Harvest rhubarb before the leaves are fully unfurled by grasping the stalk near the base and pulling it slightly to one side.
With this action the stalk should separate easily from the plant.
Trim the leaf blades from the stalk before storing in a plastic bag in the refrigerator where it can keep for up to four weeks.
It’s best to harvest only during spring and early summer
By doing this you allow the leaves to grow after this period so the plants can produce and store the vital energy reserves needed for next season’s growth.
To keep flowering plants compact and growing strongly, pinch out the tips when the seedlings have become established.
A new breed
Many plants have great powers of recovery from drought.
This is due to a sugar in their tissues called trehalose which can also protect plants from salt and cold stress.
Scientists have now bred rice containing this sugar and trials have shown show that this rice has a higher drought, salt and cold tolerance which could help boost production of the world’s most important food crop.
Cherry tomatoes do well next to a fence or wall as reflected warmth encourages them to ripen and extends the cropping season.
Growing tomatoes in bags of potting mix is an option for those with little garden space.
It works well but keeping the mix moist can be a little challenging because the volume of mix is small, but this is the only problem.
Plant tomatoes when they reach about 15cms in height.
Just cut out a rectangle of plastic from one face of the bag.
Fluff up the contents with a hand fork and dig the first planting hole.
Place the seedling just beneath the mix’s surface and firm it in.
Repeat, planting two large or three smaller varieties in each bag. Insert small holes in the base for drainage.
Most camellias respond well to pruning and can be pruned heavily if drastic size reduction is called for.
Prune all varieties of camellias immediately after flowering or you may remove next year’s flowers.
Stocks are members of the cabbage family and are susceptible to the same soil-borne diseases.
For this reason they should never be grown in soil that has recently been used to grow their cabbage relatives.
As well as the more obvious vegetables this group includes candytuft, alyssum and wallflowers.
Stocks love lime and are fond of potash.