Hartley Magazine

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

Keeping your Houseplants Alive whilst on Holiday

As the holiday season nears, here are a few ideas to ensure that your houseplants survive while you’re away. If a friend is watering them for you, move all of the plants into one room, so that nothing gets forgotten. The kitchen is ideal, as they are near the water supply and can stand on […]

Making the most of your Garden Centre

Although it is May and the garden centre is awash with beautiful bedding, it’s better to resist the temptation to buy until you are certain that the last frost has past – particularly after the erratic spring we’ve just experienced – if you live in a ‘frost pocket’ or northern parts of Britain. Suppliers make […]

Planting Beetroot and Chitting Potatoes

Beetroot is an excellent vegetable which is packed with goodness, so it’s always worth sowing a few. Sow just enough for your needs at monthly intervals for a constant supply. The first sowings can be made under cloches in early March, providing soil temperatures are not below 7C (44F) for harvest in late May or […]

Start Growing Peppers, Chillies and Aubergines

The arrival of February is a reminder that spring is just one step closer, it quickens the heartbeat, brightens the spirit and sends gardeners running to the greenhouse to start the seed sowing season. Plants like peppers, chillies and aubergines which need a long growing season, up to five months to mature should be sown […]

Christmas Plants & Composting Leaves

December began with strong winds and heavy rain, setting the tone for the start of another potentially mild, wet winter. It blew all of the remaining leaves from the ‘Silver Birch’ in my garden and has concentrated them all to one side of the garden, alongside those that have already fallen, making them easier to […]

Selecting Vegetable Seeds & Creating a Manageable Apple Orchard

Over the past few years there has been a major resurgence of interest in vegetable growing on as people discover the joys and health benefits of home grown food for the table but you can add more interest to your ‘five portions a day’ by growing apples or pears. Forget any ideas of giant unmanageable […]

Asters, Dahlias and Ventilating your Greenhouse

At the beginning of the month, I was privileged to give the annual Percy Picton Memorial lecture at Colwall gardening club, the timing was perfect for a visit to the Old Court Nursery and Picton Gardens, home to the National Collection of Asters. Ernest Ballard of Colwall near Malvern, a chemist in the family cider […]

Lawn Maintenance and Overwintering in the Greenhouse

Ambushed by recent tomato blight I’m going to clear some of my summer greenhouse crops and start my autumn tidy up earlier than planned. Returning from holiday to find my tomato plants browned and collapsed was no surprise, it had rained incessantly and even with adequate ventilation, the combined humidity indoors and out provided perfect […]