Seasonal Tips - Grow Your Own

Grow Your Own

Flower Power

Good Housekeeping

Digging

“A Little Winter Digging Will Save You Time And Energy In The New Year!“

It's best to dig over the soil of new planting areas and empty vegetable beds during any dry periods in winter. 

This will add oxygen into the soil and prevent it from becoming compact - making it easier to work with when it comes to planting.

“A Little Winter Digging Will Save You Time And Energy In The New Year!“

It's best to dig over the soil of new planting areas and empty vegetable beds during any dry periods in winter. 

This will add oxygen into the soil and prevent it from becoming compact - making it easier to work with when it comes to planting.


“Encourage Strong Growth By Pruning Apple And Pear Trees“

Many gardeners believe the task of pruning fruit trees to be a complicated job - it's actually far simpler than you may think. 

And don't worry about making mistakes as the strong spring growth will often put them right.

Prune out 'The Four Ds' - this is any growth that is Dead, Dying, Damaged or Diseased.

Prune out any growth that is crossing from one side of the tree to the other as this can reduce airflow and increase disease problems.

Prune back to an outward facing bud making the cut at an angle parallel to that of the bud.

If using a saw then make the cut from the underside to avoid tearing the branch.

Take regular steps back from the tree to look at its overall shape. Aim for an open shape that allows air to circulate through.

You can shred any cuttings and add to the compost heap (not diseased cuttings), or cut into sections ready for the living room fire.

Pruning

Bird Feeders

“Fill The Bird Feeders For Our Garden Friends During The Winter“

Attracting birds to your garden is a great way of bringing it to life. Birds benefit from food being left out in feeders and on tables throughout the year but even more so over winter when their natural supplies may be in shortage.

Birds need high energy foods during the winter such as oily nuts and seeds. Why not have some fun and try making your own bird-feeder to hang in the garden.

How to make your own bird-feeder:
Thread a piece of garden twine trough the end of a small plant pot and secure inside by tying a stick.

In a saucepan melt over a low heat 150g of lard. Weigh out 300g of high energy mixed bird seeds and nuts and place into a mixing bowl. Once melted pour the lard over the seeds/nuts and mix until they starts to lump together. 

Using a mixing spoon take the required amount to fill the plant pot and roll into a ball. Then cover in cling film and place in the fridge to harden - repeat this process with remaining mixture.

Take out the ball and remove from cling film. Take the plant pot and press the fat ball inside then return to the fridge to harden.

Hang the blocks from a branch at least 5 foot above ground level. Now sit back and enjoy watching the wildlife flock to your garden.


"Plant A Delightful Deciduous Hedge Now"

Plants such as Beech, Hawthorn and Hornbeam make great deciduous hedges and can be planted late into the winter. 

It is best to wait for a day when the soil is easy to work with and not frozen or too waterlogged before you start planting your new hedge.

Should there be a delay in the planting but you already have the plants, they can be stored in a frost free shed with the roots covered with moist straw paper or potting compost and a plastic sheet to prevent drying out. Another option is to ?heel in? by temporarily planting them close together in a trench with the roots covered in soil.

It is important to prepare the soil first to give them the best start. Do this by digging over the area to be planted to 1.5 times the depth of the root stock. Remove any weeds then add organic matter, dig in and add a general purpose fertilizer. 

Depending on the plants final size space them 40-60cm apart ensuring the roots are spread out and the planting depth is correct at the base of the stem ? you can use the previous soil mark as an indicator. 

Add the soil back into the hole firming the soil with your feet, water well and mulch to suppress weeds and give the plants a boost.

Ensure the plants are watered well especially during dry spells until established and top dress annually with a fertilizer.

Plant a Hedge