Happy New Year


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A happy new year to you all. I hope you enjoyed your Christmas as well. I write this article in early December and we have only just had our first proper frost ! I’m still seeing some summer bedding plants that have some flowers on and bulbs forcing their way up as if it’s spring. The weather to the end of  2011 was certainly different from the last few years but by now (January), some sort of normality should be here so the winter work can start.

Any pruning work of major limbs of trees and shrubs can be done at this time of year with less chance of disease getting in, although if possible it is always worth sealing any cuts with special sealant, available from most garden centres or DIY stores. Any hedges that have not had a prune back can be given a trim too and if you haven’t already done it, all your herbaceous plants can now be cut down to around ground level . All the leaves should be down by now, so get them off the lawn.

I always like to tidy my borders up with a good mulch at this time of year. You can not underestimate what a good inch or two of well rotted compost does for the borders. All plants, from the small to the large, benefit from a mulch and you don’t necessarily have to dig it in. I always put it on top and let the worms do the work. A mulch, apart  from obviously giving the ground a feed, also gives the soil a better structure and helps it retain moisture. Many of my customers have been amazed by what a good mulching this time of year does for their borders; improving growth and colour and sometimes bringing back plants which were seemingly on the way out.

This new year also brings a new venture for us as well, as we are now on Twitter. If you go to the Twitter website and search for @selwoodgardens we will be tweeting as often as possible so please follow us for regular updates about all things garden. And while you’re there, why not follow @sandhurstdirect for all things Sandhurst and the surrounding areas. I’m quite happy to reply to any tweets if possible and give advice… as much as you can in a 140 characters!

Now is also a good time to put some compost on your veg beds and let the frosts break it all down, ready to be dug in before the new season’s sowing. You can start off some early sowings in late Feb under a cover of carrots and lettuce and it’s also the time to get your garlics into the ground. If you’re like me, the new seed catalogues will be landing on your doorsteps around about now so get your orders in early especially for things like seed potatoes and onions. Also why not try some new packets of seed whether they be veg or flowers. The choice you get from seed catalogues far exceeds what any garden centre could ever offer so give it a go.You never know what you could grow.

Towards the end of Feb, weather permitting, you can get your hollow tine rake out (or hire a machine!) and scarify any lawns and aerate them. This will stand them in good order for the year ahead. If you have roses in the garden, now is the time to give them a good cut back. Take out any dead wood and remove any suckers.  Always look at the structure of the plant when you’re pruning so take your time and when the pruning is finished why not give them some rose feed -  it will reap real benefits come flowering time. Also look out for any diseased stems (often showing up as black spots on the stem) as disease can spread through roses like wildfire.

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