Saturday February 24 , 2018

Blue Daisy Blog

Blue Daisy blog written by Nicki Jackson & Jules Clark - for news, views, garden design, gardening and plant observations and thoughts.

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January Garden Jobs

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secateurs-240This year has (so far) begun unseasonably mild again which means we have the opportunity to get out into our gardens early paving the way for spring.  It also means that some plants will be flowering a bit too early so keep your eyes on those tender plants especially as the chances of a cold snap will still exist for the next few months.

See below for a list of jobs that can be done this month.

 

  • If you plan on sowing seeds early this year – buy the seeds as soon as you can to avoid delivery delays
  • Check the weather forecasts to make sure you protect any tender plants from frost and wind
  • Regularly check any trees you have staked, the wind can often loosen them
  • If you have snow remember to knock it off your hedges and conifers – it can get really heavy and make them bend
  • Remove any weeds that show themselves this month
  • Wipe all the blades on your cutting tools and remember to give them a rub down once a year with wire wool to remove the rust
  • Don’t forget the birds – they rely on you for their food and ice-free water!
  • Buy some plant pot cleaner and make sure all your pots are clean and ready for this year's use
  • If you plan on sowing seeds outdoors think about covering the soil with cloches (or similar) to get the soil warm and ready for seeds
  • Install waterbutts and compost bins
  • Check any bulbs or tubers that you are storing for signs of rotting
  • Keep borders clear of debris or falling leaves
  • Keep your eyes open for any last leaves that fall, sweep them up and keep for leaf mould
  • Plant bare root roses
  • Clean both the inside and outside of greenhouses and cold frames to get ready for seeds.

 

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January Garden Advice

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frostyberries1Whoever said January was a boring month for gardening? Just take a look out of your windows at all the colour, ok it’s not from flowers blooming but look at the evergreens, the bare branches and the different colour barks (usually!) all covered in frost.

If you’re very lucky (or unlucky depending on your view!) snow will add more interest and if you don’t have a snowfall this month you should be guaranteed a frost or two! We've had a very mild winter so far - even with last month's snow - so chances are you will catch sight of a few Spring bulbs popping up to take advantage of the days getting a fraction lighter.

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December Garden Advice

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robinWith Christmas upon us the general pace of work in the garden is much more relaxed as there is a lot less urgency for jobs to be completed now. Many people think that there is nothing to do in December but you’d be surprised! It’s a great time for pruning woody ornamental plants, fruit trees and bushes because they are in their dormant period. Now that the leaves have virtually finished dropping you can really see what you’re doing and can check to see if there is any dead or diseased wood to prune out. Don’t prune your Cornus (Dogwoods) though because their stem colour gives us some striking winter interest for our gardens.

Keep clearing any fallen leaves and save for leaf mould. Even though there are fewer garden pests and diseases around at this time of year keeping one step ahead of your garden hygiene – even in December – will reduce pest and disease problems in the spring and summer. If you find anything diseased you should really burn it rather than putting it in the compost heap. Remember too to leave a few areas undisturbed for overwintering beneficial insects like ladybirds.

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November Gardens

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leaves-in-gardenIn early November you’ll still find some autumn coloured leaves on trees waiting to be blown off in a gust of wind. Late flowers like Chrysanthemums and Nerines and the odd Rose still provide us with a little colour and winter berries are hanging on until the birds eat them all! Later on in November the onset of winter will become more apparent with low clouds bringing rain and fog and all round dampness. It may not be that cold but winds can make it feel colder and, of course, we’ll start to see more frequent evening frosts.

Tidying up is still high on the gardening agenda this month – with leaves still falling you can gather them up to make leaf mould for next year.  Your lawn and most plants will suffer if leaves are not collected as they need all the sunlight they can get to stay healthy – if they’re not moved lying leaves will block out the light and in some cases covered plants will suffer from dieback. Also, clear away old stems and dead foliage to make everywhere look tidier; this also prevents slugs and snails settling it to a new home.

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November Garden Jobs

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secateurs-240A few jobs for this month:

  • Clear up and keep all fallen leaves for mulch
  • Get your tulip bulbs in the ground as soon as possible
  • Mow the lawn probably for the last time this year
  • Check trees and shrubs for damaged branches and remove them so they don’t get whipped off in high winds and cause damage to property or plants
  • Plant fruit trees
  • Lift and divide Rhubarb
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