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West Bridgford
Nottingham NG2 6JN
0115 837 8439
24 hr / 365 days
Mon - Fri: 9:00 - 17:00
Out of hours service

Garden Diary

This Months Garden Diary
December

It's time to review the plants in your garden that easily survive hot, dry summers and those that struggle. Dig out shrubs that have died and consider their suitability for the position and the soil. Replace with more suitable species after you have enriched the soil with plenty of organic matter to hold onto as much moisture as possible.

Make a note of the successes in the garden and vegetable patch that are worth repeating and the failures that need avoiding.

While native trees perform well in the colour stakes, showier garden plants such as Japanese maples, liquidambar and euonymus provide the spicy shades of scarlet, yellow and orange to brighten the run up to winter. The sun has little power to warm the soil and rains are plentiful to bring back soil moisture to normal levels.

DECORATIVE GARDEN
The November weather has been very mild and many people are now starting the big autumn clear up. It's a good time to trim back summer flowering shrubs and to keep trees within reasonable boundaries. Candidates for cutting back hard include the butterfly bush (Buddleia) and lavateras. The stems of tall roses are also best trimmed back by around a third to minimise any wind rock.

Not all shrubs will appreciate a winter trim, so don't get too carried away with the secateurs. Cutting back spring flowering shrubs such as forsythia, prunus, viburnum and flowering currants will ruin the forthcoming display, so leave them well alone until summer when they have produced all their blossom.

Your garden should be blessed with plenty of seeds and berries to delight the local bird population. Hedgerow hawthorn and holly produce attractive berries and cotoneaster and pyracantha offer similar food. But however abundant the berries in your garden, wild birds will appreciate supplementary feeding from your bird table. Use packet seed that includes nuts and other goodies rather than simple bread crumbs to ensure your feathered friends get a mixed diet that is rich in various nutrients. Blue tits and other song birds will be attracted by black sunflower seeds and peanuts hanging in string bags. And all wild birds seem to appreciate the suet cakes of fat and seeds that build up their resistance to the cold weather.

LAWN CARE
Left on the lawn even for short periods, fallen leaves encourage diseases and can lead to bare patches where grass is fighting for light and air. That's why it's best to remove them at weekly intervals so problems do not build up.

There are plenty of leaf blowers and vacs to reduce the toil of this regular job, some of which will even shred the leaves as they are collected.

Your grass rarely stops growing completely and trimming lightly will be required on a monthly basis during a bright mild spell. To keep the grass tidy during winter, adjust the cutting height of the mower so that the grass is left at least 3cm (1in) long. This will avoid any potential for scalping and thus reduce the amount of moss that can infiltrate into bare patches.

With warm weather you may see an increase in worm activity. Worm casts play havoc, making lawns look messy and ultimately encourage weeds and weed grasses. You can help deter earthworms by collecting up fallen leaves, this will remove surface food which encourage worms to cast. A wire rake is good for removing casts, alternatively use a brush.

THE PATIO GARDEN
Alpine plants growing in sink gardens or stone troughs will flower better next spring if they are protected from regular winter rains with a sheet of clear Perspex. As their name suggests these high altitude plants are not too bothered about really cold weather, but they do tend to rot off if roots are permanently wet or rain is allowed to stagnate on the foliage. Many of these alpine plants are naturally dormant under snow cover where they have cold but dry conditions, so water from the sides if necessary and place the troughs in the best light conditions possible.

Remove pumps from ponds if they are not to be kept running throughout the winter and clean them thoroughly. Remove tender plants such as water hyacinths and store in a bucket in a greenhouse or other frost free light place. A covering of fine netting will help to keep falling leaves from fouling the pond and also deter birds of prey who may swoop in to take your fish.

GROW YOUR OWN FRUIT & VEGETABLES
There is still time to plant fruit trees, canes and bushes for long term production of luscious berries and tasty fruit.

As land becomes free, dig over the area adding organic matter to parts of the vegetable garden that are not going to grow root crops next year. Continuously improving the structure of the soil with Soil Improver or Farmyard Manure will pay dividends with better plant growth and improved drainage especially of heavy clay soils.  Soil improved in this way encourages a larger, stronger root system that is able to use the extra water and nutrients held in the soil.

From all at Greener Gardens have a Happy Christmas and prosperous new year.

If you would like help with any lawn or hard surface projects, don’t hesitate to call Greener Gardens on 0115 837 8439. We would be delighted to provide a no obligation quotation.

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Office

  • 32 Mowbray Gardens,
    West Bridgford,
    Nottingham.
    NG2 6JN

Where we work...

We operate both North and South of the River Trent, many of our customers are located in: West Bridgford, Radcliffe on Trent, Bingham, Cotgrave, Tollerton, Keyworth, Ruddington and North of the River: Beeston, Chilwell, Wollaton, Bramcote, Nottingham, Mapperley and Arnold.

Call: 0115 837 8439 or email for a FREE quotation.

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