Hartley Magazine

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

May is transition time

It’s a busy time in the greenhouse. Sow courgettes, climbing and dwarf beans, chard, beetroot, salad onions and tender herbs including basil and coriander. ‘Harden off’ and plant outdoor pumpkins, melons and tomatoes and courgettes in their permanent positions once the danger of frost has passed. Plant courgettes into organic rich soil, trough slits in […]

It’s time for sowing and planting – spring is here!

Sow celeriac, spinach and turnip in modules early in the month. Use peat free seed or finely sieved multipurpose compost; larger seeds like peas and beans can be sown in straight multipurpose compost. Sow half-hardy annuals including climbers for ornamental outdoor displays. Like all greenhouse grown plants, they need ‘hardening off’ ready for transplanting once […]

Pollination to potting on, March is a month for action.

Peaches and nectarines flower early in the year when there are few insects about, so hand pollination is the only way to ensure a good crop. It works best after two or three dry warm days when most of the flowers are open. When the time is right, there will be a dusting of pollen […]

Wash and sow – there’s plenty to do in the greenhouse

Happy New Year! Here’s to fabulous crops, few pests and many pleasurable moments pottering in your Hartley greenhouse. With the wet weather, there is no better place to shelter as you check your plants. If you haven’t done so already, a water butt to collect rainwater from the roof is a ‘must’ and can be […]

Last orders for the Festive season.

This image is a testament to climate change! Harvest any crops which remain in the unheated greenhouse. Start Amaryllis bulbs into growth as soon as you can, watering sparingly at first; just trickle a little tepid water around the bulb, increasing the amount as the bud appears. Once it is growing strongly, keep the compost […]

Getting ahead before autumn arrives

With it is warm and sunny, sow trays, pots or old growing bags with ‘cut and come again crops’ to harvest through autumn and into winter like Land cress, oriental salads, like pak choi, mizuna and mibuna greens, lettuce, lamb’s lettuce, carrots for seedlings, chicory and radish. You can also use what’s left from earlier […]

Planting potatoes and sowing biennials

If you’d like to eat new potatoes at Christmas (or earlier), it is time to plant them now, when late season, second early potatoes, stored in temperature-controlled conditions are sent out from late July to early August. They can easily be grown in pots. Stand two or three tubers on a 12.5cm layer of multipurpose […]

Pinching out and potting on

Now that greenhouse tomatoes are growing rapidly, remove the side shoots of ‘cordon’ varieties, as they appear, using your finger and thumb, to create a single productive stem to train up the cane. Keep the compost constantly moist using tepid water, checking regularly, particularly if you use growing bags as the compost dries out rapidly […]