Its That Time Again!

Today the hours of daylight will exceed the hours of darkness prompting the awakening of our gardens. You can dust off the lawnmower and oil the trusty wheelbarrow, and get back in the garden!

Where  to start?

Grass seed sowed last month on bare patches in the lawn and sowed again a fortnight ago has still not germinated. Don’t sit bare buttocked on the ground to determine if it’s warm enough – just watch the weeds, if they don’t grow don’t sow.

However established grass is growing, probably time for the first or in some cases second cut of the season.

To Mulch or Not to Mulch?

One priority is to order some bark to mulch borders primarily planted with shrubs and trees. Ground cover that doesn’t need cutting every week is what you are aiming for coupled with all year round interest! Plants themselves may not be big enough to provide cover, hence mulching is vital. Bare soil is bad – except in winter when it has been freshly dug over and left to ‘weather’, which is a natural conditioning process.

Double Daffodils

Most winter flowering shrubs are gone or going now, replaced by masses of daffodils, violets and red dead nettles. Double daffodils, green in bud and when first opened turning golden yellow, are less valuable for wildlife but as they don’t set seed they consequently bloom for longer. If you have any, multiply and plant out for next year.

More December Tips and Thoughts

Hemsley Gardening - the friendly gardenersWhat a wet, dull and cold snap we are having. Absolutely no enthusiasm for pottering in the frozen wasteland that was once the garden! So instead been browsing the interweb and come across a few more tips for December. Its amazing how much good information there is available via Google and the sites it throws-up.

Anyway the tips:

  • Refirm the roots of any shrubs that may have been lifted by frost.
  • After all the windy weather check fence posts and panels and repair if they have become loose or damaged.
  • Make sure that the shed roof is still water tight.
  • Dig over beds not only prepares the soil for next year, it helps reduce pests by exposing them to hungry birds.
  • Check out Garden Swap Shop, where you can swap your excess seeds and plants with other website members
  • If fallen leaves are a problem in your garden try to remove them from the lawn as regularly as possible. If you wait until all the leaves have dropped, your grass will be fighting for survival under a cold damp blanket of moist, rotting vegetation.
  • While its quiet in the garden take the opportunity to do any hard landscaping work.
  • Clear ivy from around windows and cut back any loose stems on other clinging climbers such as Hydrangea petiolaris, Pileostegia, Schizophragma and Parthenocissus before the winds peel them back further.

Only 10 more shopping days until Christmas so got to go! Urghhh