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Soil needs plants in the same way plants need soil

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

Soil has evolved to support plants and not to be without plants. If left for any length of time without plants it soon becomes de-structured poorly draining and a hostile environment for all the soil organism that work in the soil to breakdown organic matter etc

If you find yourself with a bare patch of soil that is going to be bare for more than 6 weeks you should consider growing a green manure such as clover in the case of a vegetable garden or in other areas of bare soil mulching with mulches such as spent mushroom compost will protect the soil . Both these method will improve the soil an enrich its fertility and organic matter content. Although it should be noted that mushroom compost contains lots of lime and so will raise the soil pH if you have a chalky soil or need to lower the soil pH using well rotted manure will achieve this.

Another method to protect your soil in the short term is to cover the soil with a weed sheeting which as well as smothering the weed seedlings protects the soil the soil structure from the devastating effects of rain and rain drops which smash the surface destroying the crumb structure and de-structuring the soil making it difficult for plant roots to growth into the soil.

Pruning your indoor and outdoor grapes

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

November and December are the best months for pruning both inside and outdoor grape vines.

If you are training your vine and it’s a newish plant you should tie in the stems you require horizontally to a frame work of wires you have already created.

Training the stems in a horizontal direction will include fruiting spurs and more fruit.

With establish vines first prune out all the damaged and diseased stems. Next cut back the long summer growth stems by 75 percent unless you are planning to extend the range of the vine. Finally prune the main stems back to the fruiting spurs.

Winter in an unheated Glasshouse – creating some colour

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

 

Winter in an unheated Glasshouse – creating some colour – 

If you have on and the thousands of unheated Glasshouse in the UK and wondered what you could do with them in the winter months then planting a few stock plants will provide you with some scented cut flowers for your home in the late winter early spring. Easy to grow and very hard its not a plant that is as common over resent years but well worth a try. Its best purchased as plugs or grown from seed on a window sill and then transferred to a pot or bed in your greenhouse. For extra protection you can planting them under bell jars or small cloches just to get them started. 

Other plants for the cold greenhouse which will produce early colour are spring bulbs in pots, primula and violas. 

November is a great time to get your Greenhouse in order

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

We are often asked about pests and disease in Greenhouses and often our answers involve biological control methods but by far the most effective methods to control pests and disease in a new or existing Greenhouse is to start with a clean house. This means cleaning the inside and outside with a horticultural disinfectant or some Jeyes Fluid disinfectant using a hand spray to create a jet of water/disinfectant and small brush or long handled broom to get into cracks and gaps where pests and diseases create of eggs and spores that over winter. Then once the Green house is clean use a sulphur candle which produces a sulphur gas to help kill the pests and diseases that have managed to get themselves into inaccessible places.

This simple task will make sure your GreenHouse is as clean as it can be before you start to sow the new season crops. 

Grow your own fruit and vegetables and beat the spring Brexit panic

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

 

A GardenAdvice gardening course member growing her first crop of edible grapes 

Grow your own fruit and vegetables and beat the Brexit panic next spring. With the uncertainly of the way forward with the Brexit negotiations the GardenAdvice team are noticing that a lot of our Agricultural clients in the East of England have switched from growing salad crops to the crops such as sugar beat which have a longer shelf life and can be harvested with machinery rather than labour – the labour from Eastern Europe has already gone home and looks unlikely to return in the spring.

So it looks as through in the short term fruit and vegetable prices will start to rise. So if you have every fancied from your own fruit and vegetables now would be a good time to start. The GardenAdvice one day gardening course on growing your own is. good place to start, our courses cover the following

Basic gardening techniques such as digging, seed sowing, pruning, planting and watering.

Organic principles  How to work with your soil and keep it producing good crops year after year.

Basic construction methods How to build raised beds and hot bed and other useful structures.

Pest and diseases how to control them by using organic methods and creating a natural balance in your garden to keep them under control.

