On Line Magazine:
Future Elements

February 2018



Links to This Month's Articles


Home Page Photo: Skimmia x confusa
Chinese New Year
Chance To Trim Hedges
Cloches For Early Vegetables
Ground Elder
The Work Of The NCCPG
Cold Snap
Sow Early Carrots
Clean Up Slippery Paths
In The Garden Wordsearch

Home Page Photo:
Skimmia x confusa

Skimmia x confusa
In bloom in sheltered gardens now Skimmia x confusa.
A compact evergreen shrub with aromatic leaves
and small white or yellowish flowers followed,
on fertilised female plants, by shiny red berries.

Link for: horticultural advice.

Chinese New Year

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Happy Chinese New Year
The year of the dog begins on Friday 16th February.

Dog years are believed to be the most unlucky for those
born in previous years of the Dog.

This traditional calendar is based on lunar cycles,
the first day of the New Year falling on the new moon
between 21st January and 20th February each year.

Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival.

Is it Old wives tales to plant to the moon cycles?
Garden By The Moon

Chance To Trim Hedges

hedge trim
During mild, dry weather it should be possible
towards the end of the month to cut back
overgrown hedges to encourage new spring growth.

Use sharp clean secateurs, shears and saws
thining out old, damaged and weak growth.

Link to the RHS: Guidance on trimming hedges.

Cloches For Early Vegetables

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Cloches are a must if wishing to grow early vegetables
as they can raise the local soil temperature by up to 10°C
and hasten germination of direct-sown crops by 10-14 days.

Cloches give wind protection, which increases growth rates
and leaf surface area, and also promotes tender growth.
This is useful for leafy crops such as salads, spinach
and cabbage where soft growth is desirable.

Link to the RHS: Guidance on cloches.

Ground Elder

ground elder
To the modern gardener ground elder is a serious problem,
as the plant is a fast-growing, very invasive, perennial weed
that can spread quickly to form a carpet of foliage
crowding out less-vigorous plants in beds and borders.

In the middle ages, when first introduced into Britain,
it was much cherished by herbalists.
The young leaves were eaten for treatment of gout
and the leaves when crushed applied as a poultice.

Ground elder is a member of umbellifer family,
which includes carrots, parsnips, caraway, dill and fennel.

Link to the RHS: control advice and guidance.

The Work Of The NCCPG

seeds
The National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens
is the world’s leading cultivated plant conservation charity,
bringing together the talents of botanists, horticulturalists
and conservationists and the dedication
of keen amateur and professional gardeners.

Just a part of their work is the National Plant Collections scheme
and distribution of heritage seeds to members.

To find out more of their conservation projects
use this link to visit the website of the NCCPG

Cold Snap

ice
Melt a hole in the ice on the fish pond
with a saucepan of hot water.
Remember to tie a string line to the handle
to retrieve if the pot should fall through.

Don't walk across your lawn if covered in frost.

Feed the birds and melt the ice in the bird bath.

Remove house plants from window ledges
within the cold zone behind drawn curtains.

Sow Early Carrots

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Carrots 'Early Nantes' and 'Primo'
can be sown now for a June harvest.
Use this link for advice and guidance from the RHS.

Carrots were eaten by the ancient Egyptians,
and used as a medicine by the Greeks.
The Romans believed carrots had aphrodisiac properties,
and Emperor Caligula served a banquet of them
evidently hoping to incite an orgy.

Carrots are rich in antioxidant carotenoids, which help
to protect the body from heart disease and cancer.
The betacarotene converts to vitamin A which is good for
maintaining eyesight, healthy skin and resistance to infection.
The pectin fibre helps reduce cholesteral levels in the blood.

Clean Up Slippery Paths

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Paths in shade or damp locations can become a slip hazzard
when colonised by algae, lichens, liverworts and moss.

Now winter's shortest days are drawing longer it's time
to take action in areas where such growth has become a problem.

One can choose either a non-chemical or chemical control.

Use this link for advice and guidance from the RHS.

In The Garden Wordsearch

wordsearch
Here is a wordsearch with a gardening theme containing
27 elements relating to horticulture.

Bring up wordsearch image to print.

