Gardening Tip Week Ending 9th October 2014.
Even though Autumn is upon us there are still lots of flowers about. Alan has been cutting armfuls of Chrysanthemums, both from the garden and allotment. They are well worth growing and will last a lot longer than many of the imported flowers. Our own Nurseries put a lot of hours into growing plants and flowers like Chrysanthís for us with a lot of work done outside in all sorts of weather, but so many of us still buy imported flowers. We really ought to use our own home-grown flowers. You can keep chrysanthemum plants from one year to the next by keeping them fairly dry in your cold greenhouse over Winter. Alternatively keep them outside in the ground with a piece of Horticultural Fleece pegged down over the top to stop the snow lying on them. They really donít like to be too wet over winter, or indeed at any time.
We have had some really lovely Apples this year on our own
small trees. We only have a little, modern garden, but make full use of all the fences and walls, by growing some fruit trees against them as Espaliers to take up less space. Apple trees can be very productive though on a Dwarfing Rootstock
as well and a 4 foot high tree doesnít take up much room either. Apple trees need to have Grease Bands put on about now to prevent grubs getting into the next years fruit buds and spoiling next years apples. When putting Grease Bands on trees you will probably get some of the grease on your hands and it can be very difficult to remove, but Alan has found an easy way to remove it. Simply dusting your
hands with talcum Powder before washing with ordinary soap and water will remove it like magic. We do use Grease Bands and non toxic Slug Pellets in the Greenhouse, but otherwise donít believe in using harmful sprays, or
chemicals and none are used in our garden at all. Instead we encourage the birds who do a pretty good job of keeping our plants clear of all aphids and slugs.
Runner Beans will have just about finished by now, so cut all the tops off leaving the roots in as the nodules that form on them contain nitrogen that is good for the soil. It is better to roughly chop up the old stems before adding them to your compost heap, so they will rot down quicker and as long as you used soft green string, or natural twine to tie them in, there is no need to remove this as it will rot as well.
Gardening Tips Week Ending 4rth October 2013.
Gardening Tips Week Ending October
Gardening Tips For Week Ending October 7th 2011
Tips Week Ending 8th October 2010
Everyone seems to have done well with fruit this year. Farmers say they have had the best apple crop for years, so we have no reason to buy imported apples and for once we can buy English. It has been said that the branches of apple and pear trees are so heavy that some canít carry the weight and even the Rowan trees are covered in so many berries that the branches are bending under the weight of them! Our Fig tree normally produces about 40 Ė 50 ripe fruits each year, but this year we have picked over 160, ripe, fat, juicy, figs.
The weather men forecast an early frost a couple of weeks back, so we went out and picked all our Runner Beans, but of course we didnít get a frost that night! Consequently, we have taken our Runner Beans down now even though there were a few flowers left on. The bees seem to have all gone anyway, so they wouldnít have been pollinated. When taking Runner Beans down do not dig their roots up and only cut the tops off down to soil level as the nodules left on the roots are full of nitrogen goodness for the soil and are best left to rot in the ground.
When the weather men forecast the early frost we also panicked about our Tomatillo plants that are outside against the house wall as they are quite tender. We picked about another pound of fruit that was developed, but still green and left the smaller fruits to take their chances. Of course the frost didnít take those plants either which means we should get lots more fruit that may even ripen before we have to pick them later on.
Although we didnít get an early frost in the middle of last month, some of the leaves on the trees started to turn early with some Horse Chestnuts amongst the first to change colour. It has been very wet at times and they say that means we should get plenty of colour as the leaves dry out and get ready to drop.
There is still a wide selection of Sedums and Heucheras about which are very good for dry parts in the garden if you still have them, or they can be grown in bowls and troughs, but if you do you should add grit to the compost for drainage. Prepared Hyacinths can be potted now for Xmas flowering and it is better to keep to one colour in each pot as mixed colours donít flower at the same time. Do remember to wear gloves when you handle them though as the chemicals they are treated with can cause itching. After potting, keep the pots of bulbs in the dark until the flower shoots are well up. If you kept Poinsettias from last year you can try putting them in the dark now to get them coloured up and when watering keep them damp, but not too wet.
Winter flowering Pansies, that are also about, will flower until the coldest weather comes and then they will have a little rest. As soon as it warms up a little they will burst into flower again. Polyanths and Primroses can be planted out now, as well, ready for Spring.
