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13 November 2014

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Colin Evans

You are in: Berkshire > Local radio > Colin Evans > Colin Evans garden tips

Pink and red roses

Pink and red roses

Colin Evans garden tips

The weather has taken a turn for the worse and the frost is now wreaking havoc in gardens across Berkshire and beyond. Luckily Colin has some great advice for keeping your potted plants in tip top condition.

Cold mornings and frosts make me feel like lighting the fire and staying indoors, though there's still loads to do in the garden. If we get a few more dry days it's worth remembering that some plants will move about in the soil, especially if strong winds give them a battering.

A trip round the garden to firm them is a worthwhile investment. Don't forget, trees may need to be checked to make sure their stakes and ties are still in place and firmed up, if necessary.

Garden pot with plants

Plants that are left to their own devices, once they have been blown about in the early winter will struggle to get going once spring has arrived.

I had a large terra cotta pot with a superb Californian Lilac (Fremontedendron Californium) inside. It was knocked over and smashed during a particularly strong gust of wind.

Although the pot was destroyed I have re-potted the shrub to keep the frost from damaging the soft adventitious roots.  Remember to be vigilant around this time.

Colin's plant of the week

Prunus Lucitanica or Portuguese Laurel is a good hedging plant. It can be planted now, either as a pot grown or a bare rooted specimen.

This evergreen supports bright white flowers during the summer which fill the air with a heady perfume during the evening.

This is followed by masses of deep purple berries that look more like Cherries.
The birds love them, they'll have a feast during late autumn and winter. This Laurel will grow quickly in most conditions.

TOPICAL TIPS

1. Plant roses if the ground is not too wet or frosted. The garden centres have some good deals now. This is because they need to sell off last Summer's stock before Christmas.
Once your rose is in the ground, be brave, and cut the shrub back to half it's height. This will encourage it to make rapid growth once the new growing season gets under way.

2. Keep the compost heap topped up with fallen leaves and grass cuttings. Be sure to cover the pile as wet weather will only make your accumulating compost even wetter. Make sure that the heap has plenty of ventilation and add a compost accelerator. This can be purchased at the garden centre. Get the job right now and you could be putting superb compost on your borders by spring.

3. House plants will need re-potting, so check out any that look a little unloved. Always use proper potting compost and never mix it with garden soil. Better still, if you are low on potting material, wait until you have the right quantity of compost.

Prunus lusitanica

Prunus lusitanica

Tidy up your plants by trimming off dead leaves and flowers. If you have plants that are still happy in their pots, just scrape off a little from the top layer of compost and replace it with a fresh batch.

Keep your plants evenly damp and feed them from time to time, especially if they're flowering. They'll look good throughout the Winter months.

Happy Gardening

last updated: 31/10/2008 at 16:23
created: 31/10/2008

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