The Gardener's Journal is a free monthly gardening guide delivered direct to your inbox.

Each month, receive tips on the top jobs needed in your garden as well as a wealth of information on a range of gardening topics. From sowing seeds to picking fruit, each month get access to information on the care and maintenance of your flowerbeds, vegetable plot and lawn. As with your own gardening diary, the journal is split into separate sections, each covering a different area of garden care.

Thursday 21 December 2017

Lawn Care: Questions and Answers

Q.  I have read that aerating the lawn is essential for healthy grass growth. Can I do it now?

The Vegetable Plot - January

‘If soil has a bank account, vegetables make the biggest withdrawals.’ Dan Barber 

Working lots of organic matter into vegetable borders and planning a rotation system so the same crops are not grown in the same beds will help feed hungry vegetables and prevent the build up of disease. Drainage on heavy soil will also be improved and leaving heavy soil exposed allows the frost to kill pests and as the soil water freezes and thaws the soil structure will improve. So digging over and treating the border in January is a useful garden task that will also keep you exercised and warm.

The Big Glut Recipe

Pork Tenderloin with rhubarb, onion and tarragon

A dish for six using rhubarb (which is a vegetable) Danish style as a match for the sweet-tasting pork. Recipe courtesy of House & Garden.

  • 2 x 600g pork tenderloins, trimmed 
  • 50g salted butter
  • 4 shallots, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 200g rhubarb, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1tbsp whole black peppercorns, crushed 
  • 10 sprigs tarragon

Friday 1 December 2017

This Month in Your Garden - December

"One kind word can warm three winter months."-  Japanese proverb

Well, ‘be prepared’ the old scout motto also comes to mind as we ready ourselves for whatever winter throws our way. A cleaned greenhouse, well-staked trees and bushes, roses and climbers tied in, the garden machinery oiled and serviced, the shed tidied. Pears and apples pruned (not those against the wall) together with vines; and root crops harvested, leeks and parsnips the heart of winter fare.

The Lawn Care Guide - December

"There's one good thing about snow, it makes your lawn look as nice as your neighbour's." Clyde Moore

Well, I’m guessing you’ve hung up your boots by now as far as the lawn is concerned. If by some chance there is still one last cut to be done then you need to be leaving the grass not too short. Some length will benefit it through the winter. I was told only this morning by someone in Scotland they were looking out onto snow and for most of us, where it’s not snowing, our December lawn care will be confined to brushing away the worm casts that promote moss and weed growth and sweeping off leaves and debris that somehow manage to cling on after the autumn clean up. Lightly aerating with a fork or solid tines will help winter surface drainage if it’s not too wet so you’re prepared for when there is heavy rainfall.

Vegetable Gardening: Questions and Answers

Q. Is there anything I can plant in winter or do I have to wait for spring?