The garden feeds the soul

"When you increase the number of gardens, you increase the number of heavens too!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 -  Mehmet Murat ildan    

Autumn/Winter 2018 Gardening Tips

  • Prune the roses (climbers & ramblers only), other types of roses including shrub roses, bush roses and ground cover roses should be pruned in spring. Once pruning has been completed mulch the plants generously applying a thick layer of well-rotted manure and bark chipping.
  • Insulate outdoor terracotta and ceramic containers with bubblewrap.
  • Tender Plants and other indoor plants that spent the summer outdoors should be taken into a heated green house, or spare room preferably without any central heating.
  • Fallen Leaves can be a nuisance in the gardens this time of year, cluttering the paths, covering the garden features and clogging ponds. Its best to rake the lawn and sweep the paths regularly this time of year but instead of throwing the leaves way or burning them turn them into a leaf compost. Leaf compost is a great source of fibre for the earth helping the soil to retain moisture and improve drainage. Collecting Leaves, gather the leaves that accumulate on top of small plants by hand to prevent damage, try to do this on a daily basis so plants aren't killed by fungal disease or lack of light. Rake or Sweep the leaves together from the lawn, paths, patios etc. A small quantity of leaves can simply be thrown on the compost heap. A larger quantity of leaves (over one barrow) can be turned into pure leaf mould compost. Simply pack the damp leaves into large perforated bin liners, if they are dry upon collection dampen them with the hose first. Tie the bags and perforate the plastic with a fork a few times to let in a little air. Stack the bags out the way (leave for 1 year) while they decompose. Alternatively hammer 4 wooden poles 1mtr long into the ground to form a square,  90cm in each direction. Tack wire netting around the 4 sides. Tip the collected leaves in to the cage, dampen thoroughly, press them down and cover the top of them with a thin layer of soil to prevent them blowing out. In the coming year the leaf compost can be used to enrich the soil in raised beds, added to the vegetable patch and containers.
  • Don't rush to prune finished flowers and seed heads. Finished flowers and seed heads may make the garden look a little untidy but they provide a wealth of food and hiding places for birds, insects and spiders. leave them for a few more weeks and cut them back November.
  • Clear out compost heaps. Autumn is the best time to clear out last years compost bins, and use it around the garden. If the compost isn't yet ready, turn it to speed up the decomposition process.
  • Winter Maintenance. Clean out the greenhouse, cold frames & potting/storage areas.
  • Spring flowing bulbs. Garden centres and DIY stores are well stocked with a variety of spring flowing bulbs right now. Crocus, daffodils, bluebells, pieione or tulips bring welcome colour when planted now. Plant them in borders and containers before the cold winter weather sets in. Plant each bulb 3 times their depth.
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