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December Gardening Calendar

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

Welcome to the GardenAdvice gardening calendar for the 3rd  week in December 2017

A Happy Christmas and New Year to all our members and viewers
Christmas is all a bit of a rush however well planned your seasonal holidays have been planned and its the same with the garden. Its always a rush in late spring to organise the summer colours in your garden, however some planning and forethought goes a long way. This coming new year, to give you a head start on some summer colour we recommend Bulbs and beyond – premier suppliers of summer colour!

Colourful summer gardens are all about planning – and that’s especially the case with summer bulbs, corms, tubers, and rhizomes such as Lilies, Gladioli, Dahlias, Cannas and Zantedeschias (Calla Lilies). Now is the time to start thinking about planning your summer colour schemes and also pre-ordering your bulbs so you get the best stock available as soon as possible. Bulbs are delivered from March onwards so you’ll receive them at the right planting time. It is important to remember that most summer-flowering bulbs do not tolerate frost so if you have to store them, even for short period of time, do take appropriate measures to protect them from late frost. For summer colours inspiration, visit the GardenAdvice recommended expert supplier Bulbs & beyond
Your bulbs will be delivered to your doorstep direct from Holland so you’ll know they have been stored and treated professionally when you receive them at the right planting time. All you have to do is plant and enjoy them!
If you are a MyGardenTeam member ask your GardenAdvice expert gardener to come up with a few suggestions on summer bulbs, corms, tubers, and rhizomes to add some colour to you garden this summer.

Garden Wildlife – for the wildlife in your garden winter is all about shelter and food. Provide your garden wildlife with these two items and most of the wildlife in your garden will reward you by eating the pests that attack you crops and plants in the spring and summer. Shelter is easy to provide for most wildlife with hedgehogs for example its about making sure they have access under your garden shed or compost heap. Another example of shelter for wildlife is toads, they love upturned clay pots on soft or sandy soil. With your garden birds especially the small one such as blue tits its about leaving a few shrubs slightly over grow or some ivy on a wall to prove them with a place to roost during the hardest days in winter. Food is another mater with birds it easy, just make sure you have a stock of wild bird food in-store and ready to go. With lots of other garden wildlife turning over some of your soil on your veg plot will often turn up a few beetles and other insects plus the odd worm or two to keep wildlife that been hibernating and woken up for a snack going until the spring.

Ponds – leave the cutting down of the foliage from your water plants until the spring as it often provides a source of food for garden wildlife for example bull rush heads are a great source of food for finches.
Its a good idea to place a small blow up plastic football in your the pool or pond. This will stop the water freezing totally in a hard frost . The water around the football will not freeze it leaving just a patch of clear water which helps stop the ice damaging the pond and allows fish and other garden wildlife access to clear water in big freezes.

Compost heaps – to keep your compost heaps of bins working during the winter its a good idea to cover or wrap them with carpet. This will hold the heat in the compost and helps keep the bacteria and fungi active break down the compost

It might be cold and windy at this time of year but now is the ideal time to carry out any hardy plant planting in your garden with such items as trees, shrubs and perennial plants.  At the time of year although the air is cold often the soil is still warm enough to promote new root growth on newly planted hardy plants

Root balled plants – As the winter planting season gets under-way get some advice on root balled plants.
When you are buying evergreen root balled plants in the autumn and winter often a nursery will grow a number of plants and buy in root balled plants from abroad so ask if its a locally grown plant or if they have been brought in. The advantage being that locally grown plants are already used to your conditions, if they have been grown in the South of Italy they are in for a bit of a shock. More

Time to look at your stored crops of apples and pears.
The Xmas and New Year is a good time to check on any apples and pears you have in storage. Make sure they are not touching each other and any signs of brushing or discolouring remove them before the effect the whole crop. You will have heard the saying one rotten apple will spoil a barrel

Beech trees and Hedges
The Christmas and new year period is you last chance to plant a bare root beech hedge – for reasons not fully understood planting them from January onwards and they never seem to do so well as the one planted at or before Christmas and new year period.

The seasonal holidays are a great time to clean out your glasshouse and get it ready for the seed sowing in February / March in a heated glasshouse. Wash down all the pots, seed trays, staging and other structures with a mixture of Jeyes fluid and water, the idea being it will kill all the overwintering pest eggs and fungal spores. Then start on the glass making sure you remove all the moss etc. where the pains overlap.

GardenAdvice Facebook page
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GardenAdvice Members Page
Keep up to date with the latest offer for GardenAdvice and MyGardenTeam members Follow this link for more details  http://gardenadvice.co.uk/club/members/index.html

GardenAdvice one day gardening course for beginners designed to get you started in your own garden or makes an ideal christmas gift for the gardener in your life.
For further details Click Here

How banning one type of weedkiller could transform the food and farming industries

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe


Despite it being an extremely popular and effective weedkiller used for many decades, we will soon no longer be able to buy glyphosate. While this is a nuisance for keen gardeners who like to keep their homegrown produce and lawns free from weeds, it also has an even greater impact on food prices, farming and even transport!
Read on to find out why the weedkiller was banned and how it could affect us in the future.

What’s the story of glyphosate?
Unless you really know your weedkillers, chances are you won’t have heard much about glyphosate. In fact, the herbicide is the most widely-bought weedkiller in the world and has actually been around since 1974 when it was brought out by Monsanto. Originally called ‘Roundup’, it fast became an important product for farmers to help kill weeds and boost productivity. Due to it being commonly sold, glyphosate-based formulations are now also used in: agriculture, forestry, aquatic environments, streets, parks, and schools.

