Digger Dan – Planting for the coldest day of the year

A positive way of looking at mid-winter is to plant edibles such as strawberries and garlic that go into the ground when it’s cold and damp.

But remember none of these will survive in boggy soils.

Garlic & Shallots are available to plant – dig compost through your soil or fill a container with Living Earth Garden Mix and plant separated cloves of garlic approximately twice the depth of the clove. Take care not to damage cloves when separating out the bulb. The great bonus is you can get up to 20 cloves per bulb!

Strawberries are easy to plant in all kinds of containers or straight into sunny garden beds. Remember to sprinkle some strawberry food through the soil before planting. A great idea for strawberries is this hanging basket -you may have to wrap it with bird netting once the strawberries start turning red though!

Camellia sasanqua Setsugeka

Winter Whites – white flowering camellias, azaleas, and annuals such as Primula malacoides all show up well against green foliage.

Sharpen up – it’s too early to cut back modern or shrub roses as fresh new growth with be ‘nipped in the bud’ by colder temperatures in the season ahead -same goes for hydrangeas. If you are not liking the dead-heads on these plants -tough! Do something useful like sharpen the secateurs and loppers in readiness for the ‘Great Prune’ ahead.

Spray Moss – on a fine day, with a recommended formulation such as Yates’ Surrender. Dealing to it now beats being bruised black and blue when you slip on it in the middle of winter.

Plant Hunters – winter can provide some lovely surprises -not all growth shooting through the soil is a weed needing to yanked out -as these pretty winter snowdrops pictured, show.

Cold & wet soil

The colder and wetter soil becomes, the more damage you do walking over it. Soil becomes compacted, making it difficult to dig. It also reduces the amount of ‘air filled porosity’ -the gaps in the soil structure that assist water to drain away and where the roots of plants can move into as they grow.

Ordinary garden soils that missed a good ‘conditioning’ in autumn would still benefit from a layer of compost spread on top – it can be dug through in August once the temperatures begin to climb. In the meantime the worms will move towards this new layer of organic matter mixing the compost with your garden soil for you!

Raised garden beds are generally draining better and the garden mix or soil in them is warmer because it’s above ground, so if the levels sank over last growing season, fork more Living Earth Compost or Garden Mix through the unplanted areas.

Your lawn

With winter here, the growth of your lawn will begin to slow, but it important that you still pay attention to it. Fertilize with Prolawn Garden Supreme to keep your lawn as strong and healthy as possible during this period. This will enable your lawn to compete against winter weeds and the cold and wet weather. Keep your mower blades sharp so as to avoid tearing and damage to the leaf, and keep up your regular mowing.

Lastly now’s good for planning how you want your garden to look when spring arrives -if you’re going to do some landscaping, then visit our yards to look at our fantastic range of stones, pebbles and schist – walls and paths are the ‘framework’ of a beautiful garden.

Our Central Landsc ape & Garden Supplies Yards are open every day for all your Garden Projects. Come and see us for great advice and service! Don’t forget our great home delivery service or borrow our free loan trailers!   Call us on 0800 005444.

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