Gather Pots and Tubs Into a Group.

 In George Irvine

If you have a number of tender plants growing in large pots and containers, it is worthwhile bringing them all together – preferably in a sheltered part of the garden – and keep them there for the duration of the winter. Bringing them together in a group also makes it easy to provide them with extra protection of and when the weather gets very cold. All you have to do is cover all the plants with a largepiece of gardening fleece or even an old pair of net curtains

While we are on the subject of containers it is best to place a group of pots close to each other even during the summer months when your plants are in flower as this makes a much better impact rather than have individual pots scattered at random around the garden.

As we were going round gardens judging for the Gardenfest competition, it was amazing the difference that grouping pots and containers together in a group on the patio or at other parts of the garden. You can even move them about to create an artistic display.

Catching Up With Your Autumn Cleanup

A few weeks ago I was writing about many of the jobs that need to be done in the garden before Autumn comes to an end and winter sets in.

Today, I want to take a look at some tasks that you may not have had time to tackle and , if the weather stays kind to us, we may be able to tackle these before Hallowe’en comes along.

Some perennial shrubs which have overgrown their place in the borders may need to be cut back a bit and it does no harm to take a few cuttings root these in a pot with gritty compost. Use hormone rooting powder and leave the cutting to root for at least one to two months before planting them into small pots or cell trays.

Large plants such as Buddleja should be cut back by about half their height to prevent high winds and gales from rocking the roots and damaging the plant to such an extent that the roots by come out of the soil and perhaps killing the plant.

Another important task that should not be overlooked at this time of the year is to ensure that you keep Rhododendrons and Camellias well watered – especially if we have a period of drought. This is important as they are forming flower buds just now for next year’s blooms.

Perennial plants such as Phlox and hardy Geraniums can be lifted and sub-divided before winter arrives. Dividing these plants will give you even more plants to fill gaps in your borders for next year.

Getting the Greenhouse Ready for the Winter.

Nowadays there are not many gardeners opting to heat their greenhouses all winter simply because of the costs involved. However, many use their unheated greenhouses to over-winter a selection of tender plants and only resort to using heating when they begin to propagate their new season’s seedlings in late spring.

However, at this time of year it is important to remove any shading that you may have applied to the glass during the summer months. Next you should give the greenhouse a brush out and remove any old vegetation or decaying plants. Finally, it would be useful to fumigate the greenhouse by using an insecticidal candle. You can light this last thing at night and it will burn slowly. Just makes sure you buy one that is not toxic to plants. The smoke from these candles will kill any fungi and bacteria that maybe lurking about.

Coping With The Fall.

Over the past few weeks the leaves have been busy falling from the trees and in the next few weeks most trees will be completely devoid of all their leaves.

Everywhere you go you will see layers and layers of lovely autumn coloured leaves lying on the ground and we should give these out attention. Firstly it is vital to keep these fallen leaves away from garden ponds – especially if you have fish in the pond. Decays leaves can cause toxic chemicals to form in the water which can harm the fish.

The easy way to do this is to stretch some wire over the pond to prevent the leaves from falling into the water

Our next priority is to keep fallen leaves away from our lawns as the leaves can cause problems with the grass. The only way to remove leaves from the lawn is to brush them off regularly with a lawn brush or use a lawn rake. Now it is time to look at the garden paths, patios and driveways. It is best to brush all the leaves from these areas, because when the leaves get wet they can become quite slippery and could cause you to fall and injure yourself.

Although we have looked at all the problems that lie on the ground we must also remind ourselves that fallen leaves can cause problems overhead as they can settle in our gutters and clog up drain pipes. With all these leaves at our disposal we can gather them all together and put them into black bin bags which when full can be tied at the neck with string. Once filled make some holes in the side of the plastic sacks and then stack them away in a corner of the garden for at least one year. You will find yourself in possession of lots of leaf mould which is invaluable as a soil conditioner or as garden mulch.

Gardenfest 2016



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