This post was most recently updated on July 10th, 2017
Welcome to Winter! I don’t know about you, but there is something magical about this time of year. The cool crisp sunny days, the time to snuggle by the fire with a good book, and the space to plan and dream about the coming warmer months.
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There is not a great lot to do in the garden this month, but on the warmer sunny days, there are a few things to encourage you to get out in the fresh air.
This is a good time to expand your rhubarb beds. If you divide and replant the crowns every 3 years to ensure a good crop.
It is also a good time to pull out perennial weeds and give the whole bed a good manure and a sprinkling of blood and bone – about 100g/m2 or 4oz/10sqft.
Lift the crowns and chop them with a sharp spade. Each piece needs to have 2-3 buds and some root attached for it to grow.
You can pot up spares pieces to sell or to give away. If you are putting in a new rhubarb bed, choose a cool spot with good drainage.
Broad/fava beans can still be sown if your soil is not waterlogged and heavy.
If Winter frosts are not to severe you can plant out cabbages and cauliflower transplants.
Pruning of existing pears and apples can be done once the leaves turn yellow. Make sure that you use sharp, clean secateurs and pruning saws and, as with anything, it is worth getting good quality tools and looking after them well.
Generally pruning is to remove weak growth, branches that cross each other and to cut each remaining stem back to 2/3 of its original length. Don’t be afraid to be quite brutal.
Also remove any laterals and little shoots below the main branches of the tree.
Every cut surface must be covered with pruning paste to prevent disease getting into the tree.
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