To find which top varieties have been recommended by our experts, click here.
Andrew is Head of Horticulture here at Thompson & Morgan where he sources all sorts of exciting new varieties worldwide! He has had a love of gardening since his childhood and with over 30 years of gardening experience he has become a prize-winning grower and is a regular BBC radio expert. He also often has articles published in gardening magazines, so keep your eyes peeled for him when turning the pages!
As a general rule when sowing seeds, if you can see the seeds on the surface of the compost cover them, if you cannot see them, leave uncovered.
Seeds are very sensitive to the extremes of over watering and under watering - try to keep the compost moisture level constant.
Regular deadheading of flowering plants will encourage plants to keep on flowering rather than setting seedpods, resulting in a longer lasting display.
Remember to thin out crops like lettuce to allow the plants to grow to size. Don't waste the unwanted ‘thinnings’, as they make ideal ‘baby’ salad leaves!
Planting marigolds with vegetable crops helps to deter many common garden pests.
Colin is the Vegetable Product Manager her at Thompson & Morgan and has over 40 years experience in the horticultural industry. He has a particular passion for vegetables, which has resulted in him becoming Chairman of the RHS Vegetable Trial and also a member of the RHS Fruit, Veg and Herb Committee.
Maximise yields throughout the season with succession sowing. Sow salad leaves every 2-3 weeks to ensure you have a fresh supply throughout the season.
Always plant mint in a container to stop it taking over the garden.
When direct sowing peas and beans, wait until the soil has warmed up and the risk of hard frosts has passed to speed germination.
Carrot flies are low fliers, one simple deterrent is to grow carrots in large pots as carrot fly whiz past at no more than 45cm (18in) above ground level.
Sue works on the Thompson & Morgan web team where she provides expert knowledge and advice online. She trained at Writtle College where she received her degree, BSc. (Hons.)Horticulture. She started at Thompson & Morgan in 2008, initially looking after the grounds and coordinating the plant trials, but now she is a valuable part of the web team and even does fortnightly horticultural Q&A sessions for the Thompson & Morgan Facebook page. To find out more about Sue click here.
In dry weather water seed drills before you sow to make sure that there is plenty of moisture exactly where the seeds need it.
Hang cd’s on strings among your fruit and vegetable plants to scare birds away from your crops.
Use old egg cartons to stand potatoes in while they are ‘chitting’ (sprouting). They are the perfect size for seed potatoes. Click here to find out more about how to grow potatoes.
Multiply your tomato crop by ‘potting up’ the side shoots that you remove instead of throwing them away. They will quickly root into their pots and you will have extra plants to grow or give to friends and family.
Choose plants based on the type of conditions that your site can provide. Forcing sun lovers to grow in shade, or bog plants in your gravel garden will only lead to disappointment.
If you are not sure what will grow well in your garden, take a walk through your neighbourhood and see what works in other peoples gardens. The growing conditions are likely to be fairly similar to your own.
Tokely's Tip - Swiss Chard is an ideal vegetable to grow in the shade.
Tokely's Tip - Lobelia seeds are best sown on the surface of the compost.
Tokely's Tip - Try growing Petunia Velvet from seed. It performs just as well as Surfinias!
Randel Recommends - Try growing dwarf runner beans in hanging baskets if space is limited.
Randel Recommends - Sow squash seeds on their edge to prevent rotting.
Randel Recommends - Sow salad leaves every 2-3 weeks to ensure you have a fresh supply throughout the season.
Sue Suggests - Use old egg cartons for chitting potatoes.
Sue Suggests - Pot up side shoots from tomato plants and you will have extra plants to grow or give to friends and family.