Weekend Work: Time to gather seeds

What to do

Seeds ripened fast in the hot weather of the first half of July. I am now gathering seed from some fine heads of angelica, a variety called 'Giga' with purple stems, much more dramatic than the all-green type.

Seeds of foxgloves are ripe, too. When I remember, I put twists of wire round their stems to remind me of the various colours. I am trying to steer away from the purple kind (which I uproot when they have finished flowering and so don't self-seed) towards the apricot and heavily-spotted kinds (which with their twists of wire get left until the seeds ripen and can be shaken over likely new breeding grounds). Often this casually scattered seed does rather better than the stuff I sow according to the book.

Pick sweet peas regularly to force the plants to produce more flowers. The star of this year's crop in our garden has been 'Blackberry' (Unwins £2.99), a chocolatey purple, with a decently strong scent.

Continue to pinch out shoots on tomatoes growing as cordons and pick vegetables such as courgettes regularly. They grow at an astonishing rate.

Train in any of the new growth of wisteria that you want to keep and prune the rest by cutting back the curling new tendrils by half. Do the final pruning in February next year, cutting these same growths right back to within a few inches of their starting point.

Disbud dahlias by pinching out the side supporting buds on each stem, leaving only the main boss bud. This produces larger flowers. If you are growing dahlias such as 'Bishop of Llandaff' in a border, though, this isn't necessary.

What to buy

When he lived in Herefordshire, Robert Milne was the most rigorous organic gardener I had ever met. Twenty years of self-sufficiency as well as eight years working as a professional gardener underpin his book, 'Organic Vegetable Growing' (How To Books, £12.99). The vegetables themselves don't appear until Chapter 7. The book starts off with Tools and Back Care and will tell you everything you ever need to know about Maintaining Soil Fertility. Urine is critical, he says. Get out that chamber pot NOW.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine