News - Page 37

Persuade your strawberries to fruit earlier

Persuade your strawberries to fruit earlier by popping a cloche or fleece over your plants, trapping every last scrap of sunshine underneath and raising the temperature by a few degrees – just enough to bring them into flower weeks ahead of schedule.

Early varieties like ‘Honeoye’ work best for this, as they’re already bred to flower sooner than most types of strawberry. You’ll also need a cloche (easy-to-use clear polythene tunnel cloche are available from o...

Read more...
Garden gnomes are becoming a rare species in British gardens

Garden gnomes are becoming a rare species in British gardens according to a new survey which found that sales of the cheeky garden statuettes have halved in the last decade.

A poll of 2000 British gardeners found most thought garden gnomes ‘tacky’, and 94% would ‘never have a gnome in their garden’. But over 100 gardeners came out in defence of gnomes, saying they loved the ornaments and had at least one in their gardens.

In an attempt to make gnomes m...

Read more...
Dare to plant your new potatoes

Dare to plant your new potatoes this week: as frosts look less and less likely, you can take the risk to bring forward the moment when you can harvest those mouthwatering little nuggets of sheer flavour for your tea.

If you haven’t already got a tray or two chitting (forming sprouts) in eggboxes on a windowsill, it’s not too late to pop down to the garden centre here in Pickering and pick up a packet of first early seed potatoes.

Prepare your bed well...

Read more...
Slugs and snails have been knocked off the no.1 worst pest spot for the first time in nearly a decad

Slugs and snails have been knocked off the no.1 worst pest spot for the first time in nearly a decade by a voracious caterpillar which arrived in the UK only five years ago but has made its mark on box hedges all over the south-east of the country.

The box tree caterpillar is the larva of an Asian moth. It feeds mainly on box plants, stripping them of their leaves and covering the bare stalks with a tell-tale webbing.

It accounted for 433 queries - 17...

Read more...
The results of the Big Garden Birdwatch are in

The results of the Big Garden Birdwatch are in and last year’s record-breaking mild winter has had a significant effect on populations of our feathery friends.

The long-tailed tit has returned to the top 10 most commonly seen birds for the first time in seven years, a rise of 44% on last year, while great tits and coal tits also benefitted from the warmer weather. It’s thought the mild weather – the third warmest on record for the UK as a whole – helped them...

Read more...
Gardeners are counting the cost of Storm Katie

Gardeners are counting the cost of Storm Katie which ripped through the country in a devastating few hours during the Easter Bank Holiday, whipping up winds gusting 106mph which brought down trees and damaged buildings.

Among her victims was a champion tree at Nymans Garden at Handcross, West Sussex, one of about 30 champion trees in the garden. The Pyrus glabra – an Iranian variety of pear tree – was almost 100 years old, and had grown to be one of the talle...

Read more...