From Michael Coulter

January has been a month of real challenges in the garden this Summer with winds, hot days followed by cool days and some rain. Despite this I have had plenty of good growth and fruit to harvest although some plants are running a little later than usual.

Much of the work to be done in the garden is around maintenance; weeding, watering and Summer pruning.

My crops of strawberries and raspberries have been very good and I have been able to make plenty of jam as well having plenty to eat and share. As I write this I am looking at my apricot tree which is laden with fruit, checking each day as to when they will be ripe enough to pick.

The dwarf peach tree gave me a yield of about 10 kg. A bit small but very good flavour, I did thin the fruit but I think that I should have thinned out more, must remember this for next year.

As I did not plant all my vegetable plots at the one time this year I have a much better constant supply. The tomatoes are ripening now so plenty of pulp is being made and frozen for the Winter.

For any gardening queries or advice over the holiday period refer to our online facebook group which will be monitored over that time.

Lawns

  1. Water and feed lawns to keep them active

  2. I have seen some grass grub beetles flying so now is the time to treat the lawn

  3. Mow regularly

  4. Watch out for brown patches which may be a fungal infection and treat if needed

Fruit & Vegetable Garden

  1. Lift and dry off garlic

  2. After stone fruit has been picked, prune the trees to encourage new growth for next season’s fruit

  3. Check pip fruit for pest and diseases and treat as needed

  4. Continue planting and sowing crops as ground becomes available

  5. Plant leeks and give plenty of fertiliser and water.

  6. Watch out for pests on the outside of tomatoes and potatoes and treat to prevent infestation

  7. Water well to keep plants growing

  8. Remove spent crop residue as this takes up room and can be a source of pests and diseases

Flower Garden

  1. Water regularly to keep plants growing

  2. Dead head annuals and perennials to encourage flowering

  3. Prune roses as flowering flush finishes to encourage more flowers

  4. Keep weeds down before they seed

  5. Lift daffodil bulbs and store in a cool, dark dry place

  6. Sow seeds of winter annuals like pansy, poppies and violas

  7. Prune back any excessive growth on trees and shrubs that may be over paths etc…