Friday 6 August 2010

Tips from Gardener's World

One of the things we have been trying to do this year is to keep up with Gardener's World. Last year we were so busy outside we recorded the shows and eventually watched them all about five or six weeks later than they aired. We nodded our heads at all the useful tips, noting that things they mentioned would have been a good idea had we known about them in time, but always having missed the boat by a good few weeks. It has been easier to keep up this year however, perhaps because by the evening I am exhausted and ready to sit down with a cuppa.

Watching Gardener's World reminds us of some things we need to do that we might otherwise have forgotton about and also spurs us on to get things done. It is just like talking to other gardeners; once we have heard what they have been busy with, we start to feel that we should get moving with that particular task as well, before we get left behind. Last year, all we could do was write down all the good tips and ideas to try out this year and these are the six things we thought were particularly good ideas and wished we had known about earlier;
  • For tomatoes, line terracotta pots with plastic bags to help keep the moisture in
  • Plant climbers at an angle towards the pole or wall it is climbing to help it find the support
  • Plant trailing nasturtians and calendulas with brassicas. They attract cabbage whites whose eggs can be picked off the leaves
  • Bury a tin can in the soil next to a plant and water into the tin can, keeping soil out of the tin can. This s apparantly paricularly effective for keeping runner beans, peas and courgettes moist
  • Put olive oil on top of the water in the water butt to prevent the mosquitoes laying their eggs in there and totally empty the water butt every now and then to breakup the lifecycle of the mosquitoes
  • Soak nettles in water and use as a general purpose feed on your vegetable patch
Sadly with all the delays we have had this year, we haven't had the opportunity to try all these out but we did remember to plant our climbers at an angle and we did put olive oil on top of the water in our water butt and both seem to have worked well. We are again this year gathering a wealth of useful tips from Gardeners World and, looking at my watch, its time to head to the sofa for a cuppa right now. And this week they are visiting the Ribble Valley, where I grew up, so I have an added interest.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tips. We use a variant on the tin can- a plastic bottle with a small hole in the bottom, or inverted with a hole in the lid to trickle out. Might reduce the risk of rusty metal making it's war into the garden?
    In really hot weather I freeze water in plastic bottles and then invert in pots so the cool melted water dribbles out over the course of the day to keep the soil cool and moist. There is also a kit which attaches a PVC dripper hose to an inverted bottle for wider spread.