On test: Lawn seed and fertiliser spreaders

Distributing lawn seed for a new lawn, or to thicken up your existing grass, can be a haphazard business if it’s broadcast by hand. The same applies to lawn feed,…

Lawns and chemicals

When we moved to Spring Cottage 12 years ago, the old shed contained a cocktail of chemicals, including DDT – an organochlorine pesticide that was banned in Britain in 1984.…

How to deal with garden pests

1 Box tree caterpillar The grubs cover plants in webbing. Pick them off, use a pheromone trap or nematodes, or try a chemical such as Bug Clear Gun, Defenders Bug…

With soil temperatures warming and windowsills overflowing, many gardeners are desperate to begin sowing directly outside during April. You’d think that making a seedbed would be a simple task, and…

HB9G5H oriental poppy at the garden pond. Image shot 05/2016. Exact date unknown.

© Alamy A pond adds so much to the garden on every level. It need not be massive – if space is tight you can create a patio mini-pond in…

Plant summer bulbs

If you are looking for lazy, low-maintenance gardening then look no further than summer-flowering bulbs. Yes, a few varieties – gladioli and dahlias – often need lifting for winter, but…

Blight on the landscape

As an organic gardener I like to grow my own food and, as I once had a lowly post at the National Vegetable Research Station in Wellesbourne, Warwick, I feel…

How to plant bare-root and pot-grown trees

The prime time to plant trees is during the dormant weeks of winter. This is especially important for bare-root trees, which are usually only available until around the end of…

Sow more sweet peas

I sowed my first batch of sweet peas back in the autumn and now, at the tail-end of winter, I am starting a second batch. Although sweet peas are hardy,…

How to prune autumn raspberries

We had a bumper crop of raspberries last year and I’m hoping to get the same result in 2018. The summer-fruiting canes were cut back after they cropped, and January…