Chelsea chop

I’ve had a few emails asking about ‘The Chelsea Chop’ what is it and what does it do?  

I’m guessing this has come about after watching the wonderful RHS Chelsea flower show on our TV’s recently. It doesn’t take a genius to work out it’s something that normally done around the time of the flower show (late May or early June). It’s were you simply cut back the stems of some herbaceous plants such as Sedum, Echinacea purpurea, Campanula lactiflora, Rudbeckia ‘herbstonne’ to name but a few cut them back to around one third as their flower buds start to appear.  But why?  Cutting them back will make your plants stockier and bushier and will give you flowers into late summer/ Autumn, also helping to keep your borders looking tidy, without all those stems needing staking.  

If that sounds a little too radical why not try a less scary approach and cut back one in every 3 stems?  If you’ve never tried it have a go and let me know what you think later in the season. I’m about to do it with my sedum they do tend flop out wards leaving a big ugly hole in the middle.

And joy of joys, I harvested my first batch of broadbeans, how can anything beat sitting in the sunshine popping open their big pods, which remind me of huge cozy sleeping bags.

My allotment to do list:

 It’s time to start harvesting those broadbeans

Also early potatoes are getting ready to be dug up to, but keep earthing up your other spuds

Sow little rows of beetroot, lettuce, kohl rabi every couple of weeks

And believe it or not it’s time to think about winter cabbage, these can be sown this month in preparation for later on.

Keep training your peas to climb their supports, keep a ball of string in your pocket, saves walking back and forth to get it.

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4 responses to “Chelsea chop

  1. I’ve yet to try the Chelsea chop but have some plants that it would be ideal for. One in three seems to be the perfect ratio.

  2. Really helpful, thank you! Great blog, lots here for me to learn…

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