Gardening Tips Week Ending December 5th 2014.
Gardening Tips For Week Ending December 6th 2013.
Gardening Tips Week Ending December 7th 2012.
Tips Week Ending 4rth December 2011.
most places now, there are lots of Poinsettias for sale, but donít
forget they must be wrapped before you take them out of the warm shops
and Garden Centres. The small Cyclamen on sale look very bright and
cheerful, but unless they are labelled Hardy like ďNeopolitan,Ē etc,
they will not stand the frost. If you want to brighten tubs, there are
Winter flowering Pansies and also Ornamental Cabbages. (Sometimes
labelled Kale) I know slugs like them, but if they are in tubs you can
stick Copper Tape round the tub and they will not crawl over it. It is
sold in a roll, so you stick it about half way up the tub, unwinding it
as you go. It is a bit sticky to handle, but well worth it and I found
it lasted for about 2 or 3 years.
the subject of slugs, when we cleaned out all the old Tomato plants from
the greenhouse, we gave it a good general clean up to remove all the
slugs, their eggs and all the other pests that would have been hiding in
the spilt compost, dead leaves and other assorted rubbish.
you havenít lined the greenhouse yet it is a worthwhile job even if
you only do the roof, but before you do it, it is a good idea to clean
the glass to make the most of the Winter sun. When you put up the
polythene, drawing pins can be used in wooden framed greenhouses to
secure it and for metal-framed ones there are special clips that push
into the grooves and twist to lock in place and hold it. Bubble
polythene sheeting is quite expensive, so we save ours each year and the
bubble polythene we have just used to line our greenhouse is at least 3
or 4 years old already. When we take it down it is folded and tied up
before going back in the garage rafters ready for the next Winter. If
you have to make any joins when you put it up, parcel tape sticks better
than cello tape which soon peels off in the sun and the damp. Another
worthwhile thing to do is to fill any big gaps in the framework, where
it has moved, with scraps of fleece, capillary matting, old cloths, etc
before putting up the polythene.
Winter coming, Olive bushes, small Figs and many other tender plants
outside can be wrapped with horticultural fleece to protect them. The
fleece should be loosely tied with string to make them look like a
little reminder that as leaves are still falling, they should not be
left on Herbaceous plants or they will start to rot and kill them. The
leaves of many other plants can be gathered and used as a mulch between
plants, or they can go on the compost heap to rot. It is probably better
to rot them in a dark plastic bag with a few drainage holes punched in
it, as leaves will take about 1 Ĺ to 2 years to rot properly, but they
make lovely compost.
Tips Week Ending December 3rd 2010
The few frosty nights and cold days we had in the middle of
November finished all the bedding plants although some seemed to last
very well. With winter on us the last of the tender perennials should be
protected. If you have grown Dahlias and have light sandy soil you can
leave the tubers in the ground if you like, but do cover them with bark
chips, leaves or extra soil to keep hard frosts off the crowns. If you
take them up remove all the soil and dust with flowers of sulphur
powder, then store in a frost-free place in the dark. Nearly all the
summer flowers have gone now, but the Roses have lasted particularly
well, and if you have any flowers that have not been frosted and would
like to keep a few for Xmas, cut long stems and stand them in water in
the cool for 24 hours. Dry the flower stems ends and then dip them in
melted candle wax. When the wax has cooled and reset, store the roses in
a box in a dry place and when you want them for your arrangement cut the
waxed stem end off and use. By the way, if your roses have had Black
Spot on the leaves, pick off any remaining leaves from the plants and
make sure there are no leaves left on the soil around them as the spores
will stay on the soil and infect the plants next year. An old fashioned
remedy for Black Spot is to get a bit of soot from a chimney, mix it in
water and spray the bare bushes and soil with it.
you have a Fig tree you will find many small fruit left on it now the
leaves have fallen. All of these undeveloped fruit are best taken off
and discarded as they will do no good now and only spoil your fruit crop
next year. Many reference works say that these will develop in the next
season, but this is not true, only the tiny fruit bud eyes will develop.
