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GCA

 Topical Tips for December

Although the days are short in December, the garden should be looking beautiful on frosty mornings with a silver sheen on the remains of  the plants that have already brought  so much pleasure in the garden. Whilst we’re not suggesting you become a complete slacker and ignore the garden totally it is worth doing a bit of armchair gardening and think about what would be good in your garden next year!

Have a Merry Christmas and here are just a few jobs that you could do in the garden.

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

Shrubs and Flowers

Top Tip:We’ve still got a god selection of spring flowering bulbs at bargain prices in stock so if you haven’t planted any yet or just fancy a top up come and see what’s available, the bulbs will still flower in this spring when planted now.

Top Tip:

Hellebores are starting to flower now, cut back the leaves so that the nodding flowers can be seen at their best.

Top Tip:

There are  a few plants that need pruning this month to avoid the bleeding that can occur if pruned next year. Vines, Birch and Acers all need pruning now.

Top Tip: Keep dead heading pansies and violas to encourage more flowering as soon as the sun pops out.

Top Tip:

Cover any tender plants with fleece to avoid frost damage.

Top Tip:

Although we are up to our necks in Christmas trees at the moment we never forget about the plants; we still have a good selection of winter plants, take a look at the list below or even better take at look at the plants at Sunshine. 

  • Viburnum tinus – flower throughout winter
  • Skimmia rubella – beautiful shiny red berries
  • Sarcococca – wonderful fragrance
  • Mahonia- yellow flowers all winter
  • Hamamelis – spidery, fragranced flowers, connoisseur’s’ choice.
  • Hellebores – Chritmas roses , a classic
  • Camellia J.C.Williams, delicate looking blooms that aren’t that delicate
  • Prunus autumnalis – flowering cherry from autumn to early spring

 

 

 

 

  

Grow Your Own

Top Tip: Between now and February it’s the time to prune you top fruit, that’s apples  and pears. Don’t prune any trained fruit trees just the ones gowning in the open garden. 

Click on the link below for a short video on pruning apples:

https://www.rhs.org.uk/videos/advice/Apple-pruning

Top Tip: Lift and divide rhubarb crowns to renew the vigour of the plant(s).

Top rhubarb tip no. 2:  Cover rhubarb with a rhubarb forcer to get an early crop

Top Tip: Apply grease bands now to prevent winter moth caterpillars and other nasties crawling up the trunk of fruit trees.

Top Tip:  Have fleece ready to cover winter leaf salads such as lettuce.

Top Tip:  Protect peaches and nectarines from wet weather with clear polythene; this prevents peach leaf curl, which currently has no chemical control available.

Top Tip:  Apply grease bands to fruit trees to prevent winter moths from climbing up the trunk to lay their eggs.

Top Tip:  Good time to plant raspberry canes!

  

Other Garden Tips + Jobs 

If you have any bear ground, mulch it, the worms will pull the mulch into the soil and make the area ready for growing next year, we have a new compost called Sylvagrow which contains composted bark and this is particularly good for mulching at this time of year.

Don’t forget to use your plants in the garden for Christmas decorations, when picking Holly berries don’t forget to leave a few for the birds.

If you still have leaves on the lawn, remove them, if left for too long they will cause the lawn to go brown as light won’t reach the grass.

Christmas tip: You can use Quality street wrappers in the compost leap, they will decay and help form great compost, it’s a good reason for eating extra this Christmas!

  

Amaryllis

If you received an Amaryllis this year here is how to look after it:

Amaryllis are really easy to grow. Plant amaryllis bulbs in a pot 5cm wider than the diameter of the bulb, with one-third to half of the bulb above compost level. After potting, place in a brightly lit spot, water sparingly at first, but increase watering as the foliage develops. To ensure flowering in subsequent years, keep the compost moist and feed when the leaves are green, but reduce watering when they turn yellow, and stop altogether when they are dead. Plants prefer to be potbound with their roots restricted. Consider yourself a great gardener if you get an amaryllis to flower well for a second year as it is a bit of a challenge!