January 2015

One of the key garden jobs now is pruning wisteria.

In July, you should have cut back the long whippy new growth.

These appear after flowering, and grow amazingly fast, inches every day, twining round every thing they can reach. These must be cut back to within a foot or less of the main stem. In July, count out 5 or 6 buds from where the shoot leaves the main stem, and cut just above the 5th or 6th bud.

 

Now for the January bit! In January, you must return to each of these pruned growths, and cut off another 2 buds. If the plant is old enough (6-7 years) and growing well, this treatment will produce beautiful flowers from each remaining bud.

After pruning a wisteria, don't feed it! They perform much better if they are starved!If you've got any energy left after the wisteria, which can be a long job, how is the lawn looking? Areas which have become thin, for example under trees, will benefit from reseeding at this time of year. Lawns under trees are struggling against a double treat, first from shade, which all lawn grasses hate, and also from a chemical attack by the sugary honeydew which rains down from the trees in summer. This is the sticky stuff you find on your car if you park it under broadleaved trees in summer. It's basically just tree sap excreted by the tiny aphids who live under the leaves, and lawn grasses hate it almost as much as they hate shade.

 

In winter, there are no leaves on the trees, and during mild weather, grass seed grows well, and reseeded lawns will recover quickly, and be lovely and green again by spring. If the weather turns cold, with frost or snow, the new seed will simply lie dormant till milder weather, so it wont be wasted, and its very easy to protect the seed from hungry pigeons!

Talking about birds, in January the birds in your garden will be getting very hungry, even in mild weather, but especially if its cold, co please don't forget to feed them.

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Frognal Gardens

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