Hartley Magazine

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

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Sowing sweet peas and other seasonal happenings.

Sow sweet peas indoors from October to November. Soften the seed coat, by putting the seeds on a layer of kitchen towel on a dinner plate, put another layer on top. Dampen the towel, drain off excess water and sow as soon as they begin to swell or sprout, usually after about 48 hours. Those […]

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Bubble wrapping your greenhouse – yes, or no?

When 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, think land cress, oriental salads, like pak choi, mizuna and mibuna greens plus lettuce, lamb’s lettuce, chicory and radish. You can also use what’s left in the packets from […]

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Blossom end rot – problem solved.

I’ve been having one or two problems with Blossom End Rot, where the end of tomatoes becomes circular, black and flattened. It occurs in peppers and aubergines, squashes and watermelons but is most often seen in tomatoes and is caused by lack of calcium in the fruits. Plants growing in soil, growing bags and potting […]

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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 […]

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‘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 […]

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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, […]