GARDENS FOR NATURE AND YOU
Jody’s Garden Services
In the greenhouse, damp is the main problem. When early mists and fog have cleared, ventilate the greenhouse on sunny days. Avoid spilling water on the floor and make sure there is plenty of room between the plants to allow the air to circulate between them. Water from now on only when the plants appear to be very dry. You may have to wait several weeks in some cases when the weather is very cold and damp and the plants are not growing.
When frosts have finally turned the leaves of dahlias black, dig them up and remove all garden soil, cut back stems, label each plant and allow to dry off for a few days. Store in boxes of sand and keep in a dry frost free place. In milder areas of the country, it may be possible just to cut back the stems and pile a protective covering of soil over the dahlias if growing in a well sheltered spot.
Your autumn displays will be showing their age now, cut them back as the foliage dies and tidy up straggly borders. Where spaces have now appeared between the clumps of herbaceous plants, fill in with the Spring display of polyanthus, sweet Williams, wallflowers, foxgloves and forget-me-not; these will look good when Springtime comes again, interspersed with tulips and daffodils.
The gardening year is nearly over, but there are still a few more jobs that need doing before you can put your tools away for a well earned winter break.
November is the ideal time to plant tulips in your beds and borders. They prefer a well drained soil and need to be planted 4-5 inches deep and 4-6 inches apart. They look best in groups of 5-7 or more. A major cause of bulbs failing to flower is from not being planted deep enough. Sprinkle a handful of bonemeal and dig in before planting the bulbs.
Ornamental and fruit trees are ready for sale in garden centres and nurseries and can be planted between now and March. The soil should be well dug over to a good depth and width with plenty of space for the roots to grow into. Well rotted compost and a couple of handfuls of bonemeal should be mixed with the soil before planting. Place the supporting stake at an angle in the hole before positioning the tree to avoid damaging the roots. If the tree comes in a pot and the roots appear pot bound, tease them out from the rootball a bit, but otherwise leave them when planting.
Bare rooted trees should have their roots carefully spread out with plenty of space for the roots to grow. Settle the root system over a shallow mound of soil in the centre of the planting hole. Keep the planting depth to the same as it was in the nursery.
For fan, cordon or espalier training of apples, pear, peach or cherry, prepare the supports, either against a wall or free standing support. Tie the branches with soft twine to bamboo which are fastened to the wire tied to the fence or support. Prune out any branches not required for training.