Posts Tagged ‘gardening tips’

Tomato Cages: How to Make Supports for Healthier Tomato Plants [video]

May 23rd, 2017 | The vegetable garden | 0 Comments

Healthier Tomato PlantsTomatoes are a big favourite in the vegetable garden. They’re fun to grow and delicious to eat. This post advises on how to get healthier tomato plants in your vegetable garden. 

  • Supporting tomatoes is dependent on the tomato variety. 
  • Cordon/Vining/Indeterminate tomatoes grow to head height and beyond. They require tall, sturdy supports.

Cordon tomatoes can be grown against tall canes or stakes, or in a green house twisted around string.  Firmly secure canes into the ground, ensure they will stand up against rough weather and fruit plant weight. Push the support into the ground before planting to avoid damaging the roots. Tie the plants to the cane with string, at regular intervals to keep up with their growth.

  • Bush/Determinate tomatoes grow up to around three feet and therefore require less support.
  • Semi-determinate/intermediate tomatoes are in between.

Tomato cages can be used for both bush and semi-determinate tomato plants . By purpose made ages or making your own with concrete reinforcement mesh. Flex the mesh into a tube to create a tube and place over your tomato plant. The video below goes into further detail on how to create your own tomato cage.

  • Regular pruning of tomatoes can ensure further productivity of tomatoes.
  • Remove all leaves from tomato plants, this will allow extra space for tomatoes to grow. It will also take away significant weight from the plant.
  • Remove side shoots from tomato plants as they can interfere with tomato productivity.

These are just a few pruning and training jobs for your vegetable garden. More detailed advice is available in the video below, so be sure to give it a watch. Let us know any tips you have for healthier tomato plants.

GrowVeg – Tomato Cages: How to Make Supports for Healthier Tomato Plants

Recycling for the Garden: Upcycling Items for a More Productive Vegetable Garden

May 9th, 2017 | The flower garden, The vegetable garden | 0 Comments

garden-recycling-bottlesGardening  doesn’t have to be expensive, you can recycle and reuse items which will save money as well as keeping your gardening as green as possible. This post gives plenty tips on recycling for the garden. 

  • Using yoghurt pots for sowing seeds is a great way to start recycling. Puncture holes into the base of yoghurt pots for drainage.
  • Old fruit trays are also perfect as they already have holes perfect for drainage.
  • Toilet tubes are ideal for deeper rooted vegetables, such as peas, beans and corn.
  • Old guttering offers a great depth for the sowing of peas.
  • Polystyrene cups make fun sized containers for kids to learn to grow salads and radishes in.
  • Newspapers can be fashioned into pots, by wrapping it around toilet tubes. A detailed tutorial for this can be found in the video below.
  • Strips of yoghurt pot, lolly sticks and baton can all be used to create labels. All you’ll need in addition to this is a permanent marker. These mean you can label rows of your plants.
  • Many plants need protection before they are fully established. Clear plastic bottles can be cut in half, creating two miniature greenhouses. These can be used for individual plants.
  • Bubble wrap from postal deliveries can be reused to keep plants warm on frosty nights. Polystyrene boxes provide warm micro climate for seed trays.
  • Old windows can be used to create a homemade cold frame. A short tutorial on this can be found in the video below.
  • To protect your plants from pests and birds, you can use netting over canes that are topped with pots.

These are just a few tips and tricks on recycling in the garden, the video below has further advice as well as detailed tutorials for creating garden containers. Let us know if you have any garden recycling tips.

GrowVeg – Recycling for the Garden: Upcycling Items for a More Productive Vegetable Garden

Choosing the Right Layout for Your Vegetable Garden Design [video]

April 25th, 2017 | The flower garden, The vegetable garden | 0 Comments

Vegetable Garden Design - Nation of Gardeners SaladNew or old gardens can always be improved using dedicated vegetable beds that can help with productivity. A simple vegetable bed system will help you to plan, tend and harvest your crops with ease. This will leave you with a vegetable garden to be proud of. This post and the video below shares advice on vegetable garden design and how to make the most of the space that you have. 

  • Growing vegetables in allocated beds has many advantages. Narrow beds ensure growing areas can be tended from surrounding paths, this eliminates the needs to step on beds and crops. This creates a healthier soil for your plants, in turn providing you with plenty of crops.
  • Soil manures can be planted in specific areas when using beds preventing the need to spread manure across entire plots.
  • A bed system provides order for crops but also makes crop protection easier, as you only need to cover particular beds with their specific protection.
  • Using vegetable beds also provide an accessible garden by collating similar vegetables into the same bed making the gardening easier to manage.
  • Beds can be laid out in two ways, soil-level or raised.
    • Soil level beds are easy to work out, simply define bed edges with string and peg down. Then you can prepare the ground within the string.
    • Edging around beds to create raised beds offers a more permanent solution and a physical feature in your garden. Raised beds physically defines the vegetable beds and separates the various vegetables. Edging for beds does however cost more and more effort is required to build them and then fill them with compost and top soil.
  • You must try to make it possible for the centre of beds to be reached easily from the paths that surround them. Aim for a bed width of 3 – 4 feet or 90 – 120cm, this will give ample space for reaching to the centre of the bed.

