Over the past ten years, we’ve experienced an increasing number of droughts in spring and summertime. Applying a mulch now, while the ground is still moist from the autumn and winter rains will protect and enhance your soil, adding nutrients that will support soil microorganisims and feed your plants. Mulching will suppress weeds, and help the soil retain moisture. Early spring is the perfect time to apply an organic mulch of homemade garden compost, Strulch®, woodchip, well-rotted manure, or peat-free compost.
Going peat-free is a positive action that each of us can take to protect our peatlands, safeguard nature, and protect our planet. When you are buying plants, before you make a purchase ask if the plants were raised in peat-free compost. When buying compost, check the packaging to see whether the growing media contains any peat – look to buy growing media and composts that are 100% peat-free.
I’m a peat-free gardener and a passionate advocate for peat-free gardening. I want to help you be a successful gardener, so every year I run independent Compost Trials and share the results on my website.
I’ve included organic and vegan, peat-free composts in this Compost Trial. All of the composts in this Compost Trial are 100% peat-free.
The Peat Free April Campaign starts today!
This #PeatFreeApril we need your help to find the country’s #PeatFreeHeroes – and tell the #PeatVillains we’re on to them.
Any time in April you visit your local garden centre or supermarket, look out for their compost. Do they only sell peat-free compost? Then they’re a peat-free hero! Take a picture of their peat-free compost.
Happy new year! I want to help you create a positive and uplifting garden where you can relax, grow your favourite plants, and make real connections with nature.
Do you have a compost heap in your garden? How about in your college or office garden? Composting is such a wonderful thing to do; it’s great for the environment, good for wildlife, produces amazing compost, and saves money!
I’m such a fan of home composting; I want to encourage everyone to set up a compost bin!
Last year, the designers of Aerobin sent me one of their Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composters to try out. Over the past year, I’ve put the Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter to the test. I decided to trial this product because it’s designed to be placed on a paved or concrete area, and this together with the product’s compact size makes it perfect for small patio gardens.
I’ve been campaigning about the lack of regulation for the labelling of bags of compost for many years, so I was interested to hear that finally, things are changing – a new Responsible Sourcing Scheme (RSS) comes into effect in January 2022.
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…..
Hello, and welcome to my wildlife pond at the end of August. I find peace and solace in nature and I love spending time by our wildlife pond. Usually my visits are fleeting, lasting just a few minutes, but these short burst of connection with plants and wildlife revitalise and recharge me, instantly eliminating all the stresses of life.
I’m a peat-free gardener; I am a passionate advocate for peat-free composts. I know from experience, that it’s not always easy to find a good quality peat-free growing media. I understand that gardeners who have used peat-based composts all their lives might be hesitant to switch to a peat-free compost; while gardeners who have purchased a poor performing peat-free compost could naturally be reluctant to try peat-free growing media again.
For the past fourteen years, I’ve grown a delicious harvest of Florence Fennel bulbs by going against traditional gardening advice; instead of ending my sowings of Florence Fennel seeds by June or July, I’ve continued sowing seed throughout August and September. Gardeners in Northern regions of the UK would be unlikely to succeed following my advice, but in my Surrey garden’s sandy soil these later sown seeds have produced a wonderful last hurrah of medium-sized sweet tasting Florence Fennel bulbs.
Hello, and welcome to my wildlife pond in midsummer. I’ve got so much to show you, as this area of my garden is currently full of plants at all stages of growth. I can’t wait for you to see the flowers, but what you can’t see is the scent. I’ve only grown a few plants with perfumed flowers in this area, but they produce strongly scented flowers that fill this part of my garden with fragrance.
At this time of year, foxglove flowers pulsate with the relaxing, soothing sound of summer, as bees hum happily whilst they disappear in and out of the tubular flowers.
Foxgloves are superb plants for bees; they’re fantastic plants for gardeners, too! These obliging plants are self-supporting and rarely need any assistance. Water your seedlings in dry weather until they’ve settled in; once they’re established, foxgloves are fairly drought tolerant and slug resistant.
Summer has finally arrived! Hello and welcome to my wildlife pond in summertime. It’s so lovely to be able to share my wildlife pond with you through these updates; I am looking forward to taking you on a tour of the aquatic and herbaceous plants growing in this area of my garden.
I remember heading out on a sunny day in May, some years ago now. My new raised bed was completed, so I was heading over to my allotment, filled with excitement and armed with an open packet of Hesperis matronalis var. albiflora seeds. Somewhat comically, I tripped up en route, throwing myself and the entire contents of my seed packet down onto my neighbour, Caroline’s allotment.
Hello and welcome to my wildlife pond in springtime. Spring is a fascinating time to observe a pond and watch wildlife, as the water is literally teaming with life; amphibians are mating, and new insects are emerging and appearing every day! Whenever I’m in my garden, I’m always drawn to our pond – on the look out for newts and insects, and eager to see how my plants are developing.
I’m supporting Peat Free April – a campaign by garden writers, nature writers, and gardeners who want to ban the use of peat in horticulture and protect the planet’s peatlands and peat bogs.
We really need your help to push the government to protect peat bogs and peatlands, so please sign this petition to ask the government to ban the use of peat in horticulture.
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.
I’m a peat-free gardener; I am a passionate advocate for peat-free composts – I want to encourage everyone to go peat-free! However, I do understand that gardeners who use peat-based composts might be reluctant to switch to a peat-free compost, if they aren’t familiar with this type of growing media. Trying a new compost can feel like a venture into the unknown; none of us want to start the gardening season off on the wrong foot, to be unnecessarily delayed, or to have our gardening compromised by using products that are not as good quality or effective as we might wish for.
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.