Creating special areas in your garden including a organic veg plot, fruit garden, perennial borders and water features.

Planning  a  years crops Making the most of the space you have available

 

 

 

Fruit tree pruning service from GardenAdvice

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

Get some professional help with your fruit trees

The GardenAdvice team winter fruit tree pruning service which is available from November until the end of February. The service includes pruning your fruit trees and bushes, removing the prunings, tar washing the fruit plants, applying grease bands and feeding the fruit trees or bushes. The cost is £40 for the first fruit tree, £35 for next fruit trees and £30 for every fruit tree in the same garden after the first two. For futher information email us at admin@gardenadvice.co.uk  More

One day gardening course – Learn how to grow your own vegetables – London / Colchester

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

Come and join us for a one days gardening course in the GardenAdvice walled garden Nr Colchester and learn how to grow your own fruit and vegetables 

If you fancy growing your own veg then this course is a great place to start. The course lasts for a day and takes you through all the basics you need to know to get you own organic vegetable garden started . The following areas are covered –

 

Basic gardening techniques such as digging, seed sowing, pruning, planting and watering.

Organic principles  How to work with your soil and keep it producing good crops year after year.

Basic construction methods How to build raised beds and hot bed and other useful structures.

Pest and diseases how to control them by using organic methods and creating a natural balance in your garden to keep them under control.

Creating special areas in your garden including a organic veg plot, fruit garden, perennial borders and water features.

Planning  a  years crops Making the most of the space you have available

After the course and included in the cost you will be added to our MyGardenTeam system for a year to receive expert help from your very own GardenAdvice gardener 

Course costs £165 for the day including our MyGardenTeam service for a year and lunch. If you wish to come by train we can collect you at Colchester or Manningtree railway station. 

Fruit crops in the UK and Climate Change

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

 

As the climate in the UK becomes warmer many of the more marginal crops are starting to become mainstream crops. In the GardenAdvice garden this year we had our largest crop of nectarines so far and some of the grapes we grow outside produced enough sugar to become very edible. These results have been achieved even with the late spring earlier this year – yet more evidence that the climate has changed in our garden

Success for a GardenAdvice gardening course client

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

A GardenAdvice gardening course grows her first salad crop from Seed – excellent iceberg lettuce 

We will show you how to grow your own vegetables through the year with our one day home gardening course focusing on vegetable, fruit and salad production. No experience needed Just an interest in growing your own for you and your family.  For further information ring 01225 637218  or Click Here for further information

 

 

Grow your own vegetables course from GardenAdvice

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

If you wish to grow your own vegetables then our One Day Gardening Course on growing organic vegetables is a great place to start to gain the knowledge and support you need. You as a course in your own garden by one of our gardening experts for you and up to 12 of your family and friends or at our walled kitchen garden near Colchester

Available as gift certificate as a Christmas present for the gardener in your life. Organise your own dates to suit you with our expert gardening staff to suit you after Xmas

All our courses include a years membership to our MyGardenTeam service which provides you with your own expert gardener on the GardenAdvice Staff to help you with advice on growing your own vegetable and fruit plus your other gardening projects through the year.

The course is tailored to your gardening ambitions  and covers the following

 

  • Basic gardening techniques such as digging, seed sowing, pruning, planting and watering.

Organic principles  How to work with your soil and keep it producing good crops year after year.

  • Basic construction methods How to build raised beds and hot bed and other useful structures.
  • Pest and diseases how to control them by using organic methods and creating a natural balance in your garden to keep them under control.
  • Creating special areas in your garden including a organic veg plot, fruit garden, perennial borders and water features.
  • Planning  a years crops Making the most of the space you have available

All the GardenAdvice courses are available in the following formats. Click Here 

Home course for a day in your own garden for you or you and your friends for up to 12 people. One of our GardenAdvice garden advisors comes to you and carries out the course costing £165 per day. We tailor the course to your gardening 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.