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Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Little Green Space - Updating Main Site

Don't fret! will be reappearing very soon.

We are upgrading the website to make it even better. We are currently transferring across ready for Spring.

See you soon.

The little green space ladybird.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Pot Plants in the Spring

Now’ s the time to go through your houseplants and give them a
spring going-over. They’ve struggled through the winter with us,
and they need a boost!
Firstly – see if they’ve become pot-bound. Are the roots bursting
out of the drainage holes? The plant will thrive if you repot it
in a slightly larger container, big enough to handle the extra
root growth, say a couple of inches all round.Tease out the roots
gently with your fingernails if they’re tightly bound.Use a soil
based compost which contains nutrients (such as John Innes No 2)
to pot on your plant, then scrape off and discard an inch or two
of the old soil from the surface, to be replaced with your fresh
soil. Do this last bit with all your houseplants. The nutrients
and organic matter in the fresh compost are just what the plants
need, and you won’t then have to feed them again for a year.Give
the plant a good watering and let it sit in a tray of water for
10 minutes while you either wipe the foliage with a felt cloth,
or spray off the dust that can clog a plants breathing apparatus.
Your plants will thank you by growing faster and healthier!

Written By Tom O'Leary

Floating Cuttings

Taking cuttings is fun and here is a little technique you might like to share with your kids. A lot of cuttings root in water and a fun way to do it is make little boats from polystyrene and insert the cuttings through them like masts, so that just the bottom centimeter or so of stem is under the water. The advantages to this method are that the cuttings are always kept at the right level in the water and movement has a curiously positive effect.
There are no rules about what will root and what won’t but you may like to start with something quick and easy like fuchsias, dahlias, geraniums, or busy lizzies. If you are going to grow on the plants in compost, don’t let the water roots get before potting them up or they will find it harder to adapt to life in soil.

Written by Alistair Ayres

A warm welcome to your new resident gardening expert, Alistair Ayres

Alistair Ayres was editor of Which? Gardening and regular columnist at The Guardian for more than ten years. He is a trained botanist with a wealth of professional experience in design, building and maintaining gardens, and has won medals at all the major flower shows.
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Alistair moved to a 3-acre Victorian walled kitchen garden when he was seven. By the age of ten, he had his first small business growing gladioli for market. After leaving school he became a professional propagator before coming to London to study botany.

After graduating, he developed a successful career as journalist, editing two national gardening magazines and a regular columnist for The Guardian for more than ten years. Working for Which? Magazine, he was responsible for conducting trials on thousands of gardening products, techniques and plant varieties. He has designed medal-winning gardens and exhibits at all the major flower shows, including Chelsea, Hampton Court and Tatton Park.

Alistair has also worked as park keeper, maintained the gardens of the rich and famous, and designed and built numerous projects ranging from tiny roof terraces to country estates. He currently divides his time between gardening and his other passion, which is writing and making films.