Gardening Tips Week Ending 7th November 2014.
Gardening Tips Week Ending 2nd November 2013.
Gardening Tips Week Ending 10th November 2012
Tips for week ending November 4th 2011
When one of my sons moved in to his house, he found a large
cooking apple tree with no name on it. This year it has been loaded with
very big, good, cooking apples, but Iím afraid they wonít keep as
they are ripening too quickly, unlike last year when we managed to keep
some Ďtill after Xmas. So, we have given a lot away and I have also
frozen a lot. We are still picking a few late Raspberries as well as
Blue Dwarf French beans and Purple carrots, along with Curly Kale and
I made the sauce for the Pasta, for dinner, the other day, Alan chopped
a few Hazel nuts and I added them to it, for a of bit extra protein. The
nuts were off our own Hazel tree that I grew from a nut some years ago
and it has grown quite large now. It is an interesting tree to grow as
the little red flowers grow first and then the ďWillow likeĒ catkins
seem to follow.
always think a lot of the garden centres finish setting up their Xmas
displays far too early, as the children get all excited and then get fed
up before Xmas really comes, but enough said.
We cut some beautiful Chrysanthemums out of the garden last Saturday and they are such easy plants to grow. All they really need is some firm soil, some light and a cane for a little support to keep them growing straight. I have 4 lovely vases full of flowers in the house with lots more to cut. It is coming towards the end of the peak sales for Autumn planting/Spring flowering bulbs, so many are being discounted at most places now. Why not plant one or two tubs, or 3 litre pots. In a large pot you can put a layer of compost in the bottom with a layer of late flowering bulbs on top. Then put more compost over them and a few more earlier flowering bulbs on top of this and top the pot up with compost. Narcissi are good for planting in layers like this and you could also push a few Ixias, or Muscari in the top. Grow the pot on outside and when the bulbs are coming into bud, why not bring the pot inside to cheer you up.†
If you have grown Alliums, the seed heads, dry very nicely for Winter decoration. I have some hanging upside down from the curtain rail in the spare bedroom and Iíll bet the neighbours wonder what big spiders we have hanging in the window! I am going to try spraying some this year and see what happens. There seems to be a lot of berries again this year, so I hope this is not a bad sign of another bad Winter to come.†
Tips November 5th 2010
What a sudden change to the weather with frost already before
November, but there has been no real damage up Ďtill writing this. We
were surprised to
find the bowls of small flowered begonias were still in full flower
after the first frost and so were the geraniums, but they have now been
changed and replaced by Winter Pansies and bulbs. People often plant
tubs with evergreens for the Winter and I was asked one day about
growing conifers in tubs. This is not very satisfactory unless they are
really dwarf, nor do they like concrete tubs anyway and they must not be
put in soil with lime in it. The best evergreens for tubs are Buxus or
Box, Yew and Lonicera - Baggesons Gold. These can all be clipped and
shaped. The ones with gold foliage do prefer a little shade for part of
the day. We have had a Golden Yew in a fairly large tub for at least 3
years, although it has been potted on once in Ericaceous compost. If you
want a bit more colour put a few dwarf Daffodils round the edge of the
pot. Do make sure there are drainage holes in the bottom of the pots or
tubs though before you plant them up. Itís difficult to drill holes in
them after they are full of soil! A few broken pots, bits of broken
brick, (not concrete!) or stones should also be put in the bottom for
even better drainage before adding compost.
fruit trees should have been pruned by now and their fruit picked, but
we have left our Medlars to ripen on the tree hoping they will ripen
better as they seem to dry up if picked and kept in the house. The
Tomatillos were all picked before the first frosts and are ripening now,
but with some of the green ones my son made some very nice green (Salsa
Verde) sauce to have with chicken, cheese or cold potato salad. We tried
Tomatillos last year for the first time, but have had a good crop this
year picking several pounds. If you want to try growing some fruit many
of the garden centres have all sorts of plants reduced to try to clear
them out and save potting them on. We only have
a small garden, but where trees or shrubs have been removed, we are
putting fruit in, after all flowers come first and then fruit follows.
all the wet we had a few weeks ago we were told that the trees should
have good Autumn colour, but many of them seem to be dropping their
leaves before colouring up.
for next Spring are on sale everywhere now and the garden centres have
all put on their Christmas displays, but many seem to have cut them down
this year, even though they have plenty of flashing lights and tinsel
things on show.
