Gardening Calendar December 2017
Prepared by Tim Whitcombe
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- Some of the gardening tasks you could now consider in your garden to create summer colour
- Dahlias – pot up a few tubers in a 100 mm pots and water keep in a warm place then when the shoots start to show place them inside in a summer position then plant out in the spring – if the springs late and they start to produce lots of growth this can be used for stem cuttings producing more plants. A great plant for summer colour.
- Sun Flowers – start a few seeds in pots now inside on a windowsill ready to plant out in the spring – a great project for children. When the flowers have finished they can be cut and hung to dry a a wildbird food to feed your garden birds in the winter.
- Cosmos and Pyrethrum – sowing a few seeds on a windowsill now will produce plant that can be planted out in the spring to produce some summer flowers.
- Skimmia Japonica – At this time of year one of the easiest plants to take stem cutting from placing the cuttings on a windowsill in 75 mm pots the cutting will root in 10 to 20 days ans start to grow away to
For further ideas on creating summer colour in your garden click here
As spring get nearer its the last change you will have to winter wash your fruit trees and bushed
Its a great way to make sure they get of to a great start in the spring as winter washing is a great way to help remove all the over wintering pests and disease than hide out on your plants ove rthe winter under the bark or in cracks at stem joints etc
For further information on winter washing click here
Another job in the garden at this time of year often overlooked is to feed your flower borders gardeners spend hours applying mulch to the soil in the flower borders but very few feed the borders. A simple dressing of a basic fertilizer such as Growmore will help achieve better flowers. In also offsetts the effect of the soil bacteria using all the available nutrients in the soil trying to break down the mulch. So the message is feed and mulch. Feed for better flowers and mulch for weed control and water retention.
- Sweet Peas if you have not alreadu done so sowing a few sweet peas is a great way to add colour to your garden in August the hardest month to create colour in the garden. See our facebook page for tips on sowing sweet peashttps://www.facebook.com/GardenAdvice.co.uk
- Dividing plants Another seasonal job is dividing your plants such as Day lilies and other perennial plants such as hostas. If you are not sure what you can or cannot divide just drop us a line at the GardenAdvice free advice servicehttps://gardenadvice.co.uk/advisor/freeadvice/index.html
- Cold soil is going to be a real problem when it comes to spring vegetable sowing with all the rain we are having wet cold soil is going to be a real pain when it comes to sowing the first vegetable seeds. The constant rain will have cooled the soil down to such a degree that it will take more spring sunshine to get seeds germinating. Four methods to overcome this are as follow
* sow your seeds as far as possible indoors to product small plants not always possible with plants such as carrots but with lettuce and other such salad crop the cold conditions can be over come. Sow in trays and prick out into small pots.
* Use cloches and black plastic - Both cloches and laying black plastics on the growing a few weeks before sowing will have the effect of warming the soil for better germination and stronger plants.
* Spent mushroom compost - adding spent mushroom compost to your soil has the effect of helping to dry up the soil in the case of creating a seed bed making sowing easier and warms up the soil.
* light forking - with all the rain the soil structure will have taken a beating a light forking will help get air into the soil and help restore the soils structure.
Mild wet winter - If the weather continues to be wet and mild then the next problem that will be facing gardeners is fungal and disease damage to your plants especially the softer leaved plants. The best organic cure is to apply a sulfur powder to the infected part of your plants. If you have wrapped up your plants with fleece for the winter such as tree ferns or tender plants its worth paying them some special attention as often the fleece sheets or bags hold the moisture against the plant and in wet mild winter cause mildews to form which damages the plants. If possible on a few milder days remove the fleece just for the day this will allow the plant to dry out and treat any infected areas with sulfur powder
Glasshouse - One of the most important elements of growing and plants or crops in a glasshouse is you start clean and disease free. Which means giving your glasshouse a good clean both inside and outside with a disinfectant such as jeyes fluid and using some sulfur candles when you have finished to kill at the over wintering pests and disease which hide themselves in the glasshouse staging and framework
Colourful summer gardens are all about planning – and that’s especially the case with summer bulbs, corms, tubers, and rhizomes such as Lilies, Gladioli, Dahlias, Cannas and Zantedeschias (Calla Lilies). Now is the time to start thinking about planning your summer colour schemes and also pre-ordering your bulbs so you get the best stock available as soon as possible. Bulbs are delivered from March onwards so you’ll receive them at the right planting time. It is important to remember that most summer-flowering bulbs do not tolerate frost so if you have to store them, even for short period of time, do take appropriate measures to protect them from late frost. For summer colours inspiration, visit the GardenAdvice recommended expert supplier of Bulbs, corms and tubers at bulbsandbeyond.com
Your bulbs will be delivered to your doorstep direct from Holland so you’ll know they have been stored and treated professionally when you receive them at the right planting time. All you have to do is plant and enjoy them!
If you are a MyGardenTeam member ask your GardenAdvice expert gardener to come up with a few suggestions on summer bulbs, corms, tubers, and rhizomes to add some colour to you garden this summer.
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