Top Jobs this month
- Prune birches and maples, to avoid problems with bleeding as the sap starts to rise very early in these trees.
- Check stored fruit and vegetables, plus corms and tubers from ornamentals, such as gladioli and dahlias. Dispose of any that are showing signs of pests or diseases and try to improve storage conditions by increasing ventilation or excluding mice.
- Take root cuttings of suitable herbaceous plants. (Acanthus, border phlox, mullein. Oriental poppy and tree poppy).
- Check the pH of your soil. If it’s below 6.5, add lime or ground chalk to increase the alkalinity, especially where you plan to plant brassicas as it helps reduce the chances of clubroot problems.
- Prune vines. Systems for managing grape vines vary, but to keep ornamental vines in check reduce new growth on leading shoots by two thirds and cut back all side shoots to two buds. If the plant begins to grow too large, cut back harder.
Choosing a crab apple
- Crab apples are one of the most ornamental trees for gardens that vary in size. As well as colourful fruit, they offer beautiful blossom and good autumn colour.
- Some such as Malus ‘John Downie’ produce fruit that is large and tasty enough to eat fresh off the tree.
- To brighten up the winter garden, ‘Golden Hornet’ is one of the best and tends to be ignored by birds.
Grow garlic in pots
- If you have free-draining soil then traditionally you should plant the garlic on the shortest day of the year (21st December) and harvest on the longest day (21st June). Otherwise, it is better to plant earlier of delay until the spring. Another way is to plant them in pots now.
- Choose varieties suitable for cultivation in this country otherwise, the results will be disappointing.
- To plant, pull the bulb apart and plant the cloves individually in 3in pots of multipurpose compost.
- Put the pots in an unheated greenhouse or cold frame and by early spring the cloves should be well rooted, with 6in shoots, perfectly primed for planting out into the soil.
To find out more information on the top jobs to do this month in your garden then, please contact us as we are more than happy to help here at Blue Iris Landscapes.