thatís all for now
Tips For week Ending November 6th
Time seems to roll on so quickly these days as we are into Autumn
again and it is time to prepare for the coming Winter. If you havenít
already done it, Grease bands should be put on most fruit trees as soon as
possible now to
stop the crawling winter grubs getting on fruiting spurs and into the
fruit buds that will develop next year. It is a sticky, messy job putting
them on the trees, but well worthwhile. Grease bands are unbelievably
sticky so it is best to use thin, clear throw away, polythene gloves for
this job, or even put a small polythene bag over your hand and secure it
with a rubber band over your wrist to hold it on.
wonít have used your Greenhouse heater since last Winter, so it is time
to clean it and check that it still works for the odd frosty night before
Christmas. Horticultural fleece is useful to drop over plants for a little
more protection either in an unheated Greenhouse or even for outside. It
is cheaper to buy it off the roll than buying in the pre cut packs that
you often see. You can cut it to size easily with a pair of sharp scissors
and with a little care the fleece will last for years, indeed I have some
that is over 3 years old. After the winter you should gently wash it and
dry it so that it can be put away ready for next year.
the colder nights, if you havenít already done so, it is time to take in
the semi-hardy plants that you might have had in tubs on your patio, such
as Orange, Lemon and Lime etc. The wet and cold winds will do as much
damage as any frost.
fruiting raspberries should be cut right down now to make room for the new
canes to come up and grow ready for fruiting next year. Autumn fruiting
varieties should be cut down in February.
people are planting Daffodils and Tulips now, but why not put in some
Wallflowers and Sweet Williams as well. Both are easy plants to grow and
produce a nice bit of scent in the Spring when they come into flower.
Wallflowers are usually sold bare root in bunches and should be soaked in
water for a couple of hours before planting. They usually flag at first,
but are very tough and soon pick up. They are one plant that is quite
happy to be moved as it encourages the plant to become bushier than it
would otherwise be. Primroses and Primula can be divided, moved and
planted now. Many people get confused between them, but Primroses have one
flower to a stem, whereas Primulas have several flowers to a stem. Hardy
Cyclamen corms are best planted now and will grow well in a fairly well
drained soil that is in semi-shade. Cyclamen Neoploitan and Cyclamen Coum
are both good types that both spread across the ground, but donít buy
the big showy greenhouse variety by mistake as it will not survive outside
thatís all for now.
Tips Week Ending November 8th 2008.
of the trees such as the Chestnut and Sycamore already have plenty of
colour with their leaves changing. They always seem to be the first with
the other broad leaf trees, but trees like the Rowans and Birch are also
starting to colour up well so there is much more colour to come I think
as Autumn sets in.
you can still do some planting. The garden centres have gone in for a
lot of Amaryllis bulbs this year. There are two main types, the
Amaryllis Belladona are hardy and prefer a fairly dry light soil, but
the Amaryllis Hipeastrum are indoor only. Sometimes the indoor ones are
sold loose and sometimes they are sold in boxes. As with all bulbs they
should feel firm and if not then donít buy them.
When potting the indoor type the bulb should be half out of the
soil and the pot not much larger than the bulb, there should be just
enough room between the bulb and the pot to put a finger. They are
expensive, but will flower year after year if treated properly.
of the garden centres have started to reduce the price of Daffodils,
Narcissi and Tulips etc. These are well worth looking out for, and if
you pot a few up and get them growing, they make nice Christmas
presents, although they probably wonít actually be in flower for
Christmas. (One of the papers showed a picture of some daffodils in a
garden in flower naturally a week ago down South!)
places are having end of season sales and are selling off perennials etc
rather than potting them on and holding on to stock. It may be worth you
having a look. Autumn is in fact the best time to buy and plant outdoor
trees, shrubs and plants in general. Traditionally garden centres used
to buy all their new stock in at this time so that it could be
potted/planted and the roots could establish themselves in the soil
without the energy from the plant being drained by lots of leaves. Then,
when the Spring comes, the plants are settled and ready to burst into
growth. Nowadays people want to buy everything when itís growing and
in flower, but it is not really good for the plants.
you buy Herbaceous
plants they look especially sad at this time, but if you tidy them up, give
them a good soak and get them in the ground they will reward you in the
have seen Christmas Cactus on sale in full flower already, but is far
better to buy them in tight bud, as if they are moved when in full
flower they tend to drop their flowers.
have two lovely Penstemons still in flower making a splash of pink and
red in the borders, but I donít cut the dead flower stems off till the
Spring as they help to protect the young shoots for next year.
