Gardening Thoughts – Winter 2014

What to write about at this time of year and with this appalling weather? The ground is too wet to do any digging, or even to walk on your borders to clear the dead growth from last year to tidy them up for Spring. So, I think my thoughts for this issue are going to be fairly brief! Phew, you say, thank goodness, methinks he normally doth protest too much!

Anyway, I’ll get a bit in. I know I’ve mentioned it before, and without meaning to bore everyone, but apple and pear trees should be pruned, and also Japanese maples, as these will bleed if pruned once they start to grow, as will grape vines – they can bleed to death if pruned too late in the year. Autumn fruiting raspberries can be cut back to ground level. All of this should only be undertaken if you can do it standing on a lawn or a hard surface, like a plank, so as not to compact the saturated soil.

Vegetable gardening is basically a “no-no” at the moment, though I’ve bought my shallots and red onion sets for planting as soon as possible, and I’ve also got some early crop seed potatoes, which I’ve set out in egg trays to chit. They need to be in the light, in a frost free place, to develop good strong buds ready to spring into growth and produce a wealth of lovely small, waxy delicious spuds – dream on for early Summer!

One crop that is growing is my garlic. I planted the cloves in November and I’ve got some more to plant asap! We are just now using our final cloves of garlic from last year’s crop, and they’re still delicious.

There’s obviously nothing to report on the hedgehog front, and I can’t say that the dogs have done anything exciting recently, so with all that in mind it’s TTFN.

Jeremy Burden

February (Winter) 2014