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Got a question about gardening? Whether you're a novice or pro, put your questions to gardener and author of bestselling book How to Grow, Hollie Newton

(19 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 28-Feb-17 11:43:58

With the end of winter finally in sight, it's time to start preparing your garden for Spring. We're holding a Q&A with Hollie Newton, author of a new book How To Grow: A Guide For Gardeners Who Can’t Garden Yet who will be answering your questions about gardening - whether it's in a large garden or you fancy growing some produce from a tiny urban spaces.

Hollie is a self-taught gardener and started growing vegetables and fruit on her first tiny rented balcony in an attempt to escape from the pressure of her job. Despite living directly below the Heathrow flight path. What started as “a few hanging tomatoes” rapidly became a borderline obsession... then a major publication.

Put your questions to Hollie about garden design or vegetable fruit and salad growing before Friday 17 March and you will be entered into a draw to win one of three copies of Hollie's book How To Grow.

NB Hollie will be answering your questions in the Q&A instead of the live webchat.

Magicpenny Thu 02-Mar-17 13:22:50

Ooh, this has come at the right time. I'll try and join the webchat next week but if not I wonder if you can help? My front garden is recently been patio'd with two strips of soil around the patio. I've been waiting for it to be warm enough to plant something in here. Do you have any suggestions for something that will look nice all year round at the front of the garden - that will possibly flower for a bit of colour but most importantly doesn't need much tending? It gets sun there in the morning. Thanks Holly.

greathat Thu 02-Mar-17 20:09:38

will be at work, but I have a question! I''ve heard there are two types of clematis and you are supposed to prune different ones at different times. How can I find out which type I've got and when/how I'm supposed to prune them

TaliDiNozzo Fri 03-Mar-17 10:56:26

Oh this is exciting! I'm several steps below novice when it comes to gardening but I love it! Will try to be succinct with my question!

The end of my garden is bordered by a wall which is lower than I'd like - between four and five ft high. I'm wondering if you have any advice about what to plant against it to increase security/privacy? In my head, this would either be attaching some kind of trellis to the wall and growing something on that, or possibly a bush that will grow up against it but higher? The wall is not particularly attractive so not bothered about seeing it, just don't want to destroy it with roots etc!

Thank you Hollie! Will likely be at work during the web chat but can't wait to read it afterwards!

TaliDiNozzo Fri 03-Mar-17 10:58:51

Oops sorry, mistook the date of the prize draw for a webchat that's actually a Q and A anyway! Either way can't wait to read it! Thanks Hollie!

Asuitablemum Fri 03-Mar-17 11:45:32

What should I do to quickly and easily prepare a bed to plant veggies and how do I stop the slugs eating everything? Also would a old sandpit be deep enough for growing veggies. And with runner beans Cani grow from seed in the garden?

user1482079332 Fri 03-Mar-17 12:19:15

I have a yard that I would like to spruce up and look more inviting. What Bee friendly potted plants would you recommend?

Mytrustybucket1 Fri 03-Mar-17 12:51:23

Hi Holly,
My question is what type of shrubs, bushes or small trees would be really slow growing (but still attractive) in a garden which - due to work - will be tended very irregularly during the year. I plan to get rid of lawn entirely and mulch and have paths. Live in SW Ireland, so relatively sunny but also lots of rain and things do get out of hand rather quickly! Thanks very muchsmile

Mytrustybucket1 Fri 03-Mar-17 12:53:51

Sorry, Hollie blush

Onslow Fri 03-Mar-17 12:56:30

I'm a bit of a cheat because I'm from Australia and therefore the seasons are turned on their head!

It's autumn here and I want to plant ranunculus bulbs. Should I plant them now, at the start of autumn, and do I need to water them?

ButterflyOfFreedom Fri 03-Mar-17 16:47:48

I'm looking for a couple of all weather/ ever green type potted plants (large) to have by my front door - we're not gardeners really so ones which we can just leave and they'll look after themselves! What do you recommend?
Thank you

CowLickBuddha Fri 03-Mar-17 19:02:34

We have a very old forsythia in one corner of the garden that hasn't given many flowers in the last few years. I pruned it down to just 2 ft of growth in summer and there are a few shoots coming out. I'm hoping this had reinvigorated it. If it doesn't flower this year is it time to get rid? If so, what is the best way to do that? It's in a tight sight between a fence abd the edge of decking. What can I put in it's place to disguise ugly fence joins?

bagelbaby Fri 03-Mar-17 20:01:27

Why oh why can't I grow garlic?!
It just never grows into a proper full bulb. Tried different soils but still very poor harvest.
Thank you !

dublinmary Fri 03-Mar-17 20:15:09

Hi Hollie. We have a mature garden planted by the previous house owners, which we are a bit afraid to tamper with, as we are quite clueless! Most things are surviving but we have a row of four rosemary bushes which work as a hedge. The last couple of years they have slowly been dying. About half of each bush is still alive and half dead. My DH is loath to pull them up but I think we should replace them. Do you think we can do anything to save them? We are in London with stony clay soil if that helps.
Thanks very much!

OnHold Fri 03-Mar-17 20:34:06

Hello.I need a fast growing hedge for clay soil in quite a shaded front garden.Any tips?

Thank you

CheeseEMouse Fri 03-Mar-17 22:35:37

Any little seedlings we have seem to get munched by slugs - the same happened to my marigolds too! I have singularly failed to grow courgettes ever (despite them allegedly being easy to grow!). What would you recommend to deter pests?

Strawclutching Sat 04-Mar-17 06:13:42

Why can't I get rosemary cuttings to take? I do everything by the book and probably 10% take?

Collymollypuff Sat 04-Mar-17 15:01:06

I can't seem to grow coriander from seed, although I have plenty of sunny spots in the garden. It comes up really spindly and bolts. Dd and I really love coriander and could happily eat a forest of it - if it would only grow. What conditions does it like?

MrsBertBibby Sat 04-Mar-17 21:24:31

Hi, I really want a sarcococca by the front door in winter for the scent, is there one that would be OK in a large pot, as we have no beds out front? Wisley had s. Confusa by the glasshouse, and the scent was lovely, but I can't imagine that enjoying a tub.

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