Geraniums are still out at the moment as well making a show so it is a
shame to compost them yet, may as well make the most of them. But, I
have emptied some of the tubs and baskets that were starting to look sad
and I have started to cut some of the top growth off things like the
Houttynia in the fish pond. Otherwise there is not really much to do in
the garden now but keep the grass cut and generally tidy up.
all for now cheerio. Frances
Gardening Tips November.
is a good time to plant berries, nuts and seeds collected from the
garden and hedgerow. Many of them need to be outside for the winter to
stratify, or get frosted, before they will germinate properly in the
Spring. Some of the berries are best if the seed is removed from the
fruit before planting as this would otherwise rot and may damage the
seed. Other tree and shrub seeds are best planted in compost containing
a good mix of leaf mould to simulate the natural conditions they would
have on the forest floor.
harvesting Parsnips let them have a good frosting as this converts the
starch in them into sugars which will make them much better tasting.
Wallflowers and Sweet Williams for flowering in the late spring after
the early bulbs have finished but do remember that they will still be
flowering when it is time to plant your Summer bedding.
Tips Nov 3rd
Days are getting more dull and dreary, but there is still work to be done in the garden. Garden Centres are getting bare root shrubs, fruit bushes, etc in now, as it is a good time to plant. If the plants roots are Hessian wrapped just slit the wrapping here and there as the true Hessian will rot, but woven plastic and other types of plastic wrapping will not and must be carefully removed. If the roots on your new plant look even slightly dry stand it in a bucket of water for a while before planting. It may sound a silly remark about plastic not rotting, but a few years ago I was helping a neighbour, who had been a widow for only about 2 years, who she said she didnít know much about gardening. She asked me ďWhat can I do about these rhododendrons they donít seem to be growing.Ē
When I dug them up I found they had been planted in the garden still in the plastic pots that they had been sold in 3 or 4 years previously. I forked the ground over, added some fertilizer, soaked the planting holes, replanted them and they now flower well.
If you have had Christmas Cacti standing outside or in the greenhouse for the Summer, now is the time to take them in as they are better moved when in tiny tight buds. If they are moved when in flower the flowers tend to drop.
Prices on Winter Pansies vary a lot, but are mostly £2.50 for 6. These will be F1 Hybrids I think and the cheapest I have seen are 99p for 6 plants, probably F2, which will be smaller flowers.
Garden Centres will be selling bulbs off soon and as long as they are not too dry they are well worth buying.
It is time to check panes of glass in the Greenhouse and get bubble wrap ready to line it for the Winter. I also keep a supply of horticultural Fleece ready to drop over plants. This does not sweat like polythene, but gives some protection against the cold and especially draughts.
Well all for now.
Tips Week Ending 18th November
The weather is letting us know winter is here today, there are
high winds and heavy showers. Time to line the greenhouse now with
bubble polythene, I shall be doing mine in the next day or two. With
metal framed greenhouses it is quite easy to do with plastic clips that
are sold in packets at all garden centres. With wooden framed
greenhouses I have found drawing pins are better than staples. It is
only necessary to insulate the roof and half way down the sides as it is
the roof and opening windows where the most heat is lost. It is the same
with us because if you wear a hat you are warmer.
A curtain of insulation hung over the door is also a good idea.
A curtain of insulation hung over the door is also a good idea.
The birds have stripped the berries off the Rowan trees already and wait for me to put their breakfast out each morning. I think they must have built in clocks as they come flying out of the trees at the same time each day.
With the berries gone and the leaves falling, the trees are
beginning to look quite bare now. The leaves on the trees do seem to
have stayed on longer this year though, probably because up till now we
havenít had the high winds and there has been plenty of moisture in
the stems. Leaves make lovely compost, but they take about 18 months to
2 years to rot properly. They are best collected and put in an old
compost bag on their own to rot, not in the compost heap. If you can
find one or two worms put them in the bag, tie the top loosely and
pierce a few small holes to let excess moisture out. Then put the bag in
a shady place to do its own thing.
still have some red and pink Penstemons out in flower and against the
dark leaves of a Cotoneaster they look quite effective. It is best to
leave the old growth on over Winter. I know it looks a bit untidy over
Winter, but the old growth will protect the new shoots and next year it
can be cut off in late Spring.
garden centres have plenty of Cyclamen in now, but remember that the
large flowered ones are not hardy and like a cool room where they are
best stood on gravel, broken pots or an upturned saucer in another
container as they do not like their roots in water. Water them from the
bottom, but do not leave water in the container. The small flowered ones
are not all hardy either so check the labels.
you bought plants that were sold as drought resistant earlier in the
year be warned a lot of them are not frost resistant. Some of them will
take the cold as they are desert plants, but will not stand the wet and
cold together. They can be put in a cold greenhouse, but keep them dry,
or stand them on a window ledge in a cold room.
thatís all for now.