March 2018



Links to This Month's Articles


Home Page Photo: Phalaenopsis
Know Your Onions
Ornamental Grasses
Hatiora gaertneri (Easter cactus)
Summer Flowering Perennials
Check Out Your Dahlia
Mad March Hares Lepus Capensis
Choosing Fish For A Garden Pond
Potato And Tomato Blight
Space Lettuce

Home Page Photo: Phalaenopsis

Phalaenopsis
Phalaenopsis are among the world’s most popular pot plant.
New hybrids can tolerate low light levels and centrally heating,
combined with long-lasting flowers of increased colour range
with ready availablity and affordablity.

Use these links to the RHS:
Easy To Grow Orchids.
Video: How To Grow Orchids.
The Garden March 2017 Five AGM Orchids.


Know Your Onions

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March and time to plant out your onion bed.
The spacing between rows and individual sets
has a major influence on the final harvest.

If you want as big as possible to enter shows
then stick to the traditional 30cm between rows and sets.

If however you want a heavy yield for the cooking pot
then pack them in at 15cm between rows and 5cm between sets.
Research trials have shown this can well exceed
twice the overal weight achieved per plot.

Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental Grasses
Ornamental Grasses left for winter interest
need to be cut back now. Remove spent stems
and tease out dead strands.

Also opportunity for division of large plants
to reinvigorate and increase numbers.

Link to RHS Advice: Ornamental Grasses.

Hatiora gaertneri (Easter cactus)

Hatiora gaertneri
Originally a native of Brazil growing on the trees,
in sub-tropical rain forest at high altitudes.

In the UK it is cultivated as a house plant,
which blooms in early spring, near or at Easter.
Hibridisation has introducted a variety of colour shades.

Use these links for useful growing advice:
The House Plant Expert: Hatiora gaertneri.
Guide To Houseplants: Easter Cactus.

Summer Flowering Perennials

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Herbaceous perennials are the mainstay of summer borders,
giving colour and interest with flowers and foliage.

With ever smaller rear gardens becomming the norm
planting the best of the bunch is critical.

Link to RHS: 10 Award Winning Summer Perennials.

Link to RHS: Planting Perennials.

Link to RHS: Perennials Autumn Cut Back.

Check Out Your Dahlia

dahlia
If you have overwintered dahlias inside check the tubers.
Consider potting up and starting off in a glasshouse.

Manure the ground now that will take them next month
and incorporate plenty of organic material
dalia enjoy a rich furtile soil.

Cuttings are incredibly easy if taken
when the shoots are just a few inches long,
and with warmth they will be rooted
and ready to plant out when the ground is frost-free.

Link: Dahlia cuttings step by step guidance.

Link to RHS: Dahlia comprehensive advice and guidance.

Mad March Hares

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Spring is when the 'mad March hares' may be seen,
dashing about in a demented fashion, leaping in the air,
chasing and 'boxing' with each other.

The jacks (males) do most of the boxing, either with each other
in a struggle for social dominance,
or with jills (females) as a prelude to mating.

At other times of the year the hare is solitary.
They do not dig burrows, instead living entirely above ground.
The best time to see a hare is in early morning or at dusk.

Choosing Fish For A Garden Pond

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Giants among pond fish, koi and other carp
can grow to 75cm or more in length and so
are only suited to large, well filtered ponds.

Goldfish, like the comets, with their long tails
and the gloriously multicoloured shubunkins are better choices
and grow to a size in proportion to the pond.
The “fancy” forms, with their bubble-eyes,
enlarged heads and oversize fins are not recommended
as they tend not to tolerate the cold of winter.

Link for the: Expert's advice.
Link to RHS: Garden Pond Care.

Potato And Tomato Blight

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Late blight, is a disease of the foliage and fruit
or tubers of tomatoes and potatoes, causing rotting.
It is most common in wet weather.

Link to RHS: Identification and control.

The first step is to consider blight resistant varieties.

Link to Allotment Garden: Blight Resistant Potato Varieties.

Link to Gardeners World: Blight Resistant Tomatoe Varieties.

Space Lettuce

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Following experiments on earth successfully growing lettuce
in similar gravity and atmosphere of the moon,
this has been followed by growing red romaine
lettuce on the international space station.

Astronaut Scott Kelly voiced: "It was one small bite for man,
one giant leap for future space exploration."


