News - Page 94

A container vegetable garden

A container vegetable garden

You may be short of outdoor space, but that doesn't mean you have to do without home-grown vegetables. There are lots of veg which do brilliantly in containers, whether windowboxes, grow bags, pretty terracotta pots or just tin cans nailed to a fence.

Growing in containers has many advantages: perfect soil, easy planting and your crops are kept well out of reach of slugs. These days, there are lots of innovative new ideas a...

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Mary Frances has been down to visit the Bluebell w...

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May's plant of the month is the petunia

May's plant of the month is the petunia, a much-loved regular in bedding displays, containers and hanging baskets across the country.

There can be few flowers with such a dazzling range of colours to choose from: everything from deepest purple to brilliant yellow, white, pink, striped and bicoloured. As well as single petunias you can find blowsy double-flowered types, and varieties with prettily ruffled petals.

Large-flowered grandiflora types and the...

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Plant of the week - Petunia

The Petunia is one of the most beautiful - and most versatile - of all the summer bedding plants.

They come in many different colours, and can be used just about anywhere in the garden. For a flowery border, to on the patio in pots and containers, or perhaps a lovely welcoming display at the front door, and as there are also trailing varieties they are outstanding in hanging baskets!

If you pick off the flowers as they finish, this will encourage more...

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What to do in the garden in May

What to do in the garden in May:

This is such a wonderful time of year, when there's warmth in the air and in the soil and the garden is just hinting at summer finery. Keep it looking its best with these jobs to be getting on with this month:

General tasks:

  • Start mowing the lawn setting your blade to a higher setting to begin with, then lowering it as the season goes on.
  • Stay alert for pests, especially aphids and lily beetles whi...
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Growing for show

Growing your own food is one of life's great pleasures, and like most good things, it's worth doing well. A great way of measuring your progress is to pit yourself against the old-timers - producers of football-sized onions and metre-long carrots.

It takes courage to exhibit your produce, but it's a lot of fun. Once you take the plunge and enter your first show, you'll be warmly welcomed in, with lots of advice and if you're lucky, hints on how to grow bigger...

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Sow Hardy Annual Flowers

Sow hardy annual flowers in generous drifts straight onto the ground this month, as the soil is now nicely warmed up and they'll germinate and get growing in no time.

Annuals include some of the loveliest of all garden flowers, often self-seeding at the end of the year so you'll have new plants popping up next season too. You'll find lots of seed to choose from in your favourite garden centre: try feathery-petalled love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascena), sky-blue...

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Keeping the crops coming

One of the real skills of good vegetable growing is the ability to time the cycle of sowing, growing and harvesting so you always have a steady stream of goodies to pick fresh from your garden.

It takes good planning and a few canny tricks to make sure you always have just the right amount to pick, ready when you want it, every month of the year. Here are our top tips to help you keep the crops coming.

  • Sow often: sow everything at once and you'll...
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