Strong Winds? No Problem! Secure Your Polytunnel

Tony O'Neill confidently secures his polytunnel against strong winds, using sturdy straps and anchors.

The fight to keep Polytunnels grounded in the face of storms is continuous – until it is solved. Here we explore how to keep your Polytunnel, with its low size-to-weight ratio, from being blown away by the powerful and often destructive force – wind. We take a brief look at the science behind it and then look at how to mitigate the risk factors.

How to Grow Giant Marrows: An Ultimate Guide

Tony O'Neill proudly displays his giant marrows, demonstrating his expertise in growing massive vegetables with his proven method on "How To Grow Giant Marrows."

Giant Marrow preparation starts during the winter months. I prepare the soil in readiness for growing these Giants. These plants grow large and depending on how many you wish to grow will determine the size of the area required.

How to Keep Bamboo in Check and Enjoy Its Beauty

A lush garden with bamboo plants surrounded by colorful flowers and green foliage. How to Keep Bamboo in Check.

Bamboo is a highly aggressive, invasive exotic plant species. It owes its reputation to the fact that it is the fastest-growing class of grass on earth. Bamboo can choke natural vegetation in a brief period, effectively crowding out native flora. It is imperative to realize that it is challenging to get rid of bamboo once it has taken root.

Spring Gardening Made Easy: How to Grow Peas Indoors

A close-up image of plump, green peas growing in heavy pods inside a greenhouse. Learn how to grow peas indoors with this step-by-step guide.

Considering the unusually cold and wet weather this year, it is vital for gardeners to think of ways to maintain an advantage. Especially for growing peas, initiating their growth indoors can be considered to prevent them from falling too far behind.

Building a strong frame is a perfect way to support climbing veg like peas. This frame is then netted with netting or wire mesh. Getting the peas to a suitable size to be put outside is important. This is OK later in the year when temperatures warm, as we can direct sow. In the late winter and early spring, direct-sown seeds would rot, sow one way to get a head start is to sow seeds indoors.

How to grow peas? This is where I show you how to sow peas indoors to get an early start. With the weather being very cold and wet this year, gardeners must consider ways to keep ahead of the game. When it comes to peas, there are ways to start growing them indoors to prevent you from falling too far behind.

Supporting peas is very important to prevent damaging the crop.
A perfect way to support climbing veg like peas.

Building a strong frame is a perfect way to support climbing veg like peas. Peas should be a suitable size before being placed outside. This is OK later in the year when temperatures warm, as we can direct sow. In the late winter and early spring, direct-sown seeds would rot, sow one way to get a head start is to sow seeds indoors.

There are many ways in which to sow peas indoors. You could sow them in pots, old toilet rolls, seed trays and root trainers. My favorite way to sow them indoors to get an early start is in old rain guttering.

planting peas in drain pipes
The quickest and easiest way to sow peas is to transplant them later into the garden.

Sowing peas in rainwater guttering is fast to sow the peas and when transplanting outside. Once they have started to grow, reduce the chance of root disruption. Therefore, transplanting plants gives them the best start.

Water and feed your peas weekly, wait for them to flower and start setting their little pods. You can tell when they are ready to pick as the pod will feel full to the touch. You may also be able to see the peas bulging through the pods. I have created a video showing you how to sow peas indoors for an early start. You can view this below. 

Supporting peas is very important to prevent damaging the crop.
A perfect way to support climbing veg like peas.
peas support structure
Supporting peas can be very simple and effective.

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How to Grow Strawberries at Home

A man holding a large pot of strawberry plants with ripe red strawberries. Learn how to grow strawberries at home.

A comprehensive guide on how to grow strawberries at home, including tips on choosing the right variety of strawberry plant, planting and caring for them, and ensuring a bountiful harvest. The article also covers the three main categories of strawberry plants, including day-neutral, June-bearing, and everbearing.

Why is my Monstera Drooping?

An image showing a Monstera plant with drooping leaves, indicating potential issues. Discover why your Monstera might be drooping.

A diminished water supply could lead plants to wither due to the loss of turgidity, or cell pressure. This drop in pressure within the cell might be induced by either a drought or a plant ailment. Plants become flaccid when the pressure in the plant cell drop. Turgor is the distension of a plant cell’s … Read more

How to Make a Succulent Garden

A beautiful succulent garden arrangement featuring a variety of succulent plants in different colors, shapes, and sizes.

