Colin Evans garden tips
Our gardening wizard reveals his top tips for your garden this week, which includes laying down mulch and looking after your rose plants. You can contact him below or listen to his advice on BBC Radio Berkshire every Saturday from 1pm.
With the wet weather and the blustery days the garden has taken a bit of a beating recently.
I have noticed that some of the pots on my terrace are filling with water even though they have holes in the base and they are raised on little blocks.
This is because so much rain has fallen that the small particles of soil block the irrigation holes and causes water logging and if this is allowed to continue the roots will simply drown through lack of oxygen.
Unblock your pots
I have turned all the pots on their sides a and pushed a wire into the drainage holes to unblock them.
Also I have been checking the staked and tied trees in my garden to ensure they are still well anchored in position because if I leave trees loose in the ground the hollow made by the rocking trees will fill with water a and maybe freeze over if we get a hard frost.
I've also checked fencing panels and attended to any posts which have become loose. The order of the day is to check the garden over at least once a week to make sure the various weather conditions are not destroying the garden.
Now's the time to be thinking about what you will plant for next season's fruiting. Most of us have a place either in the garden or the patio for a Fig and if you have, the best type is Brown Turkey.
Fig Brown Turkey
This exotic but hardy fruiting tree is best sited onto a south or south westerly facing wall or fence with a little shelter from strong winds.
If you have the space then this great fruiting plant is worth a try. Once you have acquired your Fig then plant in a multi-purpose potting compost in a container measuring about 18 inches in diameter and plunge the pot with the planter tree into the ground with a little showing above the surface of the soil.
Cover the surface of the pot with gravel to keep the roots cool and prevent water splashing onto the foliage. All being well you should be picking fresh figs during August and September.
Mulch all evergreens and fruit trees with compost or leaf mold and if you have pulverised bark then that makes a good mulch too.
This helps to hold the moisture, though after some very wet days seems a waste of time, but, believe me a few days of dry weather will dry the soil out some some mulch will help to retain it where it's needed.
Also just loosen the soil surface to allow air to get into the soil and put a few handfuls of spring feed at the base of the plants.
Evergreen hedges such as Leylandii will benefit from a trim at the top and light trim at the sides.
Some gardeners worry that this could open up the trees to frost damage but in my view all the time conditions are mild it makes good sense to start training these unruly subjects before they get out of control.
Put rose plants in to an unheated green house for early blooms either for cutting and bringing indoors or simply leave them to add colour on dreary winter days.
last updated: 21/01/2008 at 18:23
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