Monthly Archives: January 2017

  1. Green little fingers: Top tools for gardening with children

    Whilst it is great to teach children about the joys of gardening from a very young age, it must never be done at the expense of safety, which should always be regarded as paramount. Accidents happen fast and it's the adult's responsibility to prevent them. It is important that your child understands from a very young age that there are rules to be adhered to and that he/she knows certain garden tools and materials are not to be handled without supervision. Children should be taught that safety comes first - be meticulous and strict; leave nothing to chance.

    Growing with different ages

    2-5 year olds

    In this age group special care has to be taken so that children don't hurt themselves as they start helping mum and dad in the garden. This should be seen as an introductory phase above all else. A good idea is to get your youngster his/her own set of plastic/play tools just to get used to the idea of touching the soil and getting to know the implements. Small

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  2. Autumn gardening guide

    The crisp, cool mornings are starting to be a more common as we move through the second half of September, clearly Autumn is well-and-truly on the way.

    If you haven't already planted more hardy crops ready for harvest during Autumn, don't worry. If you have a greenhouse you will still be able to grow food during winter, with a bit of effort. If you're good you may even be able to grow peppers in your greenhouse up to December.

    In the garden dead head and clear up. Compost what you can and chip hard wood to use as mulch later in the year. Winter Pansies are such good performers. Now is the time to plant bulbs ready for next year.

    What can be grown in the greenhouse?

    September

    Sowing:

    September

    Harvesting:

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  3. Top tips for growing bulbs for next spring

    Planting bulbs is one of the easiest gardening tasks, yet it can result in some of the most effective displays in spring. All you need to do is select the right bulbs for you and there are many to choose from. These include favourites likeTulips and Daffodils as well as Hyacinths, Fritillarias and Crocus.

    When should you begin to plant your bulbs?

    • Spring flowering bulbs (Daffodils, Crocus, Hyacinths) – plant ideally late September, but you can plant between October to December before frost starts to form.
    • Summer flowering bulbs (Lillies, Gladioli) – Plant in March to early April.
    • Autumn flowering bulbs (Dahlia, Begonia) – Plant late-July into September.

    Best locations to plant your spring bulbs

    Generally, spring bulbs like a warm and sunny area in your garden, but your soil must have really good drainage to ensure roots aren't crushed during winter. If you have clay soil you may need to dig out

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  4. Tips for growing brassica (Including broccoli & cabbage)

    When thinking about growing food at home you need to decide what you'd like to eat what are the best all year round options. A good group of plants to consider are the Brassica (Brassicaceae) which include great staples like kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts.

    So what are the health benefits?

    All Brassica are naturally high in vitamin C and soluble dietary fibre, but each type is nutrient packed. This is the main reason why these plants are excellent ideal all year round vegetables.

    Broccoli, in particular, contains high levels of diindolylmethane which is a immunostimulant that also exhibits antiviral, antibacterial and anticancer activity. There are also good amounts of glucoraphanin, which is a precursor to sulforaphane. This is potentially an anticancer compound, currently in clinical and phase II trials. Unfortunately, boiling reduces the levels of these compounds. However, steaming or frying doesn't degrade sulforaphane levels to

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