These are just a few tips and tricks on vegetable garden design. Let us know if you have any further tips in the comments below.  You can also find the Mr Fothergills range of bed kits and covers here.

Vegetable Garden Design: Choosing the Right Layout for Your Garden

Vegetable Garden Design – Choosing the Right Layout for Your Garden

Growing Potatoes in Containers – How to Grow Potatoes in Bags or Pots [video]

April 11th, 2017 | The flower garden, The vegetable garden | 0 Comments

Growing Potatoes - Nation of Gardeners Potatoes may be inexpensive, but it’s much more satisfying to grow your own. There are hundreds of varieties to choose from, but do you have the space to grow them? Well this video offers suggestions on growing potatoes in containers, the perfect solution for small urban gardens!

  • Potatoes can be planted into any pot or container that can hold at least three gallons of potting soil. This could include terracotta pots, potato growing sacks, sturdy shopping bags or for a quirky touch, stacked old tyres.
  • As long as a container can hold an adequate amount of potting soil and offers plenty of drainage for plants, then it will do the job perfectly.
  • There are many advantages to using pots and bags for potatoes; no digging is required, plants are easier to protect from cold weather and soil born pests like slugs and worms are less likely to become an issue.
  • Potato containers can be used to grow almost anywhere; on a patio or balcony, in a greenhouse and within spaces in flower borders.
  • Any potato variety can be grown in pots, but for best results go with an early growing or salad variety. These usually produce less foliage than maincrops, which makes them better suited for compact growing conditions.

These are just a few tips and tricks on growing potatoes in bags and pots. Watch the video below for further advice and a tutorial on how to plant the potatoes you have into containers. If you have suggestions for growing potatoes in containers, feel free to leave your advice in the comments below.

You can view our range of potatoes here.

Growing Potatoes in Containers: How to Grow Potatoes in Bags or Pots

Growing Potatoes in Containers – How to Grow Potatoes in Bags or Pots

Strawberries: Choose and Grow the Best Tasting Strawberries

March 23rd, 2017 | The vegetable garden | 0 Comments

Strawberry Buddy - Growing Strawberries Homegrown strawberries are indulgent and delicious – they’re always nice and easy to grow! This post will look at the best types of strawberry to grow and the best way to grow them. 

  • If you choose a range of strawberry varieties and you could be picking fresh fruits from late spring – all the way to autumn. Start with early season varieties, followed by mid season and then finally late season strawberries. Alternatively, you can grow everbearing strawberries, these yield fruits in smaller quantities from early summer to autumn.
  • If you’re going to be making jam with your strawberries then it’s best to choose varieties that produce a lot of strawberries in one go.
  • Alpine strawberries are a lower maintenance alternative, they can be left to sprawl between ornamentals and will naturally self-seed. Their fruits are tiny – but offer an intense aromatic taste.
  • Strawberries love rich soil! Be sure to add plenty of organic matter to your compost before planting.
  • Strawberries can grow in impartial shade but will have lower yields. So, sunny positions are preferable.
  • Plant strawberries, so that the base of the crown is at soil level and space them around 18 – 24 inches apart. Allowing plenty of room for weeding, watering and picking.
  • Strawberries grow very well in containers filled with quality potting soil, they can be planted a little closer together but you’ll need to water your plants a little more frequently as they’ll dry out rapidly. Fruit is less likely to be damaged by slugs.
  • For an extra early variety, cover them with cloche or polyethene tunnel from the end of winter. Once the plants come into flower, remove the covers on warm days – this will allow insect pollinators access. This could offer you a crop up to three weeks earlier.
  • Keep plants well watered in dry weather, so that the fruits can swell to a good size. Plants undercover may need more water.
  • Stop mud from splashing onto developing fruits by laying down strawberry mats shortly after planting. Alternatively, use a mulch which will lock in moisture whilst keeping fruits clean. Straw is the traditional choice – hence the name strawberries!!

These are just a few top tips for picking strawberry varieties and growing them. If you’d like to find out more, the video below has more tips and advice. We’d love any ideas you have for growing strawberries – let us know in the comments or on our social media.

If you’d like to see our varieties of strawberries, you can find them here on the Mr Fothergill’s website.

Strawberries: Choose and Grow the Best Tasting Strawberries