Weekend Work: Dry leaves can be piled on top of agapanthus and nerines for insulation
Saturday 28 November 2009
What to do
Mild November weather has been tempting geraniums into fresh bud in the south of the country, but you should be prepared to bundle these (and fuchsias) inside at a moment's notice.
Draw the leaves over the crowns of other slightly tender plants such as red hot pokers and tie them up in a bundle to provide some winter protection. Dry leaves can be piled on top of agapanthus and nerines for insulation.
Save the turf from planting holes cut for trees and shrubs in established lawns and set it, grass side down, in the bottom of the hole. As it rots, it will improve soil texture.
Plant new raspberry canes, 45cm apart in rows two metres apart. Prune hard after planting.
Remember that greenhouse plants are more likely to die from overwatering than underwatering during the winter.
Large established apple and pear trees may need pruning to eliminate branches that cross over or are overcrowded. Some young fruit trees grow strongly upwards but show little inclination to fruit. Pull two or three of the vertical growths gently down towards the horizontal and hold them in place with binder twine or light rope fastened to pegs in the ground.
Pinch out the tops of autumn-sown sweet peas to make compact, bushy plants. Actually, I no longer sow in autumn. Too many plants were nibbled through by mice. Plants grown from an early spring sowing soon catch up.
What to buy
My order to Thornhayes has gone off and I am now waiting to hear when I can collect my bird cherries, my snowy pear and two Irish yews. This is always the most exciting order of the year: all the trees I've had from Thornhayes have been superbly grown.
The list includes a particularly good selection of fruit trees, but the range is wide. "The range of species we offer is selected for health and disease resistance" says owner Kevin Croucher, "hence some commonly known plants are missing as they do not meet the standard required". Trust Mr Croucher. He knows. Thornhayes Nursery, St Andrews Wood, Dulford, Cullompton, Devon EX15 DF; tel: 01884 266746, thornhayes-nursery.co.uk.
Life & Style blogs
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
- 1 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 2 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Spiritual leader allegedly manipulated 400 men into removing testicles to be 'closer to God'
£24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest supplier to the UK'...
£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate/Junior Software Deve...
£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An experienced Sales Executive ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Night Porters are required to join a family-ow...