Tag Archives: preparing garden for winter

Prevent snow damage in your garden

Prevent snow damage in your garden

snow damage to plants, prevent snow damage in your garden, Garden jobs for winter, jobs in the garden for winter, your garden in January, preparing the garden for Spring, Garden in winter, snow damage to plants, prevent snow damage in your garden, can snow damage plants.

Pretty as the snow may be, there are situations where it can cause damage in your garden that will take some time to rectify. If you know what to expect, you can reasonably prevent snow damage in your garden, or at least the worst of it.

Firstly, the weight of snow build up can bend and distort the shape of your ornamental shrubs. While the damage is not permanent it can take a lot of preparatory work and months of growing to restore the preferred form.  It is very frustrating to have mis-shapen plants after the prolonged work getting the shapes right.

Damage can be more extreme

In extreme cases the weight of snow can cause branches to snap, a much more permanent type of damage .  In this case prune out the damaged area before growth resumes in the spring.

prevent snow damage in your garden
The weight of snow can cause branches to break

That snow lying on top of some plants can actually kill off the growth. This will leave large brown patches of dead leaves that will take up to a year to be replaced. Bay, especially if formed into a globe, ball or lollipop where snow can sit on top, are particularly vulnerable.

To prevent snow damage in your garden you can use a broom or rake to shake off the snow. If the snow has settled and then frozen it will be harder to remove. If it has become ice then its best to leave it until the weather warms up.

This of course assumes that the snow is an occasional visitor.  If you get snow on a regular basis then a more pro-active approach is needed. This may involve gathering or binding shrubs together with tape, or covering with fleece. Even then it may pay to shake the snow off before it builds up.

 

Simple rose pruning rules

Simple rose pruning rules

When to prune roses, simple rose pruning rules. how to prune roses, what type of rose to prune when, Garden jobs for winter, jobs in the garden for winter, preparing the garden for spring,

There are seemingly many rules to consider when pruning roses, so daunting that most people choose not to bother for fear of causing more harm than good.

But some simple rose pruning rules applied at the right time will easily enhance your roses regardless of what they are.

Simple rose pruning rules

Consider first, does the rose flower just once? If so prune in late summer after flowering is completed.

The objective is – as with all pruning – to keep the plants free of dead, diseased and damaged wood (the three D’s). Crossing or rubbing branches and spindly growth should also be removed.

Avoid any excessive build-up of the older, less productive wood that can crowd out the centre of the plant. Opening up the plant to form a goblet shape is the plan.

Simple rose pruning rules

Remove older branches from the centre if necessary. If they become leggy and bare at the base, remove one or two stems back near the ground to encourage new growth from the base.

If on the other hand, you don’t know if the plant flowers just once,  prune your roses in February to March. Use the simple rose pruning rules below, as described by the RHS.

Prune in late winter before dormancy breaks

The idea here is to make the cuts before the plant breaks dormancy in the spring.

  • Cuts should be no more than 5mm (¼ in) above a bud and should slope away from it, so that water does not collect on the bud. This applies to all cuts, whether removing dead wood, deadheading or annual pruning.
  • Cut to an outward-facing bud to encourage an open-centred shape. With roses of spreading habit, prune some stems to inward-facing buds to encourage more upright growth.
  • If a dormant bud is not visible, just cut to an appropriate height
    Make your cuts clean and neat using clean and sharp secateurs. For thicker stems use loppers or a pruning saw.
  • Prune and dieback to healthy wood. Cut out dead and diseased stems and spindly and crossing stems. Aim for well-spaced stems that allow free air flow.
  • On established roses, cut out poorly flowering old wood. Saw away old stubs that have failed to produce new shoots
  • With the exception of climbing roses and shrub roses, prune all newly planted roses hard to encourage vigorous shoots.
  • Trace suckers back to the roots from which they grow and pull them, rather than cut them, away.

So there it is, simple rose pruning rules that we can all follow to keep your roses easily maintained, and enhanced.

From the ground up can show you how to prune your roses and other shrubs.

And if you need any extra guidance, search the RHS website for rose pruning, where everything is explained very clearly.

Garden care Marlow, gardener Marlow, Garden service Marlow, Gardener Bourne End. Pruning rose, simple rose pruning rules

Preparing the garden for winter

Preparing the garden for winter

Garden jobs for winter, jobs in the garden for winter, your garden in November, preparing the garden for winter

As the flower garden slows down for the year, the door opens for next year. Now is the time save plants for next year, plant for spring, and let winter help you out with the hard work.

When dahlias blacken with the first frost cut back the foliage, then lift the tubers, clean and trim off the thin long roots. Stand them upside down to make sure they’re dry before storing them away in dry compost, or wrapped in newspaper. Or if frosts don’t touch your garden, mark where they are and leave them in situ.

preparing the garden for winter
Dahlias should be cut back when blackened by frost

There is still time to buy and plant spring flowing bulbs. Choose your supplier carefully and you’ll get quality and a bargain to boot; wholesale suppliers are already reducing prices on remaining stock. My favourite is Gee Tee (gee-tee.co.uk), I’ve used them for nearly 20 years. You can continue to plant bulbs into the first weeks of December.

If your soil is heavier, get it turned before the frosts come. Just dig, lift and leave, and let the frosts break down the clods for you. As the temperatures drop these lumps will form a perfect growing medium, ideal for areas where you’ll be sowing seed – vegetable beds or borders for annuals.

Dormant season is busy for gardeners

The dormant months – from leaf fall through spring budding – are also the perfect time to prune trees and shrubs. Christopher Lloyd maintained that the best time was when you had time and secateurs in your hand. And I agree, but the down side is that you may have to sacrifice the plant’s crop of flowers or fruit.

Timely pruning will encourage flowers and fruit, create better shape and promote strong growth. Trees that will benefit most are those that will “bleed” if pruned when sap is flowing—including apples, pears and figs, acers, most deciduous ornamental trees, and vines including grapes and wisteria.

Many roses can also be pruned when it gets cold, floribunda, hybrid tea and climbers. In fact if it’s not rambler, you can prune it in winter.

Those ornamental deciduous shrubs that have doubled in size this year can be brought back into line while dormant. They’ll look like a skeleton for a few weeks, but will come back with better shape and vigour.

The golden rules of pruning are the three D’s – dead, damaged and diseased – remove them all while creating an open and uncongested shape. For roses that is usually a “goblet”. With fruit trees Monty Don advocates the should be open enough that a pigeon can fly through.

And if you need any extra guidance, the RHS website explains everything very clearly. Enjoy your garden this winter.

Garden task for November, preparing the garden for winter