Soil quality, light provision, and watering practices are the keys to successful low-maintenance succulent gardening. Gardeners can create fabulous landscapes indoors and out by choosing complementing plants. Most succulents need little watering and a lot of light.

Philodendron “Rojo Congo” Care Guide

A vibrant Philodendron "Rojo Congo" plant with large, glossy leaves in shades of deep green and burgundy. Learn the care guide now.

Even with its captivating aesthetic appeal, cultivation of the Philodendron “Rojo Congo” — a crossbreed of the Imperial Red and P. tatei subsp. Melanochlorum — is considerably uncomplicated. The Rojo Congo is more prominent and broader than other red varieties, has deeper red leaves, and develops far more quickly. This tropical Philodendron may grow up … Read more

How To Take Care of a Succulent Indoors

A well-maintained succulent plant positioned indoors, with healthy and vibrant leaves in various shapes and sizes.

The succulents and cacti, originally found in semi-arid regions that experience infrequent rainfall, have evolved to efficiently utilize the scarce water available in these areas. Succulents are typically sun-loving plants that require lots of light. Some species may survive in lower light conditions, but most need six to eight hours of intense light to thrive. … Read more

How Often To Water Philodendron

A lush green Philodendron plant in a ceramic pot, surrounded by droplets of water, highlighting the importance of proper watering for Philodendron care.

The Philodendrons genus is part of the aroid (Araceae) family. It naturally thrives in the understory of tropical forests, places known for their low light and high humidity, particularly in Central and South America. Philodendrons prefer to stay evenly moist but not wet, so they need well-draining soil to retain some moisture. Sand drains but … Read more

How Much Light Does a Monstera Need?

A Monstera plant with large, fenestrated leaves basking in bright, indirect sunlight, illustrating the ideal light needs for Monstera plants.

Different plants need varying degrees of available light to produce the food they require. The Monstera has adapted to optimize light when young by keeping its leaves free of fenestration. As the plant matures and, having climbed a host tree to brighter light, fenestration increases.

How Long Do Parsnips Take To Grow At Home

A cluster of mature parsnip plants with leafy tops, representing the growth of parsnips at home.

Parsnips require similar care to their sister carrots, including deep, sandy loam oil. Their quality improves when harvested after a hard, killing frost. This same process of starch to sugar conversion caused by frost can be achieved if roots are refrigerated for a month before being consumed.

Succulent Turning Brown? Causes, And How to Fix

A close-up of a succulent plant with brown leaves, illustrating the issue of succulents turning brown.

Edema, a condition that causes swellings on the petioles and lower leaf surfaces, is the primary cause of succulents turning brown. Corking is caused by excessive soil moisture, insufficient light, or cold. Other causes for browning may include salt buildup, water purity, or a need for repotting.

Wiring Bonsai for Better Shape Outcomes

Bonsai tree with carefully applied wiring to shape its branches.

Good wiring takes lots of practice to do effectively. Work towards using as little wire as possible to achieve your goal. Selecting the right wire balances cost and function, with the copper wire being stronger (but more expensive) than anodized aluminum wire.

How To Make Succulent Soil

A close-up of a hand holding a mixture of succulent soil, composed of well-draining materials like coarse sand, perlite, and potting mix.

Most plants, including succulents, need soils that effectively balance moisture and air availability. Sand (inorganic) drains fast but is ineffective at retaining water, while clay tends to be anaerobic (airless). The best succulent soil is a mixture of organic and inorganic materials.

How to Revive a Succulent

A withered succulent plant being nurtured with water, sunlight, and care, symbolizing the process of reviving a succulent.

Succulents are tolerant plants, and though they are durable and tough, they still need some attention once or twice a year. Remember, they don’t grow in deserts; their natural habitats are semi-arid regions with irregular rainfall. Even succulents need help in the hard times.

Anthurium Crystallinum – The Complete Care Guide

Close-up of Anthurium Crystallinum leaves showcasing its distinctive velvety texture and dark green color. Anthurium Crystallinum Care.

Anthurium plants are some of the most spectacular houseplants you’ll find. Most gardeners know the popular flamingo flower, with its vivid spathe and contrasting spadix. The A. crystallinum, also known as the Ace of Spades, has large, heart-shaped leaves with striking veined patterns.

How Fast Does Monstera Grow?

A Monstera plant with large, lush leaves and visible growth nodes, symbolizing the speed of Monstera growth.

Grown for its unique fruit, Monstera is a cultivated crop in warmer climates such as Florida. It is a fast-growing hemiepiphyte that can reach up to 40 feet or more (~12m plus). Indoors, Monstera will generally grow to about 4 feet, depending on the support structure provided and pot size.

