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Archive for the ‘Gardening Year’ Category

Gardening Year - January

By admin On December 5, 2008 No Comments

It may seem as if the world consists purely of ice, frost, cold, dark and perhaps even a good helping of damp, but don’t let the gloomier aspects of January get you down. Surely there is nothing much more beautiful than a really bright, sunny albeit icy cold day? True, the weather may mean that there are quite a number of tasks you can’t easily get on with in the garden or, indeed that there are a good few things you would be better off delaying, but there is still a plentiful supply of things you can do if you have the time.

For me January is often a month when I plan and try to think ahead to gardening aspirations for the rest of the year and also try to crack on with some of the less plant orientated jobs - some tidying up or maybe even a bit of construction, who knows, but there is nothing better than a bit of gardening on a bright January day to clear away the cobwebs and cheer you up.

Gardeners Almanac - January

By admin On October 17, 2008 No Comments
  • Send off your seed order.
  • Keep off lawns in frosty weather.
  • Plant rose bushes, trees and shrubs.
  • Prune fruit trees and bushes.
  • Spray fruit trees with a tar oil winter wash to kill pests.
  • Put rabbit guards around stems of young trees if necessary.
  • Sow exhibition onions in a greenhouse.
  • Lay turf if weather is mild and dry.
  • Firm back plants lifted by frost.
  • Dig over the vegetable plot.
  • Put plastic netting over winter brassicas to keep off pidgeons.
  • Plant three potatoes in a large flower pot in the greenhouse for an early crop.
  • Prune wisteria.
  • Knock snow off evergreens.
  • Feed birds in cold and frosty weather.
  • Prune summer flowering deciduous shrubs.
  • Melt ice on frozen pools to let fish breathe.

October Gardening

By admin On September 25, 2008 No Comments

By now autumn is beginning to make itself felt. In mild autumns the frosts may have not yet started but it is likely that there will have been a few, even if only light ones. This is your last opportunity to check that all plants that can be affected by frost have been lifted and stored or given some other form of protection.

You should, of course, always look after tools but at this time of the year, as the autumn rains start they may get muddier than usual. Because you may put them away and not use them again this year it is worth making doubly sure that they are clean and oiled to protect them from rusting. Do not just clean the metal parts, wipe down the handles as well. The same applies to any machines that you have been using.

In the fruit and vegetable gardens there is more produce to be harvested and stored. Storage can be a problem if you have not got a suitable outbuilding bulit of brick or stone. Garages and wooden sheds are suitable alternatives but they may get cold with the temperatures dropping below freezing in midwinter. If you can, line them withpolystyrene or use a thermostatically controlled heater to keep the temperature just above freezing. Another possibility is to use a defunct chest freezer. This will keep the frost out when the lid is closed but it should be closed only when the weather turns really cold. At other times it should be allowed to circulate freely around all stored produce.

September Gardening

By admin On September 25, 2008 No Comments

Autumn is a mellow time, colours change and the pace of garden annual cycle slows down. It is also a season of flavours, wonderful juicy blackberries come into season and apples and pears are coming into their own.

The lazy time is nearly over and it is time to start gardening again. The gardener must always be thinking ahead and planning. There is no such thing as instant gardening. Forethought and preparation are needed if you want to have a productive and attractive garden next year.

Now, as autumn approaches is the time to start tidying and getting the garden ready for winter. It is also time to start preparing the ground for the following year. This not only gives the soil time to weather but also allows any organic material to finish rotting down. Many plants, vegetables in particular, prefer to be planted into soil that was manured some months earlier rather than into ground that has only recently been treated.

Gardening Year - December

By admin On July 31, 2008 No Comments

There may not be much movement from the plants in your garden but if you get the chance it is still worthwhile getting out there and doing some work. Provided you avoid any wet weather and can choose one of those beautiful, bright, yet crisp December days. This is a perfect month for doing some seriously hard physical work as you will find that your capacity is a lot greater than when you have the sun beating down on your shoulders. I often get the urge to have a bit of a sort out at this time of year and perhaps making some harsh but necessary decisions about plants that have really passed their best and at the same time having a serious pre-spring tidy up.

It may be ok to leave sorting out your house until spring arrives but your garden will really appreciate some action now. Provided the soil is not too wet it is also a great time to get on with digging in or incorporating manure.

You will be amazed at how refreshing even a short burst of such activity in the garden can be at a time of the year when you might have been spending far too much time being a couch potato.