Tel: 01483 278585 | Mob: 07803 137995
petermillsgardening@gmail.com

February Gardening Blog

February Gardening for Blog

Continue with any jobs not completed last month. Cut Hazel branches for pea and bean sticks. Working outside is very much weather dependant, if frosty try and keep off the grass, if pouring with rain don’t go digging! If the ground is saturated don’t walk on it or dig it!! More damage can be caused by doing jobs when the conditions aren’t favourable.

Mulching around trees, shrubs and vegetable areas done now will give everything a great start, work off scaffold boards if need be with your wheelbarrow.

Crack on with pruning Apples, Pears and grapevines. Plenty of pruning advice on the RHS website or buy yourself a pruning book. Check any fruit and vegetables stored, throw away any rotten fruit or recycle to the birds. Discard rotten onions, shallots, potatoes, corms and bulbs.

New season seed potatoes, onion sets and shallots are in the garden centres, so to are the new season summer flowering bulbs, corms and dahlias – Lillies, Gladioli, Nerines, Cannas etc. Chit seed potatoes, place in opened out egg boxes or trays with the dormant buds uppermost so the potatoes sprout (chitting). Place in a light, frost free position not too warm.

National Nest Box week is in February. Clean out boxes, repair or wood preservative. If you suffer from woodpecker damage or predation from them or squirrels invest in a woodcrete nest box, no maintenance apart from emptying the nest out, they last for 10 years plus.

Check indoor or greenhouse plants for pests and diseases. If soil temperatures and conditions allow think about seed sowing some early vegetables, broadbeans, lettuce, radish, spinach, carrots and sweet peas.


Greenhouse – If you have a heated on or heated propagator this is where they come into their own. Tomatoes, Peppers, Onions can be started in fresh compost that has been brought inside to warm up. Do Not sow seeds into cold wet compost! They won’t germinate, waste of time, money and poor results.

Check any seedlings for damage from mice, slugs and snails regularly!

Fruit trees apply fruit tree grease or grease bands. Spray with winter wash to control over wintering eggs of greenfly. Copper fungicide or Bordeaux mixture needs spraying on peaches to prevent peach leaf curl.

Happy Gardening

Kind regards

Peter

January Gardening Blog

January Gardening Blog

This is the planning month where we take stock of the year before, successes and failures. It’s worth doing a page for each and decide what to grow and what not to grow!! Then theres a page for new things to try suggested by friends or family or new from catalogues or gardens visited. Be objective, sometimes the weather can be bad and have a profound affect on certain plants, Potato/tomato blight for example.

Sort the shed and greenhouse out, wash down glass, check tools for broken or need repairing or replacing. Book in machinery for a service, often a discount is available this month – haggle. Clean tools, wire brush forks, spades, remove soil and rust. Wipe down with an oily rag or even paint with wax oil/duck oil even the wooden handles to keep woodworm at bay. Very satisfying to see the shed tidy and clean and a job well worth doing. Clean pots, seed trays, covers and labels, time spent now will make you more productive later on when you have less time!!

Order seeds and catalogues and choose what you want, bring in wooden garden furniture to clean and treat with preservative, clear gutters on buildings and downpipes. Check the felt on garden sheds and out-buildings for any leaks at the same time.

Garden:- Now the leaves are all down its easier to see the bare bone of the garden. Look at all supports for plants and trees, tree ties are not too tight, broken stakes?

Wire cutting into climbing plants, loose wall plugs, vine eyes, broken trellis or straining wires. Plants fallen away from their support, wall, trellis or pergola. Its far easier to deal with these issues with the leaves off.

Gales often cause havoc, cut out damaged or broken branches and reattach supports. Fence posts and panels need checking too, keep off grass if the ground is wet. Clean bird feeders and keep them topped up with food, fresh water in a bird bath is also very important.

Be prepared to pack planted pots close together if severe weather is forecast and place in a more protected corner near a building or shed. Insulate the greenhouse with bubble wrap and fleece. Snowdrops and Primroses soon,

Happy Gardening

Peter

Peter's Gardening Tips for November

A huge change in the weather. Autumn mists, rain, frosts... shorter days and loads of leaves to make compost with!

Leaves:
If you can make use of this free bonanza. Loose chicken wire cages work well for storage and composting.
Use a rotary mower to hoover up the leaves, raise the deck.
Net ponds,leaving an area open for the birds to drink and bathe.
Blow leaves under hedges to decay naturally thereby giving the hedge a feed. Good for wildlife too.
Lawns:
Last cut hopefully.
Clean the underneath of the mower before putting it away.
Spike or aerate any wet or bald areas.
Last chance to treat for moss and autumn lawn feed.
Vegetables and Fruit:
Cut down asparagus plants. Weed and mulch generously.
Plant broadbean seeds if your soil isn't too cold and wet or else leave until spring.
Garlic plant now.
Dig over roughly, let the weather break up heavy soil.
Mulch raised beds with compost.
Planting Time for fruit trees, bushes,canes. Bare root if you can get them- much cheaper.
Grab some time out for a walk..... Fungi, mosses, the birds and the wildlife all busy. The light is fabulous in woods now.
Kick a few leaves!
If the weather is foul order seed catalogues and plan for next season.
Happy Gardening
Regards Peter.

Peter's Gardening Tips for October

ParasolMushroomFor this month.....

  • Grass cutting, raise your mower blade up, its good to have longer grass this time of year
  • Make room to compost leaves
  • Clean your Green-house and wash the glass well
  • Clear out Summer bedding plants and compost them
  • Re-plant tubs and containers with Winter Heathers, Violas, Primroses, Wallflowers and bulbs
  • Clean bird feeders and baths
  • Sow Sweet-Pea seeds
  • Blow leaves under hedges for wildlife and to leave to decay naturally, this actually helps to feed your hedges

Peter's Gardening Tips for September

For this month.....

  • Grass seed sowing, cover seed with soil.  If dry leave for a week or two
  • Dead-head plants, remove any faded or dead flowers unless you want to save the seeds,                                                               removal of old flower heads will promote new flowers
  • Gather fruits from the hedgerow to make jams, jellies, pies, wine, cider, gin etc.                                                                                  
  • You should find Crab apples, apples, elderberries, sloes and Rosehips to name a few...
  • Buy Spring flowering and Autumn flowering bulbs, take pictures or make a note of                                                                             AcerRubrum-Autumncolourwhat you want to grow again or not for next year