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I have decided to go on a bit of a horticultural adventure and see if I can grow Dragon Fruit right here in Blighty. I have no idea how these plants will fare, and I feel I will probably end up having to grow them indoors. But let’s see how we get on! Dragon fruit is actually a fruiting cactus, which is already sending alarm bells ringing about its ability to be grown in the…

Cucumbers are a staple of British allotments, found growing in greenhouses and polytunnels up and down the isles, with a few hardy species even growing outdoors. These fast-growing plants are eager to grow, but they require proper support and training in order to maximise your yield. So how do you train cucumbers? Let’s find out. How to train cucumbers Cucumbers can be easily trained to grow up supports, often made from bamboo canes (string suspended…

Cucumbers are easy to grow and provide tons of fruit, so they sound perfect, but homegrown cucumbers can have a dark side, a very bitter dark side. If you have ever bitter into an intensely bitter cucumber then you will know just how disgusting they can be, but what causes this bitter taste? And once we know that, how do we stop it from ever happening again? Cucumbers can be made bitter by incorrect pollination…

I always use grow bags for my greenhouse cucumbers. In particular, I like to use the Tomatorite giant deep fill bags. You can find them on Amazon here, although I will say you will find them much cheaper in a garden centre or, like me, Homebase. So why would you use a grow bag for cucumbers, well they are perfect if you have a hard floor greenhouse, like me, where there is no soil. They also…

So your first bright yellow flowers have just arrived on your cucumber plant and now you are excitedly salivating over the thought of those first few juicy cucumbers. But just how long are you going to have to wait for a fully-fledged cucumber to form? Luckily for you, not long at all, I find the fruit is normally fully developed around two weeks after first appearing. How long until the plant starts flowering From seeding…

Growing cucumbers in a greenhouse is the staple way of growing them here in the UK. But how do you support them? How to Support Cucumbers in a Greenhouse There are a couple of different methods that are commonly used. You can either use bamboo canes or suspended string. The idea with both methods is to give the main stem of the cucumber something to grow up. You will have to tie the plant into…

Cucumbers are a thirsty plant, especially when they start getting large. They are so thirsty in fact that you may believe that it is impossible to overwater them, but is this true? Can you overwater cucumbers? Yes, you can. When growing them in a greenhouse it will be hard to overwater cucumbers, but this does not mean it is impossible. If the roots of a cucumber plant are constantly sat in standing water they will…

Cucumbers grown in the greenhouse should be grown vertically up a trellis, string, cane or other support structure. When you are training your cucumbers into growing up support you will have no doubt wondered what you should do with side shoots. Should you pinch them out? Well, let me answer that for you. Should I Pinch Out Cucumbers? Yes, in order to maximise your cucumber harvest it is essential that you pinch out side shoots.…

Onion hoes are a great tool, with lots of different uses in the garden, not just cleaning up in between your onion rows. But what makes a good onion hoe? Well, I went out and bought three different onion hoes with my own money, gave them a thorough test over a few weeks, and I’m now reporting my findings. Burgon and Ball Hand Hoe – My Favourite If you have ever read any of my…

This is a question that often confuses gardeners, and it is easy to see why. The simple answer is that begonias are both annual or perennial, depending on the cultivar grown. Tuberous Begonias vs Rooted Begonias This is where a lot of the confusion stems from. When treated with care, tuberous begonias can be overwintered and return the following spring more vigorous than ever. In contrast, the rooted cultivars tend to be only grown as…

Tuberous begonias will come back year after year, and with every passing season, the tubers will grow in size. Once they are getting quite large, you may start to think about dividing them down and creating new plants. Just be aware though, that new, smaller tubers will not provide as many flowers as older larger tubers will. How to split the tubers Splitting begonia tubers is relatively straight forward, although I must warn you that…

Whether you are planting bulbs, transferring seedlings or digging out some pesky weeds, you want a good hand trowel by your side. Gardeners trowels are easily one of the most versatile tools we have, and one I find myself reaching for again and again for a variety of different jobs. As a lot of fellow gardeners have, I have gone through a lot of different trowels. I must admit I have fallen into the false…

