THE VILLAGE GARDENER
Tips from Residents of the Old Rectory et al.
1. Plant garlic now, it’s supposed to increase the flavour by sowing in the Autumn.
2. Keep the lawns clear of leaves, tedious but necessary.
3. Be sure to open greenhouse door on nice days to increase air flow.
4. Ripen any green tomatoes by putting on a sunny windowsill.
5. Take extra care outside this time of year, as surfaces will be slippery.
Lawn care tips from Ray Darlington
- Aerate the lawn either by machine or just by forking over.
- Sweep up worm casts as they make perfect areas for weeds to settle.
- Raise the cutting height on mower if the grass still needs mowing.
- Tidy up the edging, it will make the garden look neater.
- If you’re considering adding a flower bed to the lawn, now is the time to start. Just turn the turf over so no grass is showing, and it will die off leaving a good base for Spring planting.
November can be an unforgiving month, which can seem worse with the garden devoid of bright colours except for some berries which will soon be eaten by the birds. Keeping things tidy in the garden can make things easier on the eye. There is always something to be done outside, whether it’s moving shrubs, cutting back or thinning out clumps of grasses. It can be be quite hard to get motivated but once outside the mood changes. A little effort now will make a big difference when Spring comes round.
It’s not often garden centres have bargains but at this time of year seed packets are on offer, just be sure you remember where you put them for safe keeping. The large garden centre in St Mellons has a dedicated area for cheap plants and there are some good offers, if you have room to look after them. Bare root shrubs are available from now until March online and there are big savings to be had compared to pot grown specimens.
Apologies if I’ve mentioned this before, we seem to be under the cosh from the box tree caterpillar. This pest has only been in the UK since 2007; it was first found in the southeast of England it has since spread across the UK. They are difficult to get rid of and can survive the winter months. This caterpillar will ruin box hedging and bushes if you don’t catch it early and treat throughout the year. Dyffryn Gardens has taken loads out and will not be replacing as it is so destructive. This pest is not going away so unless you are prepared to fight against it, don’t purchase.
Lighting a bonfire? Please check for hibernating hedgehogs, I’ve been told by some of the older residents that they’re nice roasted, but only in foil with seasoning.
Take care and happy gardening