April 2018



Links to This Month's Articles


Home Page Photo: Ceanothus x veitchianus
Blind Daffodils
10 Trailing Alpines
Time To Get Fruity!
Selling Your Home?
Jack Frost Comes Calling
All Year Round Containers
On Line Carrot Museum
10 Plants For Pollinators
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Home Page Photo: Ceanothus

Ceanothus
Ceanothus (Californian lilac) heralds spring with,
a cloud of blue, white or pink flowers,
well able to weather any April showers.

Link to RHS horticultural advice: Ceanothus.

Blind Daffodils

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If foliage is healthy reasons for failing to flower:
Overcrowding and competing for nutriments and water.
Undersized bulbs.
Cutting down foliage too early last year.
Over shady spot.
Bulbs planted too shallow.
Under-fertilized soil.

Link to RHS Advice: Daffodil Blindness.

10 Trailing Alpines

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Soften edges and create cascading vertical displays with trailing alpines.
They can tumble over the edge of raised beds,
creep across a gravel mulch, form a backdrop to small bulbs,
and naturalise in cracks and crevices in stone or brick walls.

Plantsman Graham Rice offers 10 of the best AGM trailing alpines
use this link to view.

Time To Get Fruity!

fruit cage
Blackcurrants and Blackberries are spurting into growth,
help them along with a high nitrogen feed.

Last chance to plant raspberry canes.
The SCRI found raspberries grown in poly-tunnels
are bigger and taste better.

Time to tidy strawberry beds and apply a layer of straw.
Cranford University found that reducing watering,
resulted in smaller but more tasty strawberries.
Overwatering resulted in bigger berries but of
lower quality and diluted taste.

Link to RHS webpage: Grow Your Own - Soft Fruits.

Selling Your Home?

sale sign
For family homes in the south April sees a peak in sales.
The brighter days gives rooms a lift and so to
an attractive front garden, well kept with plants in bloom.

Sellers can achieve in excess of £5,000 above the value
of a similar property with a neglected front garden.
So get gardening and get the financial reward.

All down to kerb appeal encouraging more viewings
and an eventual acceptable offer.

However for flats and starter homes February is the busiest.

Link to RHS webpage: Front Gardens: Planting.

Jack Frost Comes Calling

blossom
A late frost can cause significant damage to plants.
The last frost depends on where you live.
On Hayling Island after March has past
so also any significant risk and during April
the likley hood a very rare occurrence.

Global warming currently brings spring,
1 day earlier with the passing of 5 years
and this is forecast to accelerate further.

All Year Round Containers

containers
Time to plant up your containers for the patio.
The RHS has published an article on how to
create a dynamic refreshed seasonal display.

Full of complimentary planting combinations,
each with a different objective in mind.

Lots of useful guidance and tips for maximum impact.

Link to RHS publication: Same Stage, Different Cast.

On Line Carrot Museum

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No this is not an April fool there actually is
a website entirely dedicated to the history,
evolution, science, sociology and art of Carrots.

Use this link to view: The World Carrot Museum.

10 Plants For Pollinators

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Encourage pollinating insects into your garden
by giving them a head-start in spring.

The RHS has selected their top 10
of the best plants for beneficial pollinating insects,
that are sure-fire winners for gardeners too

Link to RHS webpage: 10 AGM-winning plants for pollinators.

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May 2018



Links to This Month's Articles


Home Page Photo: Pulmonaria 'Diana Clare'
Garden Practice: Liquid Feeds
Cat Grass: Hordeum vulgare
Care Of Houseplants
Time To Tie Climbers
Rose Black Spot
Fairies In The Garden?
The Month Of May
Average May Weather For Hayling Island
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Home Page Photo: Pulmonaria 'Diana Clare'

Pulmonaria
'Diana Clare' is a vigorous semi-evergreen perennial
with narrow silvery-green leaves,
lightly speckled with dark green near the margins,
and violet-blue flowers from late winter to late spring.

Ideal for banks and slopes, flower borders and beds,
ground cover, coastal locations and informal wildlife gardens

Link to RHS: Horticultural advice Pulmonaria 'Diana Clare'.

Garden Practice: Liquid Feeds

watering
A bewildering array of liquid fertilisers is stocked
by most garden centres. How many different feeds
does a home gardener really need?

Liquid feeds are faster acting than granular fertilisers.
Some are all-purpose feeds, promoting all round performance,
others enhance specific features,
such as high-potash rose fertilisers which are
formulated to encourage flowering
or specific as for ericaceous plants.

