Growing giant vegetables

Champion gardener’s secrets revealed at Harrogate Autumn Flower Show

Kevin Fortey marrow
Giant veg grower Kevin Fortey, who will be at this year’s Harrogate Autumn Flower Show. Picture; NOEHS/Harrogate Flower Show

The world of giant veg growing is one of closely guarded secrets and rituals… until now.

British record holder and author Kevin Fortey will reveal the tricks of the trade at Harrogate Autumn Flower Show (September 15-17), with talks to mark the launch of three new classes for novice growers.

Aimed at gardeners who have never won a prize for super-sized specimens, the beginner classes will invite entries for marrows, tomatoes, and runner beans. Continue reading “Growing giant vegetables”

Best multi-branching sunflowers

Size isn’t everything – go for multiple flowerers

Solar Flash
Sunflower Solar Flash is seen through pale lavender

In late summer, you reap the rewards of growing sunflowers, with the traditional huge yellow heads nodding over the garden.

However, it’s not all about size – popular big ‘uns like Russian Giant (3m), Mongolian Giant (3.6- Continue reading “Best multi-branching sunflowers”

Top 5 late-flowering roses

Three golden rules to prolong flowering

Rose Desdemona
Rose Desdemona

Keeping roses going until the first frosts is easy when you know how, especially if you choose varieties suited to late summer/early autumn flowering – here are five of the best from David Austin Roses.

There are three golden rules to follow:
1. Choose repeat-flowering varieties.
2. Keep dead-heading to promote new flowers.
3. Feed with a rose fertiliser in spring and summer to give them the energy to keep on flowering. Continue reading “Top 5 late-flowering roses”

Citrus plants: a complete growing guide

Lubera’s top tips for oranges, lemons, limes, kumquats and more

Step-by-step instructions for growing citrus fruits – a red lemon. Picture; Lubera

Citrus fruits are among the most popular fruit to eat, yet many gardeners shy away from growing them, fearing the plants to be difficult to grow.

Like most things, once you know how, they’re easy – here are some excellent cultivation tips from Swiss fruit experts Lubera.

The citrus harvest focuses on the winter months – mandarins, clementines as well as fresh oranges but the main varieties of oranges and lemons are available Continue reading “Citrus plants: a complete growing guide”

Late summer flowering perennials

Pep up borders with flowers until the first frosts

Echinacea Rudbeckia
Colour blast – Rudbeckia Goldsturm and Echinacea SunSeekers Pink for late summer colour

Have your borders run out of steam? It’s only August 1 and there are at least two months of display left – don’t let your garden fade into the background too soon.

The long border in my garden suffers every year. It’s at its peak from early May to the end of June, with Chaenomeles japonica Jet Trail, Rheum palmatum (ornamental rhubarb), foxgloves, sweet rocket, Welsh poppies, early lilies in pots, late tulips, the huge Weigela variegata all in bloom and the freshness of new foliage. Continue reading “Late summer flowering perennials”

Rain gardening to stop flooding

WWT Washington’s top tips on climate change gardening

My small pond edged with an area of bog garden (hence the huge Rodgersia) and surrounded with permeable gravel so it can overflow safely

We’ve seen extreme weather this week, with very high temperatures sparking torrential thunderstorms and flash flooding.

To help gardeners cope with the effects of climate change, WWT Washington Wetland Centre is encouraging us to try ‘rain gardening’.

It’s likely that our gardens will need to withstand more periods of drought and heavy rain and the centre’s new Working Wetland Garden, unveiled this week, is demonstrating how to manage these extremes. Continue reading “Rain gardening to stop flooding”