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Jacksons Nurseries - Arbours, Gazebos, Planters, Sheds and more
Gardening Hints and Tips from Jacksons Nurseries

Pittaway Fencing - Experienced fencing contractors, specialising in security and garden fencing, serving Oxford, Witney, Bicester and Carterton.
Engineering Technology - Experts in the manufacture of railings and wrought iron gates for gardens, Engineering Technology serve customers in Shrewsbury, Telford and Wolverhampton.
Health & Safety in the Garden
Pests, Diseases and Weeds

- Bulbs
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Daffodils - If your Daffodils have stopped producing flowers, firstly ensure the bulbs are planted deeply enough. There needs to be two times the height of the bulb coverage of soil. As daffodils go through their lifecycle, the large flowering bulbs multiply to produce smaller younger bulbs which may not be mature enough yet to flower. Feed well by adding a granular high potash feed, then give a fortnightly liquid feed of Phostrogen or similar from about April until the foliage dies down. Always allow the foliage to die down naturally.

Lilies/Tulips - Never plant these together as they suffer from the same diseases.

Snowdrops - To give bulbs a boost, apply a light feed of a general fertiliser, eg liquid seaweed once they have flowered and the leaves have started to die down.

Snowdrops - Keep track of rare varieties by planting in aquatic planters and plunging in the ground.


Tulips - After flowering, pull away leaves as soon as they are yellow and withered. This helps to prevent disease entering the bulbs. Then apply a liquid fertiliser to build the bulbs up ready for next season. Feed once a week for a month or so.

Tulips - Don't plant in the same spot for 2 consecutive years. However, if you plant African Marigolds where Tulips have flowered, the balance in the soil will be restored and you can plant bulbs in the same spot year after year.

- Cats

Scare cats away from your garden by filling plastic bottles with water.  Cats are frightened away by their reflections.

Add mothballs to your borders to prevent cats using them as a toilet.  They don't deteriorate with the weather.

- Health and Safety in the Garden

Use old comic relief red noses on the tops of your garden canes.

Make a hole in the end of wine bottle corks and place on the end of canes.

- Pests, Diseases and Weeds
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Pellets based on metaldehyde are less effective in damp conditions as Slugs/Snails can recover - they lose the chemical through their slime. Better to use pellets based on methiocarb as it has an anti-sliming agent.

To stop slugs and snails nibbling your container plants, place a layer of vaseline around the edge of the pot. They can't get over it.

Try growing Garlic close to susceptible plants to help deter vine weevil.

Rosemary and Sage deter Carrot Fly.

Nettle Spray is great as a general insect repellent and plant food. Fill a bucket with fresh nettles and water, cover and leave to ferment for a few weeks. Strain and spray on your plants.

Image courtesy of Jacci Howard Bear

Marigolds, limnanthes, calendula and poppies attract hoverflies whose larvae eat greenfly and other aphids.

Grow chives with roses to protect them against aphids.

Place mothballs in containers to deter Earwigs and Ants.

Elder and Mint discourage Caterpillars.

To prevent whitefly on tomatoes, underplant with basil and marigolds.

Marjoram and Mint help to repel ants.

When you've boiled eggs, use the leftover water to pour between the cracks in the path to prevent weeds growing.

To help prevent Cabbage Root Fly, cut disk shaped pieces of plastic from carrier bags and place around the base of the plant. Hold down with stones.

- Containers and Hanging Baskets
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  Rounded pots suit spiky plants such as Yuccas, Agaves and Phormiums.

Tall chimney pots suit busy billowing plants like Bidens, Gypsophila or other cascading plants such as Amaranthus.

Plant succulents such as sedums and sempervirens in shallow pots.

For an attractive wooden trough, build a wooden framework and surround it with log roll. Insert a plastic trough inside the wooden frame and plant away !!

If you are using whicker baskets outside, give them 3 coats of yacht varnish to protect them.

To make brand new containers look immediately old, coat them in natural yoghurt and leave in the sun.

If soil in hanging baskets becomes too dry, add a squirt of washing up liquid to the water. This helps the water to enter the compost instead of just running off.

Hanging Basket

When assembling your hanging basket, place a short length of 2" plastic tubing down the centre to allow water to reach the roots easier when watering.

Before planting your hanging basket, place a plastic saucer in the bottom to help retain water and prevent drying out too much.

- Perennials
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Aquilegias - Don't feed too much as it can make plants flop over after heavy rain.

Delphiniums - To produce outstanding blooms, plants need a steady supply of moisture at the roots during the growing season. Mulch to keep in moisture.

Dianthus - If plants have pale tips they may be suffering from a shortage of magnesium. Mix 1 oz of Epsom Salts to 1 gallon of water and water each plant.


Hostas - Plant variegated forms next to terracotta water features for a fresh look.

Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens' - Plants can disappear into surrounding soil as it is dark. Plant next to pale stone or grow amongst silver-leaved sempervivums.


- Shrubs and Climbers
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Acid Lovers - Feed with Sequestrene in June. Water around Rhododendrons, Camellias, Azaleas, Pieris and all other acid loving plants to prevent yellow leaves and encourage strong growth.

Camellias - Flowerbuds are formed in the Summer, so ensure plants are kept moist during July and August. Drought will cause flower buds to drop off in Spring.

Garrya - A handful of pelleted chicken manure in April and a monthly feed of tomato fertiliser between June and September will help promote growth and catkins.

Hedges - Use Thuja plicata instead of Leylandii as it has the ability to throw new shoots out of old wood, unlike Leylandii.

Hedges - When trimming a hedge, the base should be wider than the top.

Ivy - The secret of getting a new ivy to cling to your walls is to cut it hard back after planting. New shoots get a grip straight away - old ones never do.

- General Hints and Tips
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Houseplants - If you have an aquarium, save the water each time you change it to water your house plants with. You'll be amazed at the results.

Plant Labels - Remove top and bottom of fizzy drink cans, flatten out and cut into strips. Use as permanent plant labels by writing on them with a biro to emboss the letters.

Ponds - When building a new pond, remember that siting it in full sun will encourage the growth of algae, so position it in the shade.

Ponds - After removing blanketweed from the pond, leave it on the side overnight then put it on the compost heap - it breaks down well and helps make great compost.

Weeds - When hoeing the ground, only disturb the top 1/2" of soil. Going deeper than this will cause more weed seeds to germinate.

- Greenhouse
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Begonias - If you have difficulty in telling which way up a tuber should be planted, place in a plastic bag with enough moist, peat based compost to cover it, seal top, put in a warm place such as the airing cupboard and gently shake bag every day to disturb it. Once you see signs of growth, take it out and pot up with shoots uppermost.

Cucumbers - Avoid watering with cold or chlorinated water, leave to stand for a few hours before use.

Heating - Place a few dustbins filled with water under greenhouse staging. The water heats up during the day, releasing its warmth slowly at night. Concrete floors also provide the same benefit.

Tomatoes - Try Epson Salt (1tsp) around tomato plants to green up the foliage.

Watering - Use a cork on a cane to see if a plant is in need of watering. If the plant is thirsty, the pot will ring like a bell when tapped otherwise it will sound like a dull thud.


Watering - Never use water collected from water butts to water seedlings. Use tap water, but allow it to stand for a couple of hours before use to ensure the chlorine disappears.



Other Hints & Tips Websites

Hints and Things

Hints, tips, general information and advice on many different subjects. 

Flower and Garden Tips - Heaps of support and pots of advice for the budding gardener! Send us your questions or great ideas.

GardenGuideUK - Free and impartial guide for gardeners. Find out how to do anything!

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