There are some very nice pots of bulbs about which will make lovely Christmas presents. They are croc pots with a pattern round and contain compost, as well as the bulbs that need to be kept cool to prevent them from drying out or shooting. I have just put some in the garage on a shelf away from mice. Then, at the last minute, just before Christmas, gift-wrap them.
thatís all for now
Article Week Ending October 2nd 2009
The gardens are looking bright with annuals still flowering in the tubs and baskets, but I have some larger flowering Rudbeckias in my borders that are also out now. They are lovely for cutting as they last well in water and flower later in the season. You never see them in the shops as cut flowers, which is a pity as all our cut flowers seem to be imported and we have some good nurseries which should be encouraged to grow flowers like this. Most of the flowers of my Rudbeckias are about 5 inches across with bright orangey/yellow outer petals and dark brown mahogany centres. As with many flowering plants the more flowers you cut the more you get. If you want to grow some Rudbeckias they are easy from seed, but be aware that some are annuals and some of the garden centres sell hardy herbaceous varieties that you will be able to over-winter.
The later planting of Gladiola that I made are now showing colour, but I wonít cut the leaves off the early ones, that have finished flowering, as they will feed the corms for next year. It is said that the name came many years ago from some Galdiators, who found them growing wild by the road-side, and called them Gladiolus. They had very small flowers then, but have been improved over the years and hybridised to produce the beautiful colours and large flowers that we now have. The same thing has happened to most of our flowering plants with them being bred from wild specimens that originally did not look very special. This is especially true of things like Sweet Pea and Chrysanthemums to name but two.
If you want winter colour there are lots of Pansies in flower and on sale now, but if you want them to last into next year only buy the Winter flowering or Universal types. It should say on the labels what they are. I still have some Universal Pansies in flower from last year.
I have had mixed success with my vegetables this year and although the Tomatoes seem to be finishing early I think I have done better than most. Many people seem to have had trouble with blight and mildew, especially outside, because of the dull, wet weather. I put some Butternut Squash in, but the plants I gave a friend did much better than mine. The Squashes will keep if they are cut off the plants and stored in a cool but frost-free place. My son and I had some slices roasted round the meat today with Courgette sliced, but with the peel left on. I added a tiny sprinkle of spice and a spot of oil and they only took about 10 Ė 15 minutes in the oven.
There are some pretty coloured
Heathers about now, but if you are tempted to buy them donít be fooled
if the foliage comes green next year. This is because many of them have
been dyed as they grew this year to give them their colour.
Tips Week Ending October 11th 2008
Autumn is here with heavy dews at night and misty mornings, but
these have sometimes been followed by a few nice days. Now the leaves
are falling they should be cleared off lawns and ground cover plants.
Leaves will make good compost, but take a lot longer than other plant
material to rot so are best put separately, over Winter, into a
polythene sack with holes in to allow excess water to escape. It is most
important to clear all the leaves and any other debris from pools and
ponds as well because this will rot over the winter, pollute the pond
and may kill the fish.
can be lifted and divided any time now in preparation for the new growth
next year. You should discard the old centre pieces and keep the new
crowns. It doesnít matter if the crowns gets frosted before replanting
as it wonít hurt them. Winter pansies are about now and will look even
lovelier next Spring if you inter mingle them with dwarf tulips or dwarf
daffodils when planting them. There are some very pretty coloured
Heathers about too, but beware as they have been artificially coloured
and they will keep their colour as long as they last, but after the
Winter if they survive, they will be the normal colour again next year.
of Geraniums can still be taken before they go over, but none flowering
shoots are best if you can find any. Cuttings about 2 to 3 inches long
are ideal. You should strip off all the lower leaves and any very large
ones, then put several cuttings to a pot, and round the edge of a clay
pot is best as the clay will breathe, unlike plastic, which may make
crops have done well this year and some are very poor due to the wet.
For a few weeks the Raspberries cropped heavily, but suffered with mould
on the berries. Rowan trees seem to be covered with berries this year
and if you pick them they make lovely jelly with apples. I grew some
baby Sweet Corn putting three or four plants to a very large pot. It was
an experiment really, but they have done quite well. Experiment with
different things and try anything within reason, thatís what I say.
all for now.
