Seasonal Tips to help you make the most of your garden.

Whether flowers or produce is your thing, see our tips below and inspiration from experienced local gardeners

June gardening advice from the RHS including hoeing weeds and pinching out side-shoots on tomatoes.

Still time to sow maincrop peas – here are our tips on germination.

• Remove side shoots from tomatoes and suckers from lilacs and fruit trees.

Simple tip to get more growth on your basil plants.

 The Gardening with Linda and Jane Show discusses types of compost, recommends poultry grit and advises to tie in your climbers and leave the foliage of bulbs to die back naturally. Don’t cut them or even tie them as that damages the cell structure. 

• Lift bulbs and store in a shallow dry box and when they are dry cut off the dried roots and peel off dried skins. For more on dividing bulbs see advice here

• Watering takes time and frankly, water is precious so here are tips on how to efficiently water your plants for best root growth. 

• How to make comfrey and nettle liquid feed for your garden.

• Reminder to buy peat-free compost.  

Grow Your Own Veg

• How to get started growing your own veg – a beginners’s guide

• Latest inspirational blog from Belinda at Plot 7 Marsh Lane Hungerford Allotments

•  listen here (from 4 min 30sec) to Penny’s tour of Hilly Reem’s inspiring 60 year old veg garden (including a 100 year old rhubarb plant!). 

• If you don’t have a garden, you can still grow lettuce and sprout seeds on a windowsill for fresh and tasty salads or even grow potatoes indoors

More tips for growing your own produce:

Borders, Flowers & Shrubs

How to take softwood cuttings eg lavender, hydrangea

 It is easy to propogate your own geraniums 

Wildlife Friendly Gardening

• If you find a bee swarm in your garden first please double check they are honeybees from this guide and then contact: Newbury Beekeepers, Marc Benson on 07746 374819 in Wash Common, Vale & Downland Beekeepers (for Wantage Area) or Swindon & District Beekeepers – any of these people will be very happy to collect the swarm from you.

Composting & Fertilizing

• It is worth growing comfrey to make a liquid fertilizer for your garden. Roughly chop up leaves in a bucket of water and nettle leaves too. Stir occasionally. When the water is dark green and smells like fertilizer then dilute it with more water and gives your crops a good drink. Here is a demonstration by Monty Don.

• reminder to men to pee on their compost heap! According to The Daily Telegraph this is an important chore and one that is physically easier for men and their pee happens to be slightly less acidic than women’s.

Watering

• Watering takes time and frankly, water is precious so here are tips on how to water your plants for best root growth. To prevent evaporation, we cover soil with gravel, mussel shells and big leaves like rhubarb.

• River-friendly rain garden design ideas to minimise the amount of watering you have to do – from ARK (Action for the River Kennet).

How to Avoid Gardening Injuries

How to garden without injury to keep fit – top tips from Andy at West Berkshire Injury Clinic.

Trees

• If you find tree saplings in your garden please nurture them to contribute to Newbury Friends of the Earth’s Lockdown Wood
 
• If you see woolly fluff on your fruit trees it is aphids and they are easily treated

• Early spring when the tree is still dormant is the best time to graft trees. When the tree wakes up, the sap will hopefully start flowing across the tissues of the graft. It is important to use a very sharp knife so the cut edges are smooth and clean and meld together (it is worth practicing the cuts on spare wood first.) For more information contact Growing Newbury Green. Here is a demonstration from one of the community orchards in Newbury.

Gardening Courses & Clubs

Gardening Courses with Sonia Wright near Marlborough. Something for every garden enthusiast at these one day workshops with award-winning gardener Sonia Wright. Gift vouchers available. To find out more, email sonia@soniawrightgardens.co.uk or call 07917 784602..

Newbury & District Gardeners meet fortnighly during the winter. Lecture series in Newbury open to the public.

If You Don’t Have Your Own Garden

When we can travel again, there are many allotments across the area which might have free plots. There are also community garden centres that are always grateful for volunteers and provide a social experience where you can learn a lot about gardening.

For inspiration on houseplants listen to Gardening Show with Linda & Jane on 4LEGS Radio: houseplants, terrariums and dragon plants (from 13 mins) – plus weeding, sowing crops under glass like chillis and sweet peas (from 27mins), early flowering plants and assessing the structure of your garden in the winter (from 30 mins).

 

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Covering: Hungerford, Marlborough, Wantage,   Lambourn, Newbury, Thatcham & Theale