Pruning established shrubs & a lesson in potatoes
Gardening isn't rocket science, a large part of it can be picked up as you go along, a large part of it is common sense. If you've got a plant that's out grown its space don't be afraid to chop it back, if its got to big its got to go, so if you chop it back and it dies you really haven't lost anything because it had to go! If you do prune anything back hard the most important thing is to give it a good drink of water afterwards. You can also learn gardening by trial and error. Take potatoes. I planted mine at easter. Now most people know you have to earth them up every so often (to protect plants from frost damage and stop the new potatoes being too close to the surface, too close to the surface makes them go green and green potatoes are poisonous) but why wait to earth them up? Why not do it when you plant them? Then it's all over and done with and that's one less thing to remember. Well, as I learnt last season, if you earth up immediately the new growth on the potatoes will come out the side next to where you've earthed up, so then you have to earth up again to protect from frost! Doesn't tell you that in any of my books.
I wonder what little gems I shall learn this year. Happy gardening.