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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

Dahlias

Dahlias

Colin Evans Garden Tips

Summer is over, but gardeners are still enjoying mild weather. Colin tells us it is time to get pruning in preparation for the hard winter ahead, and plan for fireworks next year by planting a dazzling array of dahlias.

At this time of the year I make the most of mild weather by getting into the garden and just having a bit of a clear up. The summer flowering shrubs are still doing their best to provide us with some late colour but as I look around I notice that some are looking past their best.

A dahlia

A dahlia

This, then, is the time to get out the pruners and reduce back some of the shoots on shrubs made this growing season to help the plants retain energy to get them through what might be a hard winter.

Old flower heads and untidy laterals and branches can be trimmed back too and all the old leaf litter and rubbish under each plant cleared away to prevent over-wintering fungal spores infecting healthy tissue next year.

Weeds are doing well with the damp warm days so remove them as soon as you can as they will be taking valuable moisture and nutrient from the soil.

Colin's plant of the week

DAHLIA 'Fireworks Mixed' is a recent addition to an already large group of varieties. I like this in particular because of its dwarf growth rate making it an ideal dahlia to plant in mixed borders. As the name suggests 'Fireworks Mixed' is an array of colours right through from white, yellows and reds and the blooms are borne on bushy plants each clothed with uniquely stripped  blooms, which erupt into a wide range of vibrant colours providing a dazzling display throughout the summer.

TOPICAL TIPS:
1:   Rake over area's already prepared for a new seeded lawn. Get the soil to a fine tilth by raking over in all directions and get the soil level followed by firming the seedbed by lightly treading over the ground. Lightly rake the firmed ground and leave for a few days to settle after which new grass seed can be distributed following the instructions for rate of application which will be on the container.

Firm the seed in place with the back of  a shovel and then using a wire rake gently rake the seed just below the surface.

Garden pot with plants

Potted plants

2: Transplant potted shrubs into new containers if they are getting pot
bound. Before removing, give plants a good watering the day before and then pot on into larger pots making sure the hole in the base of the new pot will allow water to flow freely through. Once transplanted place back into the original position which the plant has become used to.

3: Abritia will be going past its best now with fading flowers so cut
back hard and wait for new growth which should be seen within about two weeks of trimming. With luck you may get another flush of flowers before the first hard frosts.

Happy Gardening

last updated: 02/09/2009 at 13:15
created: 02/09/2009

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