed Susan

Biennials - Gillyflowers
- Stock flower info indicates there is a type of plant that’s actually named stock flower (commonly called Gillyflower) and botanically called Matthiola incana.
In areas without freezing winters, stock flower info says it may even perform as a perennial.
Stock flowers bloom from spring to summer, offering continuous blooms in the sunny garden when given the right stock plant care.
Growing stock is not a complicated project, but it does require a period of cold. The duration of cold needed as a part of stock plant care is two weeks for early blooming types and 3 weeks or more for late varieties.
the frugal gardener can plant seeds in winter and hope your cold spell lasts long enough. In this type of climate, stock flower info says the plant begins to bloom in late spring. In climates with winter freeze, expect blooms of growing stock plants to appear from late spring to late summer.

Brompton Mixed
Sweet Williams
Iceland Poppy

- Dahlia plant in early spring into large pots filled with multipurpose compost

Annual fillers
- Ammi
- Wild carrot
- Sweet Rocket
- Spurge
- Greater Quaking grass

- Gardens: how to grow your own cut flowers | Life and style | The Guardian

- Grow your own cut flower patch - in pictures | Life and style | The Guardian

- Creating a cutting garden - Saga

- Sow long: If you want a beautiful cuttings garden next summer, get those seeds in now | The Independent

- Late Summer & Early Autumn Sowing Of Hardy Annual Flower Seeds.

- The Higgledy Garden Shop | Higgledy Garden: P&P charged First Class post: £2.00 (order £15 is free).

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Why Is My Red Dragon Japanese Maple Mostly Green?

- Why Is My Red Dragon Japanese Maple Mostly Green? | Home Guides | SF Gate
Graft Sprouts
Many types of red-leafed Japanese maples are grafted at a young age onto a rootstock from a green-leafed variety.
Sprouts that arise from below the graft point are usually the color of the rootstock parent species.
Left unpruned, green shoots can eventually outnumber the red branches, so these sprouts should be pruned away when they appear.

- hy Is My Japanese Maple Turning Green? | Home Guides | SF Gate