Gardener’s Diary January

frosty leaves

It’s now midwinter, with prospects of cold winds, heavy rain, frost and possibly snow. Even if this is one of the coldest times of the year, there are still things for the gardener to do. If you have managed to complete your winter digging and general tidy jobs last month, then most jobs will now be indoors – planning for the warmer seasons. The garden this month will be one of silhouettes, conifers, bare branches and if you have planted well, a few flowering plants that look almost unreal amongst the resting winter branches.

The shortest day has passed, and we can all look forward to the start of a new season. Why not pay a visit to Farnborough Garden Centre to look at our extensive range of terracotta pots, decorative plastic containers, garden ornaments, wooden planters and barrels?

Monthly reminders

Tools and Equipment: This is an ideal time to clean and service machines, equipment and gardening tools. If your lawnmower needs attention, take it to a service centre now and avoid the spring rush.

Fruit Trees: Spray now with a winter wash but take care to choose an approved chemical. Pruning should be completed on clear days.

Seeds: Now is an appropriate time to start selecting flower and vegetable seeds for the coming season. There is a range of new season seeds now on sale at the garden centre including some specialist varieties.

Patio Pots: Remember to lift all pots and containers onto blocks or pot feet to assist with drainage and help prevent frost damage. If your pots look waterlogged ask yourself if you added enough drainage material when you filled your container.

Seed Potatoes: The new season stock will be arriving at the garden centre shortly. Planning of your planting schedule should start now.

Wild Bird Care: provide feeders and feeding tables for garden birds, restocking regularly. Roosting pouches and birdboxes are on sale at the garden centre; these will provide ideal shelter during the chilly winter months.

Everyone here at Farnborough Garden centre would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you reading these notes a very happy and prosperous new year.

Pete’s Top Tips – Winter Care and Protection

1. Plant

Some less hardy plants in pots or in the garden may need extra protection from cold temperatures and high winds. Using a fleece or cover to protect these (including the pots) reduces the risk of damage.

2. Greenhouses.

If you intend to use your greenhouse in winter, then bubble wrap film insulation is essential to control the temperatures. Check heaters regularly and remember to ventilate during warmer days to prevent mildew and fungus growth.

3. Ponds and Water Features.

Remove pumps and water features during winter to prevent damage. If you have fish, then make sure there is always an open area if you cover the surface. In case of ice do not use a hammer to break it.

4. Snow.

If a snowfall occurs try to knock off heavy snow from trees, shrubs and climbers before the added weight causes branches to break or fall.

5. Lawns.

Avoid treading on grass when it is frozen. Warmer spells are a good time to improve lawn drainage with lawn aerators or garden forks. Use sand to fill any holes.

Written by Pete Toms

Farnborough Garden Centre

Nr Farnborough, Banbury, OX17 1EL.   Tel: 01295 690 479

www.farnboroughgardencentre.co.uk

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