Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

Growing Tips for Beginners: Greenhouse Gardening 101

The Romans were recorded as the first to create greenhouses, specifically growing cucumbers for Emperor Tiberius. There are early Korean records of greenhouses being used to grow flowers and force vegetables by 1438, and the Chinese grew mandarin trees indoors – the first ‘greene’ houses. In 1663,  the Orangery was opened at Versailles. The Victorian […]

Greenhouse tomatoes – what to do now

Now your greenhouse tomatoes are growing steadily, it is important to remove the side shoots of ‘cordon’ varieties to form a single productive stem. You don’t need scissors or secateurs, just snap them off with your finger and thumb. Make sure your tomatoes are well watered, too, particularly if they are in growing bags where […]

‘Hardening off’ and more of this month’s essentials.

Apart from the few days of summer last month we spent most of last month in low light, constant rain and chilling winds, so the ground is still too cold and wet for sowing crops directly and will be for a while yet, so thank goodness there is plenty to do in the greenhouse. Seeds […]

Seasonal tips – chitting and chopping.

If you are growing C. orientalis and C.tangutica; Clematis texensis, Clematis viticella and their cultivars and the large flowered hybrids like ‘Hagley Hybrid’ and ‘Perle d’Azure’, now’s the time to prune. This group flowers in summer and autumn on the current year’s stems, so select the strongest pair of buds near the base, and cut […]

Things to do in winter

Open greenhouse vents for as long as possible on mild sunny days over winter, shutting them before temperatures drop early in the afternoon. A combination of high temperatures and low light makes leaves and stems soft, spindly and prone to grey mould which spreads rapidly in cool, damp conditions. Though good air circulation is vital, […]

November notes and things to do

Now it is getting chilly, terracotta or glazed pots should be wrapped with several layers of ‘bubble wrap’ or hessian and raised from the ground on bricks or pot feet to stop water-logging and reduce the chances of cracking. They can also be over-wintered in a frost-free glasshouse, at the base of a sheltered wall, […]

Holiday hints for happy houseplants

Before you go on holiday, it’s important to make arrangements for someone to look after your houseplants – ideally, someone who’s keen on gardening. If the draining board in your kitchen is not in shade, or you have a venetian blind to protect them from scorching sunshine (we live in hope!), group all your houseplants […]