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…

Crop rotation – why and how

If you’ve ever looked at a burgeoning allotment site crammed with serried ranks of fabulous veggies and wondered ‘how did they do that?’, the answer is probably crop rotation. It’s…

Preparing your soil for sowing

The secrets to successful growing are healthy, nutrient-rich soil and crop rotation, so this week I have been preparing and warming my soil and thinking about what crops to grow…

How to tidy up the strawberry patch

We had a relatively mild autumn here in the south and my strawberry plants have kept on growing and, amazingly, producing flowers and even fruit. These need to be removed…

How to dig in autumn’s green manures

I sowed a batch of green manure in the autumn to help replenish the soil in our raised beds after their contents – onions, shallots, broad beans – had been…

Traditionally Autumn is the time to plant out dormant spring bulbs, but if you didn’t get round to the job last year, help is now at hand. Garden centres seem…