Here are our Gardening Reminders for the month of March
1) Prune strong growing Buddleias down to about 18” for a good show by summer. Prune to 30-40” for a denser but weaker overall growth.
2) Prune decorative Cornus and Salix to within 5cm of the old shoots to encourage next year’s coloured winter stems. Don’t prune ‘Midwinter Fire’ types too hard.
3) Feed roses with a general fertilizer and remember to do it again in summer.
4) Arrange to plant summer flowering bulbs when planting condition are good.
5) Finish pruning perennial which have not yet been cut back, don’t remove new green shoots. It is still time to lift and divide large herbaceous clumps. Re-plant or give away outer sections of the clump and destroy the centre of the plant.
6) When daffodils have flowered, remove dead heads to conserve energy.
7) Hellebores are now very popular, lift seedlings around parent plant and pot up.
8) As the weather improves, weed growth will begin in earnest, hoe off seedling weeds with a really sharp hoe and treat perennial weeds with Roundup.
9) Use fleece to cover delicate leaves when frost is imminent. Seedlings can be protected in the same way, hold fleece down with stones or tie to the pots.
10) New shrubs and herbaceous plants can be planted when soil conditions are good.
11) Finish pruning soft fruit bushes by mid-month and give a high nitrogen feed.
12) Lay fleece or polythene on bare soil to warm it before planting or sowing seeds or vegetables. Remember to apply slug pellets.
13) Consider mowing the lawn towards the end of the month, brush off worm casts if necessary as these blunt the mower. Apply a balanced fertilizer or combined feed and weed-killer.
14) After heavy snowfalls knock snow from upright conifers before branches get bent over. Most plants are better under snow in hard frost as they are well insulated.
15) In bad weather finalise plans for garden improvements and order the plants and sundries to enable you to start work as gardening conditions improve.
Posted 6th Mar 10:20am
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Here are our Gardening Reminders for the month of February.
1) Cut back ornamental grasses.
2) Divide and replant Snowdrops as the flowers go over.
3) Clean out existing bird nesting boxes and put up new ones.
4) Take hardwood cuttings of forsythia, deutzia, honeysuckle, jasmine, Virginia creeper, holly,
privet, cotoneaster, poplar, willow, gooseberries, etc
5) Pot up or transplant last year’s hardwood cuttings.
6) Consider planting shrubs or trees to provide winter colour in those dull conrners.
7) Repair broken fences, trellices,steps, and walls.
8) Repair any uneven areas of the lawn when the ground is firm.
9) Push single seed potatoes into half-filled plastic pots, adding compost as they grow.
10) Invest in a soil thermometer, when the soil temp. exceeds 5°C start sowings of hardy crops such as carrots, lettuce and radish direct into the ground.
11) Ensure that borders have been forked over in preparation for summer growth or new planting. Apply a general fertilizer around the beds at 2-3oz per sq. yd, also apply to new areas.
12) If weather warms up, take the opportunity to prepare compost and boxes for sowing half hardy annuals by the end of the month. You should have a heat source available for cold nights.
13) Plant roses as soil conditions permit, prune stems of new roses down to an outward facing bud 3-5” above the crown. Cut the stem cleanly just above the bud. Plant graft union just below soil level. Apply bone meal at 2oz. per sq. yd. and prick into surface. Firm soil around roots.
14) Prune climbing roses this month, keep 5 to 7 strong shoots and prune back all side shoots to within 3 buds of the base. Tie in all shoots securely. Prune Rambler roses in the autumn.
15) Prune shrub roses late February to encourage growth from the base. Remove some old shoots but don’t reduce height too much as they tend to flower on older wood.
16) Cut back Clematis Jackmanii and C. Viticella groups to about 12”. Pyracantha should be pruned to within 2 buds of the main frame except for extensions, if not done last autumn.
17) Complete formative pruning of trees by the month end. It may be necessary to limit growth to one leader to avoid a fork in the main stem, or removal of the leader if a bush form is required.
18) Do not apply heavy applications of fertilizer to naturalized bulbs as this will only encourage the surrounding grass.
Posted 10th Feb 9:12am
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1) Rake dead leaves out of ponds to prevent water stagnating.
2) Plant winter aconites.
3) Remove dead and dying foliage from hellebores.
4) Plant fruit trees and cane fruits, mulch newly planted trees (do not build compost up around the trunks of trees).
5) If the grass needs cutting due to mild weather, remove mowings as too cold for decomposition.
6) Lift self-sown Cyclamen coum seedlings and replant where most effective for winter display.
