Healthy Plants

These hints should ensure that your plants are in tip top condition:


Dig up tubers after first frosts, wash off soil and dry upside down. Dust with yellow sulphur to prevent them rotting in storage over winter. Take cuttings from old Dahlia tubers as you get better flowers on young plants, they flower in the first year if taken early enough. Throw the old tubers away. (Jean Griffin’s tip)


Feed all fuchsias whether in the ground or in pots all through the growing season as they are very heavy feeders. You will be rewarded with much stronger plants that will flower well all season. (George Puddifoot’s tip)

Yellowing leaves?

Mix 1 tablespoon of Epsom Salts into 1 gallon of water to treat any plant that has yellowing leaves. This is often caused by magnesium deficiency which Epsom Salts will cure. ( I use it on my tomatoes when they show yellowing around the veins of the leaves in summer. (George Puddifoot’s tip)

Roots at planting time

Ensure that plant roots are well spread out in their planting hole if they are bare rooted.  If they are a potted plant make sure that the root ball is broken up (teased out) so that the roots can get out into the surrounding soil. Your plants will thrive if given this good start in your garden. (Pippa Greenwood’s tip)

Toughen up with Sulphate of Potash

As well as helping with flower and fruit production, an application Sulphate of Potash will toughen up the stems and leaves of plants making them more resistant to arrack by pests and diseases. (Pippa Greenwood’s tip)

Amaryllis – maintaining size and flowering at Christmas

It is best to feed Amaryllis just after flowering. Feed through the summer, then stop.  Liquid tomato food is best.  Fresh compost will also give the plant a boost. (Steve Bradley’s tip)

Paper white hyacinths projecting out of their pots

If they have been subjected to cold,  the roots develop and tops of the plants don’t. It’s a good idea to use bulb trays which will fit into hanging baskets. Start them somewhere cold.  Can reuse pots after other plants have been in them. Don’t add additional compost.  (Steve Bradley’s tip)

Pruning dogwoods

At the end of March.  Options are either to prune the plant right down to ground level, which could weaken the plant after 8 years or so, or to reduce the height of the plant by two thirds, which could extend the life of the plant a little longer.  (Steve Bradley’s tip)

How to get beautiful peonies

For the first 4 (yes 4!) years cut off all (yes all!) of the blooms. By the 5th year the plant will have made a big strong plant and from then on you can enjoy all the blooms. (Tip from the Peony Farm)