So, the clocks have changed, the evenings have drawn in. Gardeners World is coming to the end of the series and we have gone from basking in 24 degrees just a couple of weeks ago to frosty mornings and gloomy days.
This is the time that you should be spending any spare time in the garden to get it ship shape for next Spring. Why leave it to go fallow and put off those jobs until Winter is over only to be in a mad dash come next year. Get those jobs that can be done now completed and spend more time in the Spring enjoying your planting and leisure time.
Fences & Sheds
Inspect and Repair
Now the Summer & Autumn flowering perennials have done there thing it is the best time to pay some attention to your fences. Firstly, do they need repairing? It’s a good idea if you have wooden posts to check they are firmly in the ground with a simple wobble test. Secondly, are the posts showing any signs of rot at the bottom? If they are then you have two choices. 1.) Replace the post. 2.) Install a concrete repair spur and bolt it onto the existing post to give you an extra few years of use.
Fences, just like all external timber needs to be treated with a preservative to protect from rotting. Whether you like the weathered look or if you want to completely transform your garden there are some fantastic colours available to choose from. It is amazing the transformation a bit of colour on the fencing can make to a garden, plants really stand out!.
It is really important to keep patios clear of leaves and algae during this time. When wet, leaves are not only a slipping hazzard but can also stain your patio. Leaf tannin can leach and possibly stain your prized patio. Also check your pointing. Is it loose, cracked or pieces missing? Get this repaired because if water finds its way under your slabs the freeze / thaw cycle will cause many problems.
Now is the time to give your tools some TLC. Clean and sharp gardening tools make gardening a much more pleasurable experience. Ever bought a new pair of secateurs and wondered what you have been doing all these years with that old rusty, blunt set?
Get to work on making those secateurs and shears the best they can be. Sharpen the cutting blade, rub any rust off with some wire wool and oil the return spring. Simple as that. If they really have reached the end of useful life then perhaps a new set of secateurs could be a treat to yourself.
If you have a petrol lawn mower take it to be serviced. A sharp cutting blade is good for your grass and reduces the chances of it clogging up with grass. Of course a lawn mower service is much more than that but I wont bore you with that.
Yes, you are not dreaming. Your very own garden has lots of free plants to offer you. I am surprised by how many people do not perform plant division in the winter months. It is the simplest thing to do and, depending on species, a single plant can be divided into 2,3 or even 4 new ones. Apart from the obvious benefit (free plants) dividing plants is actually good for their health.
The RHS have a great resource including examples of plants that benefit from division here.
Just because garden centres have swapped out bulbs for Christmas presents doesn’t mean the bulb planting season is over. I have planted daffodils, tulips and alliums right up to December and they have all flowered gloriously the following year. You might have to hunt down suppliers on the web however.
The best time for hedge planting is late Autumn & Winter. This is also the cheapest time to buy hedge plants as many can be supplied bare root saving £££s.