7) Cut out reverted stems from variegated evergreens. These will be green only, and appear stronger than variegated stems.
8) Pick up all fallen foliage in the greenhouse to prevent disease establishment.
9) Clean rainwater gutters from all garden related buildings to prevent over-flow.
10) If very hard frosts are anticipated wrap tender plants such as Agapanthus with straw or bubble-wrap and tie securely.
11) Continue to remove fallen leaves and twigs in the shrubbery and lightly fork soil over.
12) Shorten the summer growths of Wisteria (already reduced in September) to 2 buds.
13) Nets draped over the branches are the only reliable way to prevent birds from damaging the buds of flowering cherries.
14) Check all trees and fruit trees to ensure that the root-stock of the tree is not growing in competition with the scion variety.
15) Prune overgrown hedges hard in winter, during frost-free weather. Cut back yew and privet severely to within 15cm of the main stem. For hornbeam and beech cut right back to the main stem to prevent tufty growth. Prune one side one year and the other side the following year.
16) In freezing conditions ensure that the ice on ponds is broken to allow the escape of toxic gases. Do NOT hammer the ice as it may stun the fish. Apply bottles containing hot water.
17) If water remains on the lawn surface for some time after rain, check for blocked drains. If there is no system, make plans to put such work in hand.
18) Take the frosty weather and dark nights to look up the answers to the questions you keep asking yourself whilst you are doing a whole rage of jobs during better gardening conditions!
Posted 4th Jan 12:46pm
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Here are our Gardening Reminders for the month of November.
1) Remove fallen leaves from herbaceous beds and lawns to prevent rotting and discourage slugs.
2) Dig areas to be sown with annuals next year, leave it rough to be broken down by frost.
3) Remove stakes from herbaceous borders, clean off and store in the dry.
4) Put grease bands on fruit trees to catch female winter moths.
5) Prune blackcurrants by cutting out about 25% of the older stems.
6) Lift and divide rhubarb crowns ensuring each piece has a live crown.
7) Hang out fleece in the rain, then dry off and store for next year.
8) Give the grass a final cut with the blades set higher and collect the last of the fallen leaves.
9) Thoroughly clean the lawn mower and sharpen or renew the blade.
10) Prepare hedge sites and plant this month whilst soil is warm.
11) Plant fruit trees and bushes ensuring stout stakes against prevailing wind prevent wind rock.
12) Now is the best time to plant roses, heel then in if soil conditions are not suitable for immediate planting.
13) Before planting trees and shrubs ensure roots are moist by soaking in a bucket.
14) Plant winter bedding such as wallflowers, pansies, primroses etc.
15) Protect pot grown tender shrubs with straw and bubble-wrap to prevent plant death and cracked pots.
16) Prepare chrysanthemum stools, dahlia tubers and gladioli corms for winter storage.
17) Prune soft fruit, shorten leading shoots by half, and side shoots to 5cm (2”) on gooseberries and red currants.
18) Place a forcing pot or deep bucket over dormant rhubarb crowns to produce early young shoots.
Posted 31st Oct 3:31pm
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Here are our Gardening Reminders for the month of August.
1) Arrange for pots to be watered when on holiday
2) Give containers a liquid feed as long release fertilizer may not be
providing enough boost to keep plants going
3) Provide water for wildlife
4) Dead-head flowering plants for maximum flower production
5) Collect seed from plants you wish to propagate
6) Prune ornamental trees such as flowering cherries. Do not cut back to
the stem, leave the cambium collar in situ for maximum healing ability
7) Pot up seedlings of self-sown herbaceous plants
8) Plan the purchase of your bulbs for autumn planting
9) Collect fallen apples showing signs of brown rot. Do not compost them
10) Clean water filters in ponds and water features
11) Watch out for caterpillars on vegetable crops
12) Cut back new shoots of Wisteria to 3 to 4 leaves
13) Leave grass clippings on the lawn when dry, to act as a mulch
14) Prepare ground for new turf or sowing. Allow soil to settle before final
raking, and remove weeds as they germinate. Sow seed evenly and
protect from birds.
15) Prune untidy plants such as ivy-leaved pelargoniums, ceanothus,
escallonia, lavender and rosemary.
16) Stop outdoor tomatoes when four to five trusses have set and reduce
foliage of glasshouse tomatoes to allow fruit to ripen.
Posted 2nd Aug 1:55pm
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The warm weather is here, and we’ll hopefully enjoy plenty of sunshine from now until the end of August. Here are Johnsons of Whixley’s Gardening Reminders for the month of June.
Posted 8th Jun 1:39pm
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