Chilli pepper and sweet pepper plants grow slowly and can take longer than we expect to reach maturity and produce peppers. January is my favourite time to sow chilli and sweet pepper seeds, as it gives the plants a longer growing season with extra time for fruit to develop and ripen, compared to the standard spring-sown plants.
Spring and summer weather often leaves plants and gardeners wilting during punishing droughts and intense heatwaves. Raising plants in containers requires far more water than growing plants in the ground. If you’ve got a penchant for container gardening, I’d like to introduce you to self-watering containers: literal lifesavers for plants and gardeners!
Welcome to my calendar of orchid plant sales, orchid auctions, orchid shows, orchid talks, orchid garden openings, and orchid events!How to Use this Calendar
NB: This calendar is dynamic and will update as I add new events. Please don’t waste paper or resources printing this calendar and remember to check back for new events as I add them!
Spring is such an uplifting time in the garden. As the days lengthen and spring flowers come into bloom, the anticipation of the wealth of flowers we’ll admire in our countryside and gardens over the coming seasons provides me with an abundance of reasons to be thankful. If your garden is looking a little lacklustre at the moment, don’t worry – there are some delightful spring-flowering perennial plants available at nurseries and garden centres, which will brighten up our gardens this spring and in the years that follow.
Garden Designer Jackie Currie and Plant Heritage won a Gold Medal for their ‘National Plant Collections Everywhere!’ exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021! This stunning exhibit showcased plants from National Plant Collections grown inside living rooms, glasshouses, gardens, and allotments, across the UK.
One of the stars of the exhibit was the Salvia caymanensis, grown by John and Linsey Pink who hold a National Collection of Salvias.
Welcome to part two of my overview of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021 (if you missed part one, please click here). Let me take you on a tour of the gardens and exhibits I visited at this year’s very special autumn RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021…..
April is a truly generous and forgiving time of year for gardeners. This month provides us with numerous opportunities to grow an extensive range of exciting and exotic fruit and vegetables from seed.
Although there’s a wealth of seed choices on offer, not all of the unusual edibles we can grow are guaranteed to succeed in our variable climate and not every variety produces the best flavoured harvest.
Every year, I trial new plants and products in my quest to discover the top performing composts and the tastiest and most productive edible plants.
Last year, the Quadgrow Self Watering Planter performed exceptionally well in my Trials. Growing tomatoes is easy with the Quadgrow; simply top up the Quadgrow’s 30l reservoir with Nutrigrow and water and the planter will automatically water and fertilise your plants for around two weeks.
I’m a peat-free gardener; I am a passionate advocate for using peat-free composts. Every year, I uncover the best quality peat-free composts on the market in my peat-free Compost Trials. I ran this Compost Trial to help you find top quality composts that will enable your tomato plants to produce bumper harvests of tomatoes!
Chilli pepper seeds are usually sown from February to the end of April. However, these vegetables command a long growing season, requiring sufficient time for the plants to mature and their fruit to develop and ripen. Accordingly, I find that chilli peppers are best started from seed sown in January.
Nurseries stock a limited range of chilli pepper plants in springtime, but gardeners who grow chillies from seed are blessed with the choice of a vast range of varieties.
Earlier this year, Greenhouse Sensation sent me a Quadgrow Self Watering Planter to try. If you’ve not seen a Quadgrow before, it’s a plastic container growing system (made from recycled plastic) that uses capillary action to provide plants with automatic watering. This clever design alters the way we irrigate plants. Instead of watering plants in the traditional sense (watering plants from above with a watering can), with the Quadgrow we deliver the water and nutrients right where they’re needed – at the plants’ roots.
This year, I’ve been running more Trials with Tomatoes; I’ll share all the results from my Tomato Trials with you in due course, but today I wanted to show you my Quadgrow Self Watering Planter. Most of my tomato plants have now given up or been affected by Late Blight, but the tomatoes in my Quadgrow have (for the moment) escaped this disease.
Holidaymakers buying plants or collecting plant material as holiday souvenirs often bring home more than they bargained for and unwittingly transport pests, diseases, or invasive species into the UK; causing lasting, and sometimes irreversible, problems for themselves and UK horticulture as a whole.
Instead, make your holiday excitement last all summer, every year, with UK grown plants that will flourish inside your conservatory or glasshouse, at your garden or allotment.
Spider mites are a serious pest of orchids, indeed they are a pest of a great many other plants too, but with the warm weather we’re experiencing in the UK, today I wanted to remind you about the importance of controlling spider mites on orchids and other indoor plants.
Spider mites thrive in hot, dry conditions.
Over the past few years, we’ve all become more aware of the dangers of our over use of plastic and the damage that this material can do to us, our environment, and to creatures of all shapes and sizes who live in the rivers, oceans, and in the landscape around us. For the most part, the horticultural sector has taken their time to address the horticultural industry’s use of plastic.
A highlight of the horticultural calendar, the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show runs from Tuesday 21st May 2019, to Saturday 25th May 2019.
In preparation for the show, over the past three weeks, award winning garden designers, together with their teams, made up of some of the best landscape architects, project managers, builders, technicians, horticulturalists, artists, and crafts people, have been working tirelessly to transform the Royal Hospital’s grounds at Chelsea, into a plant filled oasis.
Sowing seeds is a wonderfully cost-effective way to garden. Many hardy annual plants can be grown from seed this month, providing us with a quick and easy way to fill our gardens with beautiful flowers, in a wide range of colours and forms.
Many annual plants provide a valuable source of nectar, pollen, and food for insects.
Sciarid flies are teeny, tiny flies, from the family Sciaridae, they’re also known as fungus gnats, or by their genera’s scientific names of Bradysia or Lycoriella. Although sciarid flies live outdoors, as the flies are so minute in size, you’re unlikely to notice these insignificant little flies outside.
The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew hold a special place in my heart. These accessible gardens have so much to offer visitors, whatever the season or time of year.
I thought you might like to see some of the orchids on display at Kew’s 2019 Orchid Festival. If you’d like to visit this festival, make your arrangements now, as you don’t have long – Kew’s Colombian themed Orchid Festival closes on Sunday 10th March 2019.
I just adore growing fruit and vegetables! Any form of edible gardening is a soul enriching experience, which I would encourage you to try.When to sow tomato seeds and plant tomato plants outside?