The ban and the EU
The decision to outlaw glyphosate came from the European Parliament in October 2017, which has stated that the substance will be phased out by mid-December 2022. For many years, scientists have warned people against glyphosate, however, it’s taken a two-year debate for the European Parliament to vote 355 to 204 in favour of its ban. Now, measures must be adopted to phase out the use of glyphosate across the entire EU. However, it’s worth remembering that this was a non-binding vote. Members of the European Union and European Commission are now obligated to stop the use of glyphosate on farms, in public parks, and in households whenever other biological pest control systems are available.

How important is glyphosate?
Glyphosate is widely-used in the UK, which makes its ban all the more important for the economy. According to research from the Soil Association, the use of glyphosate in UK farming has increased by 400% over the past 20 years. The Guardian has also reported that there has almost been enough of the herbicide sprayed since its creation that it would cover every cultivable acre of Earth. Recently, glyphosate was discovered in: crisps, bread, biscuits, cereals and crackers.

Problems of glyphosate
Banning glyphosate came about as a response to the discovery of it in various food products, which highlighted it as a potential threat. Fears have long been raised that the herbicide is a hormone disrupter that is linked to birth defects, the development of cancerous tumours and other developmental disorders. Some scientists have also argued that there is no safe lower level for human consumption.

How the ban of glyphosate could the food costs
Of course, it’s vital that we strive to deliver only safe, quality food to our supermarket shelves. However, banning glyphosate could cause negative effects that many haven’t considered. Monsanto’s vice president, Scott Partridge, stated to The Guardian: “You would see increased costs for farming and decreased productivity, increased greenhouse gas emissions, loss of topsoil, and loss of moisture. Farmers through Europe would be very upset that a very effective and safe tool had been taken out of their hands.”
Agreeing with Partridge is a Polish orchard farmer with experience of using glyphosate who commentated on Monsanto’s companion site Growing Our Future: “Production costs of fruit farming will definitely go up as we look to use more time and energy consuming methods of weed control. When production costs go up, prices in shops also go up and people should be aware of this. For fruit farmers, there is no alternative to glyphosate because there are no other products that do what it does.”

How the ban of glyphosate could affect train lines
What about other industries? On top of the ramifications on the food and farming industries, the prohibition of glyphosate is likely to impact negatively on businesses that clear rail tracks. Weeds that are left unchecked can significantly restrict track visibility, track access for workers and possibly even render a line impassable in severe cases across Europe’s railways.
How do companies currently make the tracks clear and safe? Specialist operator, Weedfree on Track has been combatting weed problems for over half a century via a method of using a “weed killer train”, which sprays a glyphosate solution onto areas that have been identified by a high-tech camera as having weeds with a specific amount of chlorophyll content. Jonathan Caine, operations manager at Weedfree on Track, said: “We’ve carried out a number of trials to see how much more effective the train is than manual methods and have estimated that manually doing the same job, in the same time frame, can cost up to 40 times more.”
Alongside this issue, we must also find or create a solution that’s equally as effective as glyphosate. Jean-Pierre Deforet, a chemist at Belgian railway authority Infrabel, said in a Growing Our Future article: “The alternatives are to use mulch or to spray manually. But allowing people onto the tracks would cause another, bigger safety issue than spraying from the train.”
This article was created by Lycetts — a crop insurance supplier and financial services provider.

Additional sources:



Gardening course gift for your partner this Christmas

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

If you are looking for a great Christmas gift a partner that’s keen on gardening or wishing to improve your garden a one day gardening course from GardenAdvice could be the ideal gift. Issued as a gift certificate that can be used on a one day course at a number of venues and dates throughout the UK or as a home course – we come to you for the day and carry out the course in your garden. For Further details Click Here

Gardening courses as a Christmas Gift

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

GardenAdvice one day courses make a great Christmas gift for a partner that loves gardening. Its the gift that lasts a full 12 months providing GardenAdvice advice and gardening expertise’s


Course available at local venues or in your own garden – we come to you and carry out the course in your own garden for you or you and upto 12 of your friends


If you are new to gardening it’s difficult to understand where to start with all the Latin plant names, different types of soils and different species of plants needing a range of growing conditions and environments. In response to this need and with feedback from our members and viewers the GardenAdvice Team have created a number of gardening courses especially created for the new gardener. The aim of our gardening courses is to provide you with a basic knowledge of gardening to get you started and provide you with ongoing advice from your own gardening expert for a full year through the Gardenadvice MyGardenTeam system, every course we provide comes with 12 months membership to our MyGardenTeam service



Gardening course for beginners and new gardeners. Click Here




Gardening course for beginners for vegetable growing. Click here

Gardening course for Wildlife gardening. Click here


For further details on our gardening courses telephone 01225 637218 or email us at courses@gardenadvice.co.uk


All the GardenAdvice courses are available in the following formats.

Home course for a day in your own garden for you and you and your friends for up to 12 people. One of our GardenAdvice garden advisors comes to you and carries out the course costing £145 per day. We tailor the course to your gardeing interests and the person organising the course gets 12 months membership to our MyGardenTeam service included in the cost. Available to purchase as a gift voucher as a xmas or birthday etc


One day gardening course in a GardenAdvice garden around the UK see our gardening course facebook page for more details costing £145 per person including lunch and membership to our MyGardenTeam service. Available to purchase as a gift voucher as a xmas or birthday etc.


One to three day residential gardening courses held in our main UK garden 5 miles North of Dorchester, Dorset see our gardening course facebook page for more details costing £160 per person per day including bed and breakfast plus lunch for you and your non gardening partner. Discounts available for single people attending our residential gardening course and two people both attending one of our residential courses sharing a room. Includes membership to our MyGardenTeam service. Available to purchase as a gift voucher as a xmas or birthday etc.


For further information on the Gardenadvice gardening courses including dates and venues please visit our gardening course facebook page by Click here