6 Bonsai Styles or Forms For the Perfect Tree

Different bonsai trees showcasing various bonsai styles or forms. Bonsai Styles or Forms.

Starting a tree in a raised bed and systematically reducing its container size, roots, and foliage is a common starting process for styling a bonsai tree. Combine this with growing a sacrificial branch to thicken the trunk girth while using a tourniquet to add taper.

How and When to Fertilize Bonsai Trees

Hand sprinkling granular bonsai fertilizer onto the soil surface around a bonsai tree. How and When to Fertilize Bonsai Trees.

Simplify Gardening is committed to delivering decisive and precise information on nutritional plans, which are essential for the prosperous growth of Bonsai. We need to consider several variables to optimize fertilizer applications. Application timing must coincide with growth phases, soil temperatures, plant hardening needs, nutrient requirements, and local climates. Nutritional elements need to be specific … Read more

How to Prune Bonsai for Shape & Structure

A pair of bonsai pruning shears carefully trimming the branches of a bonsai tree, demonstrating how to prune bonsai for shape and structure. How to Prune Bonsai.

The development of a Bonsai tree is inextricably linked to pruning or pinching, the removal of roots and shoots to create a work of art. The objective of pruning is three-fold: shaping the stock, directing growth to underdeveloped areas, and boosting ramifications.

Where to Place Bonsai Trees For Optimal Growth?

Bonsai tree placed near a window with filtered sunlight, highlighting the importance of proper placement for optimal growth. Where to place bonsai tree.

Bonsai trees manifest a plant’s survival ability in dramatically altered but managed environments. The tree, now removed from its natural environment, depends on the gardener’s skills to ensure its continued survival. That includes where it is placed.

How To Repot Monstera Using A Moss Pole

Step-by-step guide to repotting Monstera using a moss pole, showcasing the process of supporting the plant's growth. Monstera Moss Pole.

In indoor horticulture, gardeners use structures like a moss pole for monstera support as it grows. The monstera moss pole mimics the tree in its natural habitat, and as the aerial roots attach to the moss pole, monsteras can reach heights of up to 50 feet.

Philodendron Verrucosum – Best Care Guide  

A close-up image of a Philodendron Verrucosum leaf, showcasing its velvety texture and striking patterns. Philodendron Verrucosum Care: Essential tips for nurturing this unique and stunning plant.

Philodendron verrucosum has pubescent (velvety) medium green leaves with lime green veining and maroon reverse coloring. As an epiphyte, verrucosums prosper if vined as early as possible. As light conditions improve, leaf size and colors improve, as does vein variegation.

Monstera Albo – The Ultimate Care Guide

A beautiful image showcasing the distinct white-variegated leaves of a Monstera Albo plant. Monstera Albo care: Essential tips for nurturing this unique and stunning variegated plant.

The claim that Monstera Albo is a mutation of the Monstera deliciosa var. borsigiana, presenting different petiole shapes and leaf spread, is contested by Plants of the World Online (POWA) – the global plant name index. The M. borsigiana is recognized only as a synonym of the M. deliciosa.

Philodendron Birkin The Ultimate Care Guide

Philodendron Birkin plant with dark green leaves and white pinstripes, showcasing its unique pattern. Philodendron Birkin Care.

The Philodendron Birkin is a hybrid of the Rojo Congo and Imperial Green cultivars, hybrids of Philodendron erubescens. One of its most distinguishing features is the dark-colored leaves with bright yellow pattern lines. It may revert to its Rojo Congo parentage, a dark red plant.

Monstera pinnatipartita The Ultimate Care Guide

A captivating image showcasing the unique foliage of Monstera pinnatipartita, with its distinct fenestrations and lush green leaves. Monstera pinnatipartita Care: Essential tips for nurturing this extraordinary and rare plant.

Monstera pinnatipartita:- Pinnatipartite, in botany, refers to leaves having lobes with fenestrations that extend more than halfway toward the midrib. Less deep fenestrations are called pinnatifid, while leaves with fenestrations to the midrib are pinnatisect.

Alocasia Zebrina The Ultimate Care Guide

A close-up image of healthy N'Joy Pothos leaves on a white background, showcasing the variegated patterns of green and white. N'Joy Pothos Care: Tips for maintaining this popular houseplant.