If you do a lot of woodworking you will inevitably be left with a lot of sawdust and maybe thinking of useful ways to reuse that sawdust. We would all rather reuse something if it can be used well for another purpose, but can you use sawdust as mulch? Well, that depends, on a few things. Firstly on the wood that the sawdust itself has come from. Different woods will have different pH levels, thus…

Begonia’s can be grown from both tubers and seeds, if you want to know how to start begonia tubers read our article here. But if you are here to learn how to grow begonias from seed then read on. Sowing Begonia’s While most people are aware of tuberous begonias not many gardeners also know they can be easily grown from seed too. Read our guide to find out how to sow begonia seeds. Step 1…

Spring is finally arriving. Well, it should be but its still absolutely freezing today. None the less, with spring coming in, it means we finally get to get back in the garden and start getting some colour going. With that in mind, I’m starting my begonia tubers today. I like to start them nice and early to maximise the growing season. These are really easy to get going. You just need a seed tray and…

If you have just started looking into your screening options then you will have undoubtedly been overwhelmed by all the different options out there. Luckily for you, I have gathered together my favourite garden screening ideas into this one complete article so you can find the ultimate solution for your individual privacy needs. Quick Growing Trees The all-time popular choice, a screen created from trees. Seen as though you are here though I will guess…

Loppers are a key part of all gardeners kit, but having the right pair can make all the difference. We have bought three of the more popular models currently available and put them all to the test to see which set deserves the title of “The Best Loppers!” Our Three Contenders In this test, we have the Gruntek telescopic anvil loppers, Spear and Jackson RazonSharp loppers and the Stanley FatMax loppers. Watch The Video Review…

Fuchsias are a staple of British gardens, these perennial shrubby plants are found everywhere. Grown for their bright flowers, which with a little attention can flower all summer, and hardiness for those cold British winters. The first written description of a Fuchsia comes from 1690 by the French monk Minim after he discovered them on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. There are over 100 different types of Fuchsia, most of them originating from South America. With a little care and…

Fuchsias are a staple of British gardens, these perennial shrubby plants are found everywhere. Grown for their bright flowers, which with a little attention can flower all summer, and hardiness for those cold British winters. The first written description of a Fuchsia comes from 1690 by the French monk Minim after he discovered them on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. There are over 100 different types of Fuchsia, most of them originating from South America. With a little care and…

Fuchsias are a staple of British gardens, these perennial shrubby plants are found everywhere. Grown for their bright flowers, which with a little attention can flower all summer, and hardiness for those cold British winters. The first written description of a Fuchsia comes from 1690 by the French monk Minim after he discovered them on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. There are over 100 different types of Fuchsia, most of them originating from South America. With a little care and…

Fuchsias are a staple of British gardens, these perennial shrubby plants are found everywhere. Grown for their bright flowers, which with a little attention can flower all summer, and hardiness for those cold British winters. The first written description of a Fuchsia comes from 1690 by the French monk Minim after he discovered them on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. There are over 100 different types of Fuchsia, most of them originating from South America. With…

Fuchsias are a staple of British gardens, these perennial shrubby plants are found everywhere. Grown for their bright flowers and hardiness for those cold British winters. The first written description of a Fuchsia comes from 1690 by the French monk Minim after he discovered them on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. There are over 100 different types of Fuchsia, most of them originating from South America. With a little care and attention, they can look good…

Fuchsias are a staple of British gardens, these shrubby perennial plants are found everywhere. Grown for their bright flowers and hardiness for those cold British winters. The first written description of a Fuchsia comes from 1690 by the French monk Minim after he discovered them on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. There are over 100 different types of Fuchsia, most of them originating from South America. How to revive a Fuchsia plant If your Fuchsia…

Fuchsias are a staple of British gardens, these shrubby plants are found everywhere. Grown for their bright flowers and hardiness for those cold British winters. The first written description of a Fuchsia comes from 1690 by the French monk Minim after he discovered them on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. There are over 100 different types of Fuchsia, most of them originating from South America. With a little care and attention, they can look good…

Fuchsias are a staple of British gardens, these shrubby plants are found everywhere. They are a hugely popular perennial. Grown for their bright flowers and hardiness for those cold British winters. The first written description of a Fuchsia comes from 1690 by the French monk Minim after he discovered them on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. There are over 100 different types of Fuchsia, most of them originating from South America. With a little care…