Every year we regularly remove half a bucket of these undeveloped fruit
as the winter comes from our own tree and put them on the compost heap.
also have a Medlar that has done very well and produced itís first
real crop. My son picked about 60 fruit and has put them in the cool
garage in a large plastic crate to slowly ripen. The crate is suspended
on large nails away from any mice who may shelter in there and take a
fancy to the fruit.
is a good time to buy all sorts of trees to plant, but if you donít
have a large garden always find out if any fruit trees are grafted onto
a dwarfing rootstock. If not, or if in doubt, there are some new large
bag pots that you put the tree in and then bury in the ground. They are said to keep the trees roots in
check, but allow it to naturally take the water from the surrounding
soil. This in effect
Bonsais the tree and makes it fruit at a smaller size. One special sort
of pot was featured on one of the gardening programs, but after my son
looked on the Internet he found that there are several manufacturers
offering many similar products. They vary in price and size from about
£5 to £15 and are available by mail order or over the Internet.
that have already been started in pots for Christmas flowering should be
put in a light, cool place now with the flower buds well up, but not
Tips Week Ending December 3rd 2009
Another year has nearly gone again, my how the years go by. The gardens are starting to slow down now for Winter, but there is still some colour about on my Penstemenons, a blue Hebe is still flowering well and the Rudbeckias are still going mad. I cut quite a good bunch again to day as they make good cut flowers for small vases.
Bulbs such as Daffodils, Narcissi, Tulips and the small bulbs such as, crocuses, can still be planted if the ground is not too soggy after all the heavy rain. We have one patch in the lawn that never seems to dry out and gets very slippery as it is walked on a lot. I didnít want to lose any more grass and have lots of slabs in the lawn, so with such a wet year we found some hard rubber mats with plenty of holes in, from a D.I.Y. shop and used them like they do for re-enforcing field entrances on agricultural show sites. My son took a thin layer of grass out and laid the mats down level with the lawn so that the grass grows through the holes, the mower goes over them and no more slipping. They have done the job so if you walk across one little patch of grass regularly to, say a clothesline, in the lawn, this might be a good idea for you.
If your ground is not too soggy to get on and there is no frost about, it is a good time for general planting. Bare root shrubs and roses come cheaper than potted ones and can only be planted at this time, but not many places still sell them. We have seen one garden centre though, that sells loose, bare root, hedging plants, but it is proper plant nurseries that have traditionally sold bare root plants.
Herbaceous plants are dying off now, but it is still a god time to buy as they have probably been reduced. They can often be divided and have a chance to get established ready to start shooting in the Spring.
Christmas Cacti should not be bought when they are in full flower, or their flowers will drop, when the plants are moved. If they are in tight bud they will be alright, but donít move them about after the flowers start to open, not even in the same room. It is a good excuse for not dusting. Poinsettias should not be taken out in the cold at all, but if you really must, when you buy them for instance, they should be well wrapped or else they will get chilled and wilt after a day or two.
I donít know if we are in for a very bad Winter, but the Hollies, Cotoneaster and Rowans are covered in berries this year and they do say that is a sign of a hard Winter to come.
Well thatís all for now and I will wish you all a happy Christmas as there wonít be another gardening article before then. Cheerio. Frances Hartley
Tips Wk Ending Dec 5th 2008
Hope you are all managing to keep warm with this changeable
weather, it certainly seems to be confusing the plants in the
garden as the Iris bulbs are well up, the Primroses are coming out and
my son said he even thought some Daffodils were trying to poke their
noses through. The plants donít know where they are this year, but I
suppose they will sort themselves out eventually.
Centres and shops have a lot of their Christmas plants in now, but be
warned that if you buy Poinsettias or Crotons which have pretty coloured
and variegated leaves do not take them out in the cold unless they have
been properly wrapped and donít buy them from open outdoor stalls at
all. The plants will have come from heated nurseries in insulated vans
into the heated Garden Centres and shops so will not appreciate the
cold, especially the winds we have had lately.
can still plant bulbs if the ground is not frozen and why not put some
in pots to bring into the house after Christmas especially as most
places have started selling them off cheap now. Winter Pansies and
Primroses can still be planted too. There is still plenty of colour in
the garden with the Golden Holly, Silver Holly, red Rose hips and other
berries, and even the Cotinus or Smoke Bush still has most of its lovely
red leaves on. Sedum Spectabilis flower heads have turned a lovely
bright red and make a splash of ground cover. The Ornamental Sage has
grown well this year and its variegated leaves are very pretty, but
remember that the Sage likes well drained soil. Our
Medlar tree had quite a few fruits on this year although it is only the
first season since it was bought in a pot and planted. Alan has eaten
most of the fruit which is best left on the tree till they are really
ripe. They look something like a small apple, but when you peel them the
soft flesh can only be described as looking like one thing that is often
trodden in on pavements! They are definitely different, but I didnít
like the texture of the flesh so I will stick to my Figs which do very
well against our south facing fence.
