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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

A yellow rose

Plant of the week: yellow rose

Colin Evans garden tips

You can start tidying up your garden of any wintery debris with the help of Colin Evans. Also find out his topical tips to get your horticularal haven spruced up for the warmer months ahead.

Christmas is well over now as is the shortest day and time to look forward to brighter days with the evenings drawing out.

Though the days lately have been very cold making me glad I made the effort last year and placed all my tender shrubs like Oleander in the shed where the frost has been kept at bay.

A winter garden

A winter garden

Although we still have a long way to go before spring arrives it is nevertheless inspiring when the evenings draw out and I feel excited that the new seasons planting and sowing are not too far away.

The problem is, we don't know what January and February will throw at us weather- wise. But as I say, it's still time to get all excited about plans for the garden during the early stages of 2009.

My main aim before getting too carried away is to tidy up the garden and remove the last pieces of autumn debris and a quick check on all plants that need a little protection from the winter weather are still snuggly wrapped up.

So before you get carried away remember that winter is still very much here, just make sure the wild birds are fed and watered and that if ice forms on the fish pond you make a little air hole somewhere in it.

Colin's plant of the week

I just love yellow roses and this is just the time to be thinking of where you will plant your latest addition.

There are so many varieties to choose from but my favourite has to be Rosa Chinatown which has clear yellow blooms which will make a wonderful hedge.

This rose has the advantage of very attractive light green foliage making it a good background for the sweetly-scented yellow flowers.

This modern bush rose will flower from early summer through to the chilly nights of Autumn. Expect this particular variety to grow to around 90cm / three feet tall.

TOPICAL TIPS:

1: Plants in pots can suffer when frosts are hard. So make sure all
outdoor planted pots are draining as any excess water will freeze. Crack stone or clay pots and will destroy new roots which will be making growth soon.

It's best to unblock any holes beneath the pots and stand them on some bricks or pot stones to keep them just off the ground.

Compost

Compost

A small covering of new compost will not go amiss either as this will freshen up the existing compost and form a light covering over any roots that have grown quite near to the surface.

Avoid watering and feeding until we are sure all dangers of hard frosts are over.

I prefer to leave my pots well alone until at least early March if weather conditions allow.

2: Cane fruits like autumn raspberries should be pruned. Select at
least five young healthy stems and tie onto wires and then tip the ends back to dormant buds.

Start pruning your raspberries

Start pruning your raspberries

The other cane, especially the old ones must be removed right back to the main crown of the plant. Add a little leaf mould or forest bark as a mulch and remove any weeds and derbies at ground level. In the spring the tied-in stems will make rapid growth.

3: Check that fence posts are still stable and are not rotten and that
tree ties and stakes are still doing their job.

Check that the soil levels at the bases of trees are not hollow as water left standing there can freeze and kill trees and shrubs if left in those conditions for too long.

Garden fence

Garden fence

Also, make the most of the dormant growing conditions to repair fences while you still can as once the weather gets warmer new growth will be made on climbing plants and work carried out them will damage new growth.

Also paint fencing panels, pergolas and decking with water-based preservative to add more life to old structures and use the opportunity to make the changes by using one of the many colours now on the market.

last updated: 08/01/2009 at 12:04
created: 08/01/2009

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