Lupins Lupins are a beautiful flower that you will find in many British gardens. Lupins are a staple of British cottage gardens, famed for both their height and colour. Originally hailing from the Mediterranean they are a perennial that will greet you with a gorgeous display year after year. They produce a large flowering spike that is full of colour and each plant can have lots of these spikes leading to a fabulous display. They will begin to flower…

Lupins Lupins are a beautiful flower that you will find in many British gardens. Lupins are a staple of British cottage gardens, famed for both their height and colour. Originally hailing from the Mediterranean they are a perennial that will greet you with a gorgeous display year after year. They produce a large flowering spike that is full of colour and each plant can have lots of these spikes leading to a fabulous display. They will begin to flower…

Lupins Lupins are a beautiful flower that you will find in many British gardens. Lupins are a staple of British cottage gardens, famed for both their height and colour. Originally hailing from the Mediterranean they are a perennial that will greet you with a gorgeous display year after year. They produce a large flowering spike that is full of colour and each plant can have lots of these spikes leading to a fabulous display. They will begin to flower…

If this is one of your first seasons growing lupins then you will inevitably be anxious to see your first beautiful flower spikes, but when do lupins start flowering? Well, it can vary a little depending on a few different circumstances, so let’s find out below! When do lupins flower? Lupins can begin to flower as early as May and last throughout the summer and through into September if cared for correctly. Being cared for…

Adding more lawn seed to an existing lawn is commonly known as overseeding, this garden practice is one of the key steps to achieving a lush green lawn. Sowing grass seed on an existing lawn helps to fill in dead or poor growing patches. It also helps to make your lawn greener as well as fight of those pesky weeds. How to sow grass seed on an existing lawn Step 1 – Choose the right…

Lupins Lupins are a beautiful flower that you will find in many British gardens. Lupins are a staple of British cottage gardens, famed for both their height and colour. Originally hailing from the Mediterranean they are a perennial that will greet you with a gorgeous summer display year after year. They produce a large flowering spike that is full of colour and each plant can have lots of these spikes leading to a fabulous display. They will begin…

Lupins Lupins are a beautiful flower that you will find in many British gardens. Lupins are a staple of British cottage gardens, famed for both their height and colour. Originally hailing from the Mediterranean they are a perennial that will greet you with a gorgeous summer display year after year. They produce a large flowering spike that is full of colour and each plant can have lots of these spikes leading to a fabulous display. They will begin…

Lupins Lupins are a beautiful flower that you will find in many British gardens. Lupins are a staple of British cottage gardens, famed for both their height and colour. Originally hailing from the Mediterranean they are a perennial that will greet you with a gorgeous display year after year. They produce a large flowering spike that is full of colour and each plant can have lots of these spikes leading to a fabulous display. They will begin to…

Lupins Lupins are a beautiful flower that you will find in many British gardens. Lupins are a staple of British cottage gardens, famed for both their height and colour. Originally hailing from the Mediterranean they are a perennial that will greet you with a gorgeous summer display year after year. They produce a large flowering spike that is full of colour and each plant can have lots of these spikes leading to a fabulous display. They will…

Lupins Lupins are a beautiful flower that you will find in many British gardens. Lupins are a staple of British cottage gardens, famed for both their height and colour. They are a perennial that will greet you with a gorgeous display year after year. They produce a large flowering spike that is full of colour and each plant can have lots of these spikes leading to a fabulous display. Not a hugely long-lived perennial expect…

Lupins Lupins are a beautiful flower that you will find in many British gardens. Lupins are a staple of British cottage gardens, famed for both their height and colour. Originally hailing from the Mediterranean they are a perennial that will greet you with a gorgeous display year after year. Not a hugely long-lived perennial expect them to last in a British garden for around 6 years, they can last much longer in perfect conditions, however.…

Lupinus Perennis This traditional cottage garden favourite is a beautiful flower that you will find in many British gardens as well as in huge drifts in the wild. Originally hailing from the Mediterranean  They are a perennial that will greet you with a gorgeous display year after year. Not a hugely long-lived perennial expect them to last in a British garden for around 6 years, they can last much longer in perfect conditions, however. They produce…

