What to do in the Garden in December

Greetings fellow Gardeners,

Because of some building work, being carried  out in the garden, I am unable to host a Christmas Workshop this year, which I really will miss as it is our way of a small Christmas celebration.

Also I would really would like to thank my Garden visitors, my Garden Volunteers, and my amazing inspiring Students. All of you are the reason why I do what I do. Appreciating our tenderer and gentle environment, really appreciating what is happening beneath our feet, what it gives us, is so fantastic, thank you.

Have a very Happy and Holy Christmas, see you next Year .

Annmarie 

What to do in December

  1. Harvest your Brussells sprouts for your Chridtmas Dinner.
  2. Make a wreathe using Willow or Cornus alba as a base. Cover it with moss or lots of ivy, old mans beard – Clematis vitalba. String cranberries, dried roses using fine wire, bright ribbons, dried fruit, pine cones sprayed white or gold or silver.Poppy seed heads, tiny Poinsettia, twigs covered in lichens
  3. Clear out your shed, clean your tools. Buy an Osslating hoe – I have some in stock, great gift.
  4. Choose 3 annual flowers you love, order the seeds.
  5. List the veg you eat, order their seeds.
  6. Check your tree ties.
  7. Tender plants check they are protected.
  8. Water available for visitng creatures.
  9. Plant all those bulbs you have now, make sure you include tulips.
  10. Collect and compost your leaves, you will be glad to have them  later in the year.

What you might do in the Garden in May

Some things to do in the garden in May. 

  1. Keep Weeding, use your osslating hoe often.
  2. Start watering indoor plants liberally until autumn, include liquid fertiliser.
  3. Refresh compost,remove dead or damaged growth.If your plant has outgrown your favourite pot, rather than buying a new larger pot, root prune and top prune, fresh compost and off it goes again.
  4. Start hardening off  all your now potted up seedlings.
  5. Keep mulching soil before the plants grow too much and you can still get in between them and see what you’re doing.
  6. Allow your spring bulbs to die back naturally, dead head,including you’re tulips as they fade.
  7. Prune shrubs that have flowered such as Japanese quince, choisya and ribes.
  8. It’s a good idea to get ahead of the game by putting in supports for oriental poppies, peonies and delphiniums. Once plants have got going it’s really difficult to try to prop them up and they may already be damaged. Look at putting in canes or pea sticks next to sweet peas, climbing roses, runner beans and peas, and tie the plants in to them as necessary.
  9. Divide large clumps of grasses such as Calamagrostis, Stepa gigainata and Molina Transparent, they prefer a warmer soil to settle into.
  10. Remove suckers from fruit trees and lilacs, also stray raspberry canes.
  11. Sow runner beans, don’t forget the supports.
  12. Keep harvesting you rhubarb – freezes really well.
  13. Start thinking of plants to put into your summer containers, include some wild flower seeds.
  14. Sow basil, tarragon, coriander  in pots, carrots in the ground ( don’t forget about carrot root fly and how to protectthe carrots.)

What to do in April

  1. Keep weeds under control – use your oscillating hoe (have some in stock) and also get down on your hands and knees.
  2. Protect fruit blossom from late frosts.
  3. Tie-in climbing and rambling roses.
  4. Sow hardy annuals, herbs and wild flower seed – Sunflowers, Cosmos, Ammi Majus, Calendula, Cleome, Marigolds, Basil, Coriander, Dill and Chervil.
  5. Start to feed citrus plants – oranges and lemons. I have them in pots which I protect during the winter.
  6. Increase the water given to houseplants – tidy them up, check if they could do with a compost freshen up and take cuttings.
  7. Feed hungry shrubs and roses. Chicken manure pellets are a great slow release general fertiliser.
  8. Sow new lawns or repair bare patches. Only time to water grass is when it has been seeded.
  9. Plant summer bulbs, corms and tubers –  Dahlias, Begonias, Gladioli, Calla Lilies (Zantedeschia) ,Lilies to name a few.
  10. Vegetable seeds –  here are a few – corn,broccoli ,beetroot, kale, peppers (Capsicums), Perpetual spinach,  tomatoes again wonderful opportunity to sow perennial seeds to flower in your garden for many years.

Sunday, September 30.Gardening Workshop covering the basics.

The garden is now going to sleep, and now is also the time to plan your beautiful garden for next year.
Seed sowing at this time of year can give you a head start on Spring, roots develop and are stronger. Division of plants- making more, moving plants to better positions, planting bulbs for spring and summer. Feeding your soil, protecting it for the weather ahead- drought, are a few of what we will be covering.

Fruit Tree in Spring

What to do with Fruit trees in Spring

How to look after a 5-year-old fruit tree?

What is the primary purpose of a fruit tree? Well, I suppose the hint is in the name — fruit production.

I was asked this question on Spirit Radio the other day and immediately I thought of feeding, pruning forgetting about the primary purpose of the tree — edible fruit.

  • Pruning – extremely important  — remove all dead, diseased wood.
  • Shape tree, fruit is produced on new growth also you want to be able to harvest the fruit, so don’t it allow it to get to high and out of reach.
  • Remove crossing or rubbing branches
  • Check tree ties — many fruit trees especially young will need a tie with a stake for a couple of years as fruit — especially apples can be very heavy and the tree will bend with the weight. Therefore on a very young tree, it is recommended to remove most if not all of the fruit for the first year or 2.

As Mentioned the primary purpose of a fruit tree is to produce fruit.

  • In autumn and overall application of well-rotted manure, could be applied around the base of the tree. Keep it back from the trunk — don’t allow it to touch as the manure is still breaking down and you don’t want to include the trunk of the tree !! You can actually buy tree guards, well worthwhile with very young trees
  • In spring sprinkle a little extra feed of Potash – Potassium
  • Like tomatoes — which you are also growing for their fruit, you will need a feed high in potash. necessary for flower formation — flowers lead to fruit.
  • Potash is an interesting mineral.
  • It  has several sources,-Potassium  the K   in NPK  nitrogen  phosphate potassium
  • Potassium occurs abundantly in nature. It is the 7th most common element in the earth’s crust. Certain clay minerals associated with heavy soils are rich sources of K, containing as much as 17% potash. Large potash bearing rock deposits occur in many regions of the world deriving from the minerals in ancient seas which dried up millions of years ago. Most potash for fertiliser is derived from one of these potash rocks.
  • Excess potash can cause problems for plants that prefer acidic or balanced pH soils.

The woods from your fire added to your compost will have traces of the worthy ingredient. Most of the wood you burn in your firewood ash is mature or old therefore you will not have as high a concentrate as with young wood — but worth adding to your compost bin — make sure you mix it in as it can become a bit clogie — like the way grass can lump up in your compost.

Potash which literally comes from the rendering of charcoal which has been burnt down to ash at very high temperatures in a pot — hence the name potash.

Your kitchen compost — banana skins are a very good source. Adding pure mineral to your soil on occasion is ok but feeding your soil with well-mixed compost, well-rotted manure is preferable. Seaweed is another excellent source.

So to answer your question again

In spring add some extra potash (Potassium) to your soil – also good for all flowering shrubs – eg. wisteria to promote blossom.