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Uber chic corten steel planters

Made from solid steel, these planters will grace any entrance or patio

We all know a Grandad or Grandma who know their way around the garden and veg plot. We’ve recruited a few to help us out with your growing pains! Just post your question and we’ll organise an answer for you within a couple of days. You’ll see your answer posted here and we’ll email to tell you it’s ready

  • Why can I never seem to keep basil and coriander? It’s so frustrating because these are the two herbs we enjoy most!

    Both basil and coriander grow well in the Mediterranean so, although with a bit of tlc we can grow them very successfully over here, they are not perfectly suited to growing outdoors in the UK. They are fine during the warmest, driest part of the summer but basil is particularly susceptible to low temperatures, especially at night, and coriander never does well in a wet summer. Be sure not to put them outdoors too early in the season – not before the end of May in the south and a little later in the north. Naturally, they both do best in full sun (although it’s best to avoid a really hot scorching position – chance would be a fine thing!) and free draining soil or compost. Ideally, they should be kept just moist but not constantly soggy. Make certain your pots have adequate drainage holes and plenty of drainage materials in the base.

    Post : 18/02/2011 Post by :

  • What is the best feed to use on vegetables on pots? I’m particularly looking for something organic.

    There are lots of different fertilisers on offer at garden centres and it can all be a bit confusing. For vegetables in containers, I don’t think you can beat liquid seaweed extract. It’s packed with nutrients and trace elements and all you do is dilute it at the recommended rate and water it on. Maxicrop produce a range of widely available seaweed products approved for organic gardeners by The Soil Association. If you live near the coast and you can stand the smell, you can make your own seaweed fertilizer, or if you have space to grow a patch of comfrey, their leaves can also be turned into a great organic plant food.

    Post : 18/02/2011 Post by :

  • How can I support broad beans successfully?

    When in full fruit broad bean plants carry a lot of weight and can easily end up in a messy heap unless properly supported. If growing them in the ground in rows, knock in stakes at either end of the row (and in the centre if it’s a long row) and run strong wires, approx 12in (30cm) apart, between them. Dwarf varieties that grow just 12-18in (30-45cm) high are best for containers. They can be supported on a wigwam of bamboo canes or a shop-bought frame but I prefer to use stout, straightish twigs as they are more aesthetically appealing. Prunings from tall, fast-growing shrubs such as buddleias are ideal.

    Post : 18/02/2011 Post by :

  • Hello, I have purchased some small pegasus strawberry plants. When can I plant these out in pots, I bought them from the garden centre and they were not under cover, and will I get strawberrys this year? many thanks Lynda

    Hello, You can plant out straight away. If you'd like lots of strawberries this year make sure you pinch off the runners (they look like wirey stems) and this helps the plant to fruit. If you'd like to grow lots of extra plants for next year, later in the season (when you've already had a good crop of fruit) use a bit of garden wire to pin the buds on the runners onto the soil and they'll grow into new plants for next year. Happy growing! Graham

    Post : 19/04/2011 Post by : Lynda

  • Dear Grandad! I have an allotment and have some space in the 8ft bed I have and would like a dwarf fruit tree or something else to put there. I have blueberries, raspberries and rhubarb growing nearby. Should I get two trees and what would go well together. Would it be better to get an apple tree of a small variety. What do you think would work best? I want to use the pears to put in the kids lunchboxes. Kind regards. Kate

    Hello Kate, Home grown pears in lunch boxes, splendid! Although a dwarf trees only needs about 3ftx3ft square, it has strong roots which might fight your other plants for nutrition, so could you possibly plant it to the side of the bed? The dwarf trees can also grow in big pots so you could take it with you if you move! If you choose the invincible or concorde pear from Urban Allotments they are self fertile so you wouldn't need another tree (I believe they have them on special offer at the moment too!). And as you are on an allotment, there should be plenty of blossom around at the right times to help with pollination. Hope this helps, Grandad Malcolm

    Post : 09/04/2012 Post by : Kate Bennett

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