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Now is the time to Garden

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Traditionally winter is the time to plan next year's garden, to study the seed catalogues, review gardening web sites to decide what new plants and veg to grow next year.

But, every now and again, like now there is a mild spell, warm enough to walk around in a Tee shirt, honestly. This is a great time to garden as you can really see the bare bones of the garden and what needs doing.

Perennial weeds are there to be seen and more easily dislodged. The shrubs, evergreen or deciduous, their shape is much clearer without all the summer planting and this shows which shrubs need tidying up and pruning.

As shrubs get more mature, they can get too large and a good tip is to prune away the lower branches, to lift the shrub's canopy so that any existing under planting gets enough light and space for growth.

There's plenty to be done at this time of year, clearing up the debris, the weeds and the veg plot definitely needs attention. This is a good time to make sure its weed free. Dig or spread some organic compost into the soil ready for planting. Those beds which need fine soil, such as carrots and salad crops, this area needs a good raking to break down lumps and remove stones.

Once done, the veg plot can be covered with black plastic to warm it up ready for the first planting in early spring.

Tip: in warm mild spells open the green house door and ventilate it as much as possible. It's not just the cold which kills plants, the damp does and that thrives on lack of air circulation. Good air circulation will help.



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