My beginner’s gardening tips for 2009


Hello everyone!

It's the start of the new gardening year, and what better time to pick up new gardening tips you can use throughout the oncoming months. Here are some simple beginner's steps you can do during January…

1. Grow spuds on the patio
All you need is a 30.5cm (12") plastic pot or poly bag, five Potatoes growing on the patioearly cropping seed potatoes and a bag of multipurpose compost.

Start the potatoes sprouting in egg boxes on the windowsill in January or February, then plant them into the pot or poly bag in March.

Keep the plants well watered and in late May you'll be harvesting the yummiest, freshest potatoes you've ever tasted!

Sweet peas2. Pick some 'scensational' sweet peas!
Sweet peas are about the easiest and prettiest flowers that anyone can grow.
Buy a packet of seeds from the garden centre and sow them indoors now (be sure to keep them in a cool spot). Or even easier, order already germinated young seedlings from QVC, which will be delivered to you in March – the ideal time for planting in the garden.

Plant out your seedlings in a sunny spot, either in the garden against a fence or wall, or alternatively into a big pot. Pop in some 2m (6') high bamboo canes for the plants to grow up.
Keep them well watered and by the time May's ending you'll be picking your first of many months of these beautiful, fragrant flowers.

Lilies 3. Pot up some lilies
They may look exotic, but lilies are amazingly easy to grow! Simply plant five bulbs in a 30.5cm (12") pot that's filled with multipurpose compost.

Pop the pot outside on your patio, water regularly and they'll burst into stunning blooms in July.

Strawberries 4. Savour the flavour of homegrown strawberries
There's nothing better on a summer's day than tucking in to fresh, succulent fruit that you've grown yourself!

All you need is 30.5cm (12") hanging basket, five strawberry plants and some mulitpurpose compost.

Plant the basket now and keep it well watered. From early April feed the plants once a week with a high potash feed such as Flower Power. By early July you'll be picking your very own juicy and sweet strawberries!

5. Perk up your patio
Richard Jackson planting upLooking to pack your patio with colour on a budget? Plug plants are amazing value as they're a fraction of the cost of the full grown plants plants sold in garden centres later in the spring.

The nurserymen have done all the hard work for you, so all you have to do is pot on the little plants, grow them on a sunny windowsill until after the last frosts in May, then plant them outdoors.

Canny gardeners get the pick of the crop by ordering their plug plants for early delivery from March onwards – the perfect time to grow them!

I hope these tips have inspired you to get out there, and I wish you all a year of happy gardening!

Check out our plants and flowers.


  1. ELAINE Morgan January 12, 2009 at 5:59 pm -  Reply

    A question for Richard Jackson. I bought the climbing lilies last year -but I not sure how to care for them over the winter. Should I dig them up and bring them inside or keep them planted but bring them indoors.

  2. zeta January 12, 2009 at 5:59 pm -  Reply

    Loved this information as I tried to grow some veg last year but nor very successful, hope you will give more tips on veg. Your programmes are very good.

  3. Jean Spencer January 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm -  Reply

    i Love growing lilles but i always get this black bug on them which ends up killing them can you please tell me how i can treat this
    Jean Spencer

  4. Janis Ballingall April 3, 2009 at 11:06 am -  Reply

    Hi Richard,
    I bought the Giant Flowered Scented Tree Peonies – 3 Premium Bare Roots and although 2 of them are budding nicely one is just like a dry stick. No sign of life at all. What should I do?
    Janis Ballingall

  5. Amanda Sibley April 7, 2009 at 9:58 am -  Reply

    Help please, last year I tried to grow the cascading and patio tomatoe plants. The cascading ones were amazing, lots of delicious tomatoes, however the potted ones while growing very large with an unbelieveable amount of tomatoes turned black (stalks and fruit) I was unable to get a single edible fruit. I have ordered them again this year and would appreciate any advice you may have to prevent this happening again. Love all your shows and have never been enjoyed delicious blueberries and strawberries with the minimum of work which is important as I am disabled.

  6. Gardening Seeds May 1, 2009 at 3:21 am -  Reply

    i really like the info at this post thanks!

  7. tracey wilkins May 16, 2009 at 3:20 pm -  Reply

    hi richard i purchased 5 tomarvolous plants i re potted then in 3inch pots and they have been fine but untill last week the leaves on the end are turnin dark green and are curling as if the are dying.i was wondering if you could tell me what im doin wrong and why they are doin this

  8. AG May 17, 2009 at 5:12 pm -  Reply

    How do you use the black bag given with the potatoe as supplied?

  9. amanda miller June 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm -  Reply

    i purchased the peonies and although the stems and leaves are fine he flowrs have not materialised just bud and then died your advices please

  10. Christine June 16, 2010 at 7:10 pm -  Reply

    Dear Richard,
    I have just noticed white like cotton wool on my apple braeburn tree. What do I do and will it effect the other trees planated in post along the same side of the fence, cherry plum and pear?

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