Hints And Tips
folks it's me again.
am afraid summer is coming to an end and it is getting dark earlier, but
a colourful winter can still be had as there is a wide range of
flowering Pansies, prices do vary though. There are also some very
pretty little Violas. Miniature Cyclamen are often sold as outdoor
plants but they do need protection from cold winds and frost. flower
early if you can get the corms of them.
early if you can get the corms of them.
you saved Poinsettia plants from last year and they are growing well they
must be put in complete dark now or they will not colour up for Xmas.
Runner Beans will probably have finished now so cut them down to ground
level but do not dig the roots out as the nodules that grow on the roots
will put Nitrogen back in the soil as they rot.
fruiting raspberries are still ripening so do not cut them down till
February. Wallflowers are of course ready for planting now. If you don't
like planting each year there are some perennial ones that are a bit
more expensive as they are single plants in pots. After flowering cut
down fairly low then they will stay bushy.
on any Hyacinths that you have growing in the dark to see if they want a
little water. Don't bring them in the light until the flower bud is
about 2-3 inches tall or the flower will come out shorter than the
Tips October 12th
Autumn is now here and some of the trees have already turned
colour giving a beautiful display of reds and yellows. Other shrubs can
still be seen in flower. I have just come inside after doing an hour in
the garden and stopped to look at an Abelia that is practically
evergreen and is smothered in tiny very pale pink trumpet like flowers
giving the insects one last free source of nectar before the coming
the colder nights approaching Begonia corms should be taken in and dried
off. Then, store them in a cool, but frost free place until next Spring.
If you have light well drained soil Dahlias can usually be left in the
garden. When the foliage has died down put a good layer of leaf mould or
compost over the tubers. This will act as an overcoat and keep the worst
of the weather off them. For most people the only way to keep them is to
dig up the corms and dry them off. They should initially be stored
upside down to drain all the moisture out of the stems before being
placed in a cool frost free place for the winter.
Geraniums have done very well after a poor start, but again with Winter
coming they need to be prepared if you are going to keep them for next
year. I normally dig them up and pot a few of the best ones, then keep them
inside and nearly dry, in a cool room, starting them into growth about
the end of January. Another way of keeping some of them for the next
year is to take cuttings off the old plants in your baskets and borders
before clearing out the displays. The cuttings should be put into pots
as normal, but keep them fairly dry all winter, unlike normal cuttings.
I like to take lots of cuttings of those with red and yellow flowers
because those show up the best in the garden and being bright I can see
them best. The scented varieties can be difficult to get from one year
to the next so I always try to keep some cuttings from those as well.
Pansies seem to be very advanced this year, but if you see Pansies that
are very cheap and look as though they are being cleared out make sure
they are not the Summer flowering ones. Winter pansies give a nice
splash of colour until the Spring bulbs come through.
are plenty of Winter vegí plants about now such as Cabbage, Sprouts,
Chinese Greens, and Winter Lettuce ready for planting to give you fresh
greens straight from the garden, or you could grow a few in large pots if
you only have a yard.
you have put Hyacinths in pots for Christmas flowering donít bring
them into the light until the leaves are a few inches high and the
flower buds are showing. Poinsettias are difficult to get to colour up a
second year, but they should be kept in the dark for about 6 weeks.
I think thatís all for now, cheerio
With dark early nights it is time to divide your perennials. Lift
them if clumps are getting too big. If you have difficulty dividing them
use two forks back to back pushed into the centre of the clump and then
prise them apart. This wonít hurt them because the middle is usually
the old part and can be thrown away saving the new shoots around it to
replant. If like me you have poor eyesight and have difficulty
distinguishing the new shoots in the Spring from weed shoots, put a
small cane with a bright cane cap on, close to the plant at the time of
flowering Pansies and Primroses should go in now along with Spring
bulbs. If you have heavy damp soil and still want to grow bulbs it helps
if you put some gravel in the bottom of the hole so that the bulbs can
sit on it for drainage. This is particularly important for Daffodils,
Narcissi and Tulips because if they are too wet they will rot. An
alternative is to pot the bulbs and place the pots amongst your other
plants in the garden. If you have fairly deep pots a better show can be
made by putting a layer of bulbs near the bottom of the pot and covering
them with a layer of compost before putting another layer of bulbs on
top. If you have difficulty getting them in tidily it doesnít matter
because the bulbs will sort themselves out when they shoot.
All For Now