The Sunday Gardener's Blog

Gardening jobs this weekend

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Seed trays and root trainers

clematis-montana--and-allium-310x240

 

Some sunshine and fine weather gives a chance to get out into the garden. This warm weather and rise in temperatures will aid germination so now is a good time to start sowing seeds. At this time of year it is important to find somewhere warm to place the trays and grow on the seedlings.

It is still early in the year, and there will be plenty of cold weather to come which means it is best to start with the more hardy seeds. I have just sown around 100 Sweet Peas, a tray of Broad Beans and another tray of Chives. That is a lot of chives, I grow them chiefly for the bees who love them, and to edge the veg plot to attract pollinators. 

Assuming the weather holds this is a good time to prune Clematis. This is an area of difficulty for many gardeners but if Clematis are not pruned the flowers will be higher and higher on the plant, and become less.

There are lots of  tips about pruning Clematis, and remember only to prune Groups 2 & 3. The one Clematis not to prune, are the early flowering types such as Montana,illustrated.

This is also the time to prune Buddleja and if you are growing strawberries, as I am, they will need a clean up. Most will have tired old leaves which all need to be cleared away. I then cover the plants with a cloche to induce an earlier strawberry crop. Tips on growing strawberries.

Lovely to get out into the garden and these jobs can all be tackled throughout February.  

The weather continues fine and I pruned 3 Clematis, all mid summer flowering Group 2 clematis. Hopefully the good prune will ensure some lovely summer flowers. Below are three images, before pruning and note the tangled mess of branches particularly the weight of top growth. After pruning and you can see the shrub is much reduced down to around waist height and all the top growth has been removed. Any dead stems have also been cut off and the growth tied in. The third image is a close up from which you can see that growth is cut back, wherever possible, to good buds.

Don't worry about pruning Clematis they are relatively tough, and vigorous. Providing you do not prune the early flowering types (check out types of Clematis,) and you cut to a framework of buds around waist height you will not go far wrong.

 

Clematis Group 2 before pruning Clematis group 2 after pruning close up clematis group 2 after pruning

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