- Continue pruning of fruit trees and soft fruit.
- Plum trees and cherry are best pruned in July/August.
- Clean borders and rake up any remaining leaves.
- Roses and herbaceous perennials benefit from a good top dressing of farmyard manure now.
- Winter wash on fruit trees and roses with Armillatox on a dry frosty free day.
- Beech hedging which suffered from aphid attack last summer should be given a winter wash now with Armillatox to prevent reoccurrence of the problem.
- Move plants growing in the wrong place.
- Mulch the crowns of tender plants.
- Prune summer-flowering clematis.
- Prune the oldest stems from blackcurrant.
- Check crops that are being stored and clear old crops from the veg plot.
- Sow hardy annuals for early flowers and use cloches to warm the soil for early sowings.
Hope springs eternal, there’s a little bit of a stretch in the days and the new season supplies of bulbs and seeds are starting to appear in the garden centres and garden shops. Everybody with an interest in gardening wants to get going. Even though it is quite mild at the moment sowing seeds and bulbs outdoors is a little premature. If you have a green house or polythene tunnel or even a large cloche there are a number of plants that you can now sow, sweetpea, broadbeans and garlic will all grow quite well afforded some protection.
If you’ve made a new year’s resolution to take up gardening and enjoy the delights of home grown food, you do need to hasten slowly. My advice would be to start off with a little bit maybe one raised bed where you can grow some salad crops. The last thing you need to do is dash off, dig up half the garden, spend a fortune on glasshouses and end up with a mess, this is guaranteed to put you off for life, as with most things in life practice makes perfect and success leads to success.
Encourage your children to plant some seeds, in doing so they will learn a respect for our environment, get a fantastic sense of achievement from seeing something grow not to mention discovering the superior taste of home grown fruit and vegetables.