The Alocasia genus, like the Philodendrons and Monsteras, is from the Arum family (Araceae), generally referred to as the Aroids. These plants all prefer high light levels, don’t like direct sun, and need well-draining, organically rich soil.

Variegated Monstera – Is Their Price Justified?

An image of a Variegated Monstera leaf, showcasing its unique variegation with white and green patterns. Variegated Monstera pricing: Is it worth the investment?

The perceived worth of a variegated Monstera is measured by the price the market is willing to pay. Its actual value is escalated by emphasizing limited supply, aesthetic appeal, individual uniqueness, and the status awarded to those able to grow them successfully.

N’Joy Pothos: Care & Propagation Guide

N’Joy Pothos (Epipremnum aureum aka E. pinnatum) is characterized by very compact growth and bright, distinctive green and white variegation. As a sub-cultivar of the ‘Marble Queen,’ it was patented in the United States, patent PP19,065, in 2009 after cultivation in Mumbai, India.

Do Jade Plants Purify The Air In Your Home?

An image of a Jade Plant in a well-lit indoor setting, emphasizing the topic of Jade Plants purifying the air. Do Jade Plants Purify the Air: Unveiling the truth.

Jade plants purify the air in your home by absorbing certain airborne chemical compounds. Compared to other plants shown to improve air quality in homes, like Dracaena and pothos, jade plants have proven to be one of the most effective.

Do Snake Plants (Dracaena) Keep Bugs Away?

A close-up of a snake plant leaf with a ladybug crawling on it. Exploring the question, "Do Snake Plants Keep Bugs Away?"

Snake plants have a chemical called Saponin that keeps mosquitoes away but NOT spider mites and mealybugs. Without proper care, bugs like aphids can attack your Sansevieria plant, and this plant will protect you from insects and the diseases they carry.

Jade Plant Pest and Disease. Keep it Beautiful

Close-up of a jade plant leaf with visible signs of pest infestation and disease. Learn how to protect your jade plant from pests and diseases.

Jade plant leaves are sensitive to chemicals contained in pesticides. Fungal infections and pests are easily treated using neem oil, among other homemade remedies. Diseases are difficult to control, and you will need to dispose of the entire plant.

Jade Plants, Are They Poisoning You?

A jade plant on a table with caution sign symbolizing potential poisoning. Examining the question, "Are Jade Plants Poisoning You?"

Jade plants have toxicity levels, but they are only poisonous to humans and cause diarrhea and vomiting when ingested with a hefty dose. On the other hand, house pets such as dogs and cats are the most susceptible to its poisonous effects.

Watering Jade Plants: A Complete Guide

A jade plant being watered with care, demonstrating the proper watering technique for optimal growth.

You can water your Jade plants once every two to three weeks if you keep them indoors, more often if kept outdoors or in the summer season. Since they are succulents, they can keep water from their leaves for quite a while.

Will Mushrooms Grow in Winter? The facts!

A cluster of mushrooms emerging from the forest floor in the winter season.

You can grow common edible mushroom varieties indoors with controlled growing conditions using grow kits, mushroom logs or spawn. The mushrooms can also be overwintered in the cold months to have an early crop as the weather gets warm.

How To Propagate Tillandsia (Air Plants)?

Propagate Air Plants - Step-by-step guide on how to propagate Tillandsia (Air Plants).

There are ways to propagate tillandsias, such as Offsets or Pups, which take less time and effort and have higher success rates. Seeds a great but take long periods to grow, They are is recommended when you don’t have an existing tillandsia.

How To Know What Monstera Variety You Have?

A variety of Monstera plants showcasing distinct leaf shapes and patterns, aiding in identifying Monstera varieties.

Monstera is distinguished by how the leaves are attached to the stem. Also, the size and shape of their holes. It is difficult to tell the un-variegated plants apart. However, as they gain fenestrations, you can see the variety and identify them.

How Long Can Air Plants Live Without Water?

A healthy air plant exhibiting its resilience, surviving without water for an extended period.

Air plants can live for two weeks without water. And even though the plant is still alive, its health is affected. You should soak your air plants in water at least once in two weeks and mist them once a week regarding the proper watering schedule.

Can Monstera Thrive in Low Light Conditions?

A Monstera plant positioned in a low light environment, adapting to its surroundings.

Monstera plants can grow just about anywhere, and they will thrive and live in lowlight. But adequate exposure to light will help your monstera plant’s rapid growth and fenestrations. Still, avoid intense, direct light because it may burn the leaves.

Do Monstera Fruit, And Can You Eat It?

