"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant" Anne Bradstreet
The Winter Garden
Winter can be a depressing time of year. The days are shorter, deciduous trees have shed their leaves, and gardens can look bare. Take a trip to your local garden centre and buy some potted colour. There's a huge variety of winter flowering plants to brighten your garden.
Take the opportunity to clean those muddy, rusty garden tools. A wash in soapy water, a light rub with sandpaper and a spray of WD40 will prolong the life of your tools.
Why not introduce garden lighting so you can enjoy evenings around a firepit? There are some good solar powered lights available but I prefer low voltage lighting which is available as DIY kits and so easy to install.
The vegetable garden
Keep up the watering to your vegetable beds. Consider setting up automatic irrigation. This is a simple yet highly effective way of watering and gives you more time to do other things.
Seeds to sow now are: Cabbage, lettuce, parsnip, peas, radish, rocket, spring onion, strawberry, turnip
If you don't have time why not go to your local markets and buy seedlings instead?
Keep lawns healthy by raking up leaves and composting them. Fallen branches and twigs should be put in the green bin as these don't compost as quickly. Spray weeds in lawns.
Winter is a good time to tackle the weeds that have taken hold over the autumn.
Prune hydrangea back to the 2 plumpest buds. Prune plum trees.
Apply a complete fertiliser to all narcissus species.
Prune apple & pear trees, wisteria and buddleja in August
The Rose Garden
Some rose species will still produce flowers into winter. Keep dead-heading. Aphid attacks are still possible where new plant growth emerges so spray with white oil or pyrethrum based spray.
In late July/early August it's time to give roses their hard prune. Some heritage roses don't need much pruning, if any at all, so check what variety you have before proceeding. Once pruned give the roses a total soaking with a lime sulphur spray.
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