We’ve all been there, the grass is getting wrong, but the British weather keeps letting you down. Rain, rain and more rain. The question will have no doubt cross your mind, can I just cut it anyway? Can you cut wet grass? Well, like most things in gardening the answer isn’t a simple yes or no, it more nuanced than that. So please read on to see my thoughts and advice on cutting wet grass.…

If you are struggling with weeds in your garden, then you will have undoubtedly pondered the use of weed killer. When using a weed killer, it is crucial to apply it at the correct time. So when should weed killer be applied? Type of weed killer There are two major types of weed killer that most gardeners use, depending on the kind of weed killer you plan on using you will want to apply them at…

Horsetail is a serious pest; it always seems to find a way to come back. This invasive, deep routed weed can spread quickly and grow back year after year, even after extensive use of weed killers. Horsetail has rhizomes which live undergrowth then send up quick growing green shoots which crowd out anything else in the vicinity. Why is Horsetail hard to kill? One big issue with Horsetail is that the rhizomes can be deep…

We have all wondered before about what plants will grow in a greenhouse in a UK winter. Note for this article we are talking about unheated greenhouses. If you plan on heating your greenhouse then obviously you will be able to grow an even wider variety of plants. One key thing to remember is that plants won’t grow as quickly in winter as they do in spring and summer. The winter gardener has to be…

How to mulch carrots for winter Everyone who has grown their own carrots before will know just how delicious they are. But not many gardeners know they can grow winter carrots, even in the UK. Using greenhouses and cold frames will allow you to extend the growing season of your carrots into winter, even so, when the freezing temperatures start to bite then mulching your carrots becomes essential. It is important that you mulch your…

Everyone would love a steady supply of fresh homegrown vegetables over the winter but think it impossible to grow their own. Well, fear not, even when the nights are drawing in and the days getting colder and colder you can still produce an ample supply of fresh veg. How? Well simply put, use pots to grow your vegetables. Winter vegetables to grow in pots There are many different winter vegetables to grow in pots such…

The short answer is yes; you can grow potatoes in winter here in the UK. To grow potatoes in winter you need to select the right varieties and grow them in either a heated greenhouse, insulated cold frame or indoors. It’s not quite that simple though so make sure you read our guide to ensure your winter crop survives those cold, cold months. Choosing the right potato variety One of the most significant factors that…

If you want perfect stripes, then you need a mower with a rear roller. The roller flattens the grass as you mow, allowing for excellent lines. Your answer to the next question will come down to how serious you are about lawn care. Cylinder or rotary mower? What is a cylinder mower? A cylinder mower operates differently to the mowers most people will be used to. Unless you work professionally in lawn care you will…

Anyone with a lawn needs a lawn mower (obviously!), but for those gardeners with smaller gardens then it isn’t always necessary to go for the biggest and the best mowers on the market. To help you out we have created this specialist buyers guide which is full of helpful advice and guidance to help you pick the best lawn mower for small gardens. If you are looking for the best petrol lawn mowers, in general,…

If you are working as a professional gardener then obviously a professional petrol lawn mower will be right at the top of your list of priorities. There are a few different types of mower each specialised for different jobs. I will go into them below so make sure you check them out and get the perfect professional petrol lawn mower for your needs! If you are a professional gardener looking for great equipment them make…

A cold frame can be a useful tool for gardeners, allowing you to extend your growing season at both ends of the year. They are incredibly helpful for UK gardeners where we have shorter seasons than other parts of the world. A cold frame is usually a simple timber box, sometimes metal. Fixed into this frame are plastic or glass panels. They are essentially a mini greenhouse and used for many of the same purposes.…

Even just a little pond can make a massive difference to the variety of wildlife you can attract to your garden. Think frogs, newts, dragonflies, birds and even hedgehogs! If you are a new or prospective pond owner, then you might want to check out our guide to the best pond pumps. Frogs Let’s start with the classic pond animal, the frog. Everyone assumes that if they build it, they will come, but this is…

Ponds can become a key feature of any garden, but to really get a pond looking its best you need the right plants. Planting out a pond can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t need to be. Here I will guide you through some of my favourite pond plants. If you are just creating your first pond then you will definitely need a good pond pump, check out our guide to the best…