A ripe Monstera fruit on a plant, showcasing its unique appearance and color.

A mature Monstera plant produces an exotic fruit with a tropical taste that’s sweet and citrusy. However, it is essential to consume the fruit only after it ripens; otherwise, it can burn your throat or stomach.

How to Grow Mushrooms at Home

Grow Mushrooms - Learn how to cultivate mushrooms at home with these simple steps.

To grow mushrooms at home, you need a cool, dark, and damp place where you can easily control temperature and humidity. Generally, mushrooms thrive in locations like basements, closets, and cabinets. You can use mushroom growing kits for efficiency.

How To Water and Mist Air Plants (Tillandsia)?

Water Air Plants - Learn how to properly water and mist Tillandsia (air plants).

Use a spray bottle or plant mister to spritz air plants with water every day or two. Before putting it back in its decorative container or arrangement, place the damp air plant on a towel to dry for a few hours. If you over water, the plant will die.

5 Methods of Growing Mushrooms

A collage of images showcasing different methods of growing mushrooms.

There are several methods to grow mushrooms. They can either be grown from Spawn, on Logs, in plastic bags with Straws, Spores or simply through ready-to-use mushroom growing kits.

How to Propagate Aloe Vera at Home

Propagate Aloe Vera - Learn how to propagate Aloe Vera plants at home.

Propagation is one of the easiest ways of growing aloe vera. As the aloe vera plant matures, it develops some offsets at the base, also known as pups. When disassociated from the mother, you can set these offsets on their pot to establish.

Simplify Gardening Acquires Greenthumbwhiteapron.com

A photo of Tony O'Neill, the renowned gardener from the Simplify Gardening community, standing proudly behind his enormous monster cabbage, weighing an impressive 67 pounds.

The information in this article may have affiliate links embedded within. Whenever you make a purchase, we get a small commission. For more details, check out our Affiliate Policy. I am pleased to announce that Simplify Gardening has acquired the very informative gardening website Greenthumbwhiteapron.com. For most of us, our gardens express our intimate relationship with nature, … Read more

Should a Garden Pond Be In The Sun or Shade?

A garden pond situated in both sun and shade, highlighting the question of whether it should be placed in direct sunlight or shade.

It’s best to build a pond in a sunny area. A pond, on the other hand, can be sited in an area that is shaded for part of the day or rests in dappled shade. It’s not a good idea to build a pond in a heavily forested area because it will become stagnant – the plants that provide oxygen to the water will require some sunlight.

What’s The Typical Cost Of Hiring A Gardener

A graphic displaying the typical cost of hiring a gardener, outlining different factors influencing the expenses.

We hire a gardener when we are short on time and lack the necessary skills, equipment, and enthusiasm. It’s easy to see why gardeners charge what they do, whether for seasonal landscaping maintenance, one-off work like bond cleans, or regular lawn care service.

Is It Better To Prune Trees and Shrubs in Fall or Spring?

Gardener's hands with gloves pruning a branch of a tree in a garden. Is It Better To Prune Trees and Shrubs in Fall or Spring.

Trees and shrubs need to be pruned regularly to maintain optimum health, growth, and beauty. Fall pruning is encouraged for early blooming flowering trees. Evergreens rarely need pruning, while late blooming flowering trees and summer flowering shrubs need spring pruning.

15 Easy To Grow Succulents for Beginners

picture of succulent plants

Succulents are a group of plants that are adapted to store water in their tissues. These plants are native to arid areas and deserts, and due to these adaptations, growing them is very easy. All they require is the right amount of light, water, and well-drained soils.

Do Herbs Need Bright Sun to Grow?

A photo showing various herbs, including basil, rosemary, and thyme, growing vibrantly in planter boxes. The herbs are flourishing under the bright sun, demonstrating their need for ample sunlight to thrive.

Most of the herbs require at least six hours of bright sunlight each day for proper growth. Else, they will get leggy or spindly, and you will leave you with long stems and few leaves. However, some herbs may grow well in partial or dappled sunlight as well.

25 Best Landscaping Rocks for Creative Gardens

A stunning garden showcasing the best landscaping rocks for your garden. The rocks are strategically placed amidst vibrant flowers, creating a harmonious and visually appealing landscape.

Our gardening and landscaping guide will explore different types of stones and landscaping ideas you can use for specific types. Remember, people began using rocks to decorate their homesteads and gardens at the beginning of time. Take your time and learn to integrate different types of landscaping rocks into your garden designs with ease.