Andrew Tokely's Gardening Advice
Andrew Tokely's (Kings Horticultural Director) Tips of the Month for June.
Andrew Tokely's (Kings Horticultural Director) Tips of the Month for May.
Andrew Tokely's (Kings Horticultural Director) Tips of the Month for April.
Andrew Tokely's (Kings Horticultural Director) Tips of the Month for March.
Andrew Tokely's (Kings Horticultural Director) Tips of the Month for February.
Andrew Tokely's (Kings Horticultural Director) Tips of the Month for January.
Andrew Tokely's (Kings Horticultural Director) Tips of the Month for December.
Read about what Andrew Tokely got up to on the Kings Allotment plot in September, October and November.
Read our top 10 tips on how to grow garlic bulbs!
Read our advice about to look after your sweet pea plug plants.
View fruit tree planting advice from planning, preparation and planting.
Runner Bean Plants Advice
For optimum yield canes 18"/45cm apart - 3 plants per cane.
At 3 plants there is an 18% increase in yield compared to 2 plants per cane, and a 5% increase compared to 4 plants per cane.
Gardening Hints & Tips
- A day or two prior to seed sowing, bring the compost inside to warm up. If the compost is too cold the seeds will not germinate.
- Water the compost thoroughly and allow to drain prior to seed sowing.
- Never use butt water for your seedlings as it contains pathogens which are harmful for germination and small seedlings.
- Before digging in your green manure run over it with the mower first. This will make it easier to dig in.
- Avoid using mustard as a green manure if you have club root in your soil. Mustard belongs to the brassica family and will help to keep the disease going.
- To avoid root disturbance when transplanting, use peat pots which will allow the roots to grow through them. Alternatively use the inners of toilet rolls or make newspaper tubes.
- When sowing Sweet Peas, dampen a piece of kitchen towel, place into a plastic container. sow the seeds on one half of the kitchen towel and fold over the other half to cover the seed and replace the lid on the container. The seed should have germinated within 24-48 hours, when you can remove them from the towel and pot on.
- Summer sown lettuces do not like high temperatures and will not germinate. Sow in the evenings when temperatures have cooled. Place them in a cool spot, or against a north facing wall.
- Garden soil is either acid, neutral, or alkaline and can be measured with a pH kit available from Kings, with 7 being neutral on the scale.
- If the pH level is too high or too low plants will not be able to survive.
- Most soils in the UK gradually become acidic over time. This can be corrected by the addition of lime.
- Adding lime not only increases the pH but helps clay in the soil to form crumbs and it supplies the calcium which plants need in order to grow.
- Lime is slow acting and is best spread over the surface before winter digging.
- Do not add lime with organic matter as it can speed up the breakdown, losing much needed nitrogen.
- To see the ideal pH level for a range of vegetable crops click here
- If you do not have time to chit your seed potatoes do not worry. It is a proven fact that seed potatoes planted into warm soil will soon catch up to chitted potatoes grown in cold soil.
- When choosing your fertiliser find out the nutrient content to ensure you choose the right one for the correct job. Browse our feeds and fertilisers.