much to do in the garden now only keep the birds fed and fill their
water dishes. Well that's all for now till after Christmas so all the best
Garden Tips Weekending December 15th
This will be the last tips for this year.
you like Poinsettias there are various colours in them now, but I prefer
the traditional red ones. Please can I point out that it is not wise to
buy them from open stands at outdoor markets and the like, as they may look fine, but if they have been
exposed to the wind, a few days after being brought in the warm again
they will start to wilt and nothing will save them. It is very important
then, when buying, to make sure they are wrapped properly before taking
Chrysanthemums, Cyclamen, most bulbs and Azaleas are a bit tougher
though and donít need so much molly coddling, even though they have all come
from a warm nursery originally as well. Cyclamen donít like a lot of water but
Azaleas are thirsty plants and must never be allowed to dry out. When
Azaleas have finished flowering and need potting on they must go into
ericaceous (Lime Free) compost.
days have certainly been dark and short lately, but with very little
frost and no snow, thank goodness. In a few weeks we can look forward to
the Spring bulbs pushing their noses out of the ground, followed by
their beautiful, bright flowers.
purple Christmas Roses (Helleborus Niger Purpurea) are flowering now in
the garden and I expect they will continue Ďtill after Christmas.
There is also a Cotoneaster full of bright red berries and the leaves
have gone bright red. The leaves will all drop soon, but it does look a
picture at the moment. It seems to be a variety whose berries the birds
donít like. On the other hand, the birds strip the evergreen one in no
time at all.
noticed some of the Hebe plants are still producing a few flowers,
especially the pale blue ones.
job less to do now is lawn cutting and then edging, so the mowers can be
put away and we can rest a little now Ďtill the Spring.
that's all for now. I wish everyone a peaceful Christmas and best wishes for
the New Year.
Itís not much like gardening weather now, but we do have the
Spring bulbs to look forward to. If you are buying indoor plants for
Christmas, do not buy Poinsettias, indoor Azaleas or Crotons that have
been standing outside on open market stalls because they will almost
certainly have come from heated nurseries and will usually have been
transported in heated or insulated vans.
Standing them outside in the cold like this after being raised in
the warm will kill them and a day or two after you have bought them they
will wilt for no apparent reason.
places have complained about shredded paper clogging their machinery and
are asking people not to put it in with other paper for re-cycling. I
have a small paper shredder and scatter the shredded paper from
receipts, old bank statements and such on the compost heap amongst the
grass cuttings, or it can be put in small quantities in the bottom of
pots when re-potting plants or bulbs. Some can be scattered with
a little soil on in the garden to act as a mulch. If wet it will not
blow about and soon rots down when the worms have pulled it into the
keep a book in which I write notes of what plants have done well in
different parts of the garden in our changeable weather and then go
through seed catalogues with the aid of my strong magnifying glass to
see whatís new and suitable for the next year.
think I have mentioned before that if you receive a planted bowl for
Christmas with a Cyclamen in it is better to take it out and re-pot it
in a separate pot, as they prefer a cool place, unlike some of the other
plants, such as the Poinsettias that they are likely to be potted with. Also
Cyclamen donít like water on their corm, so they are best watered from
the bottom and then only occasionally. Cyclamen should never be allowed
to stand in water but Azaleas on the other hand should never be allowed
to dry out as they are thirsty plants and will drop all their leaves if
will be the last article before Christmas so best wishes to everyone. By
A Few Tips Now On House Plants In December
There are some really lovely Cyclamen about now, but they donít like central heating which most of us have. It is the dry air that is the main trouble, so stand the pot, the plant is in, on some gravel, broken pots or small stones in another container and keep the stones wet, though not so much water that the plant is standing in water. Cyclamen donít like water on the corm, but with these precautions they should stay in flower for at least 3 months.
like plenty of water so give them a good soak each day by standing them
in water until the pot feels heavy, then, let it drain and stand the pot
in another container with wet gravel etc in the bottom. This keeps the
humidity round the plants and indeed you will find that most
house-plants prefer this type of care. This does not apply to Cacti and
other succulents which like dry air. If you like the Xmas cacti you
should buy them in tight bud if you can and after putting them in the
house donít keep moving them round as they might drop their buds. Just
dust around them without disturbing them.
Violets donít like water on their leaves so when the pot feels light
just stand it in water for a few minutes, leave it to drain and then put
it in a holder or on a saucer.
Hope these tips are useful to you.
All for now.