Link to open pdf: RHS Garden Practice Liquid Feeds.

Cat Grass Hordeum vulgare

Hordeum vulgare
Pamper your pet with this rapid growing cat grass which
is nutritious and tasty, with naturally sweet stems.
The oil content aids cat's digestion
and assists with fur ball elimination.

So very easy to grow, in a tray indoors or outside.
Trim the shoots to prevent coarseness.
For a fresh supply sow seeds every few weeks.

Care Of Houseplants

houseplants
Check to see if your house plants are root bound:
After watering carefully remove them from their pots.
If the roots have compacted into root ball, it's time to re-pot.
Tease out the old soil and re-pot in slightly larger container.

Examine your house plants for pests and problems:
Fight the insect infestation or disease at the outset.
Isolate plant to prevent spread.

Adjust your feeding schedule to the seasons:
In spring and summer provide additional food.
In autumn and winter use sparingly.
Overuse of fertilizers can cause root and foliage burn,
as well as the death of the plant.

Mist your plants regularly:
This increases humidity, keeping the leaves clean and healthy,
and helps to prevent spider mites.

Link to RHS: Advice on caring for houseplants.

Time To Tie Climbers

scented climbers
Climbing plants will now be putting on spurts of growth
so tie in to train where you want them to go.

Link to RHS: Pick of the scented climbers.

Link to BBC Gardening Guide: Pruning climbers.

Rose Black Spot

rose black spot
Check your roses for the fungal disease black spot,
where purple or black spots develop on leaves,
which often drop early.

Wet conditions are required for the disease to build up,
unfortunately most summers in the UK are sufficiently wet.

The fungus spends the winter in resting structures on fallen leaves
and also in dormant infections on young stems and buds,
producing spores in the spring to infect young foliage.

Fungicides are available to control rose black spot.

Link to RHS: Advice and Guidance.

Fairies In The Garden?

fairy ring
This is the time to control fairy ring and weeds in your lawn.

Fairy rings are a fungal infection
that sometimes cause circular rings
of dead grass and/or toadstools in lawns.

Link to RHS: Fairy rings advice and guidance.

Link to RHS: Lawn weed control advice and guidance.


The Month Of May

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May is named after the Greek goddess Maia,
who oversaw the growth of plants.

The Anglo-Saxon name for May was Tri-Milchi,
as with the new lush grass
cows could be milked three times a day.

A dry May and a leaking June.
Makes the farmer whistle a merry tune.

A swarm of bees in May,
Is worth a load of hay.

Mist in May, Heat in June,
Makes harvest come right soon.

"The fair maid who, the first of May
Goes to the fields at break of day
And washes the dew from the hawthorn tree
Will ever after handsome be."
- Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme

Average May Weather
For Hayling Island

bedding
Average Temperatures:
Low: 10°C / 50°F Medium: 14°C / 62°F High: 18°C / 65°F.

Average Sunshine 8 hours.

Average Rainfall 50 mm / 2 inches: Rainfall Days 15.

Average Sea Temperature 11°C / 52°F.

Risks of frost past, temperatures moderate and rain probable.

It's time to finish planting out your summer bedding.

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June 2018



Links to This Month's Articles


Home Page Photo: xxxx
Roses: Growing In Containers
Time To Sow Biennials
Reversion
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Roses: Growing In Containers

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To keep container roses healthy and beautiful:
Locate to achieve at least 6 hours of sunlight.
Regularly water when it’s been dry.
Apply a rose fertiliser in the spring
In winter months take into the greenhouse or
give protection with jute or bubble wrap.

Link to RHS: Roses: growing in containers.

Time To Sow Biennials

biennials
Sow now and the plants develop though summer and autumn,
to achieve substantial plants by winter,
to get them off to a flying start in early spring,
for a strong summer display.

Most germinate within 10 days and can be sown
direct into the soil or seed trays.

Link to RHS: 10 of the best biennials.

Reversion

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Reversion is when a cultivar known for a particular leaf shape,
colour, or other striking characteristic ‘reverts’ back
to a different form found in the plant’s parentage.

Reversion most commonly affects variegated plants, shrubs and trees.

Link to RHS: Advice and guidance.

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July 2018



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August 2018



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September 2018



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October 2018



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November 2018



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December 2018



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