Weekend Work: Time to tickle the ground up around bulbs
Saturday 08 January 2011
What to do
Spikes of early flowering Iris reticulata and crocus are already spearing through the ground, with scillas and grape hyacinths. If the earth looks sour, tickle the ground up around the bulbs and remove any seedling weeds.
Continue to mulch thickly round herbaceous perennials, such as hosta and rodgersia, both of which are quite greedy plants. The mulch feeds, but it also suppresses annual weeds and improves the texture of soil.
Keep greenhouses well ventilated – a constant temperature is what you're aiming for. Winter sun can build up a surprising amount of warmth. If you close the vents in time at the end of the day, you can trap some of this warmth to use through the night.
Gently force batches of early spring bulbs by bringing pots of them into a cool greenhouse. Dwarf narcissi, hyacinths, crocus and iris all respond to this kind of treatment. When the flower buds begin to colour up, you can bring the bowls into the house.
What to see
The winter lecture series opens this month at the Oxford Botanic Garden with the magnificent Fergus Garrett, head gardener at Great Dixter, talking about the past, present and future of this extraordinary place. Tickets cost £10 and the talk starts at 8pm on 27 January. To book, call 01865 286690 or visit botanic-garden.ox.ac.uk
Life & Style blogs
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Development Scientist is required to join a ...