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Grow an avacado

Avocado 4

It is easy to grow an avocado house plant  by rooting the stone of a shop-bought avocado pear. It’s a bit of fun too… AG gardening editor Kris Collins shows how to do it:
1) Holding the stone (often referred to as a ‘pit’) with its narrow- or pointed-side up, stick four toothpicks into the middle section at even intervals. They…

Get a second flush


Hardy geraniums can be cut right down to the ground after flowering. This will give the plants a tidy appearance, and encourage healthy new foliage and a second flush of flowers in late summer.
Some lupins, hardy geraniums, poppies and delphiniums will produce another flowering display in late summer/early autumn, if spent flower stems are promptly cut down after the first…

A mini pond in a pot


No room for a pond? Grow and display waterlilies in a container, says Michelle

Place one waterproof pot inside another. Sizes will depend on the growth of the water lily and the space needed to accommodate the side plants.

Fill the space between the two pots with grit and compost, suitable for the plants to be used. (I’ve used a collection of…

Dealing with large scale garden waste

Hippo filling

You may have read in the pages of Amateur Gardening (AG 25 May) that I’m giving my new garden a full overhaul, says AG gardening editor, Kris Collins.
Nearly every plant has been stripped from the uninspiring plot and I’ve used a turf cutter to remove every scrap of lawn, turning my plot into a rectangle of bare earth.
I’m now lucky…

AG video: Planting summer containers

Kris Summer Containers

Watch these tidy planting tips from AG’s gardening editor, Kris Collins, for success with your summer patio containers



Weed control: beds and borders


Keep bedding and border displays weed free this season with top tips from AG gardening editor Kris Collins

Aim to dig out weeds growing in border soils unless you’re faced with persistent weeds that re-grow from bits of root left in the ground (ground elder, bindweed and couch grass spring to mind) .
Digging is eco-friendly, cheaper, and it removes the risk…

Weed control: Patios and paving

spray driveways

Keep patios, paths and drive weed free with top tips from AG gardening editor Kris Collins
Allow weeds to mature in the joins between patio slabs or block paving and it can be a real problem to remove them by hand. With no room to dig out tap roots, perennial weeds will likely return soon after pulling off or scraping away…

Weed control: Hoe, hoe, hoe!

Kris hoeing

Stay chemical free with regular soil cultivation, says AG gardening editor Kris Collins
Regular hoeing or cultivation of garden soils is the best way to prevent weeds taking hold. Scratch over the soil weekly with a hoe or clawed hand cultivator and it’s an easy job – but watch out for emerging perennial flowers. The soil never has time to compact,…

How to sow and grow a crop of basil

basil main1


Kris shows how to start off crops of basil

Fill a pot with a good quality soil-based seed compost. Tamp down the surface. Lightly sprinkle a few seeds on the surface, then water.

Cover with a ¼in (6mm) layer of vermiculite. Label, then place in a light, warm place. A temperature of 13˚C (55˚F) is needed.

I place the seeds under a clear-domed…

Quick Easter containers

basket step66

Kris creates an Easter hanging basket

Place a liner into the basket and secure with plastic ties if required. Once in, start by covering the base of the liner with multipurpose compost.

I’m positioning some sprouting dwarf narcissus in the centre of the basket. The blooms will be held above surrounding plants.

Next to go in are some coloured hybrid primroses. Three, planted…