Seeds to plant now:
Indoors or in a heated greenhouse
Shows and events:
Welcome to the UKGardening Internet site.
The UKGardening web site has been running since 1998. The idea behind the site has always been to provide what we think will be interesting and useful information for the novice gardener.
Jobs to do in the garden this week.
- If your pond has frozen over melt a small area of ice with hot water, to release any build up of gases that could harm your fish, Do not break the ice, the shock wave created may kill pond life.
- After a frost try to stay off the grass. Treading on the lawn in frosty conditions can damage the grass.
- Refirm the roots of any shrubs that may have been lifted by frost.
- Choosing a real Christmas tree.
- Switch outside water taps off at the mains and leave the outside tap open, draining any water, so the pipes don't freeze.
- Put out feeders for birds, not forgetting fresh water. Encouraging birds into the garden will help reduce the number of insects and slugs.
- Spray fruit trees. When all the leaves have fallen, spray with a winter tree wash, these are now vegetable oil based, as the traditional tar oil washes have been banned. This cleans the branches and kills fungal spores and over-wintering insects and their eggs. Note: Only use on a calm, still day, cover nearby ponds and green leaved plants, and wear suitable protection (gloves, goggles and mask are advised).
- After all the windy weather check fence posts and panels are still secure and repair as necessary. Make sure that the shed roof is still water tight.
- Keep an eye on the weather forecast. Cover shrubs that are likely to be damaged by frost with garden fleece, sacking or an old light blanket.
- Move pots and planters closer to the house so you can enjoy the colours and textures of the plants through your windows.
- On a dry still day rake up fallen leaves, don't put them on the compost heap, as leaves break down in a cold process, whereas a traditional compost heap breaks organic matter down in a warm/hot process. Put them into a leaf composter, or make leafmould.
- How to make leafmould.
- Left on the lawn, leaves will prevent light reaching the grass, and trap moisture, killing the grass and encouraging the spread of moss. Collect the leaves with a garden rake or leaf blower. I then run over the leaves a few times with my lawnmower (with the grass box removed), so the leaves are shreaded, this speeds up the rotting process as well as reducing the amount of space needed to store them. Pile the leaves, or shreadings into black bin liners, add some water and after tying the tops of the bags, poke some holes in the side with a garden fork and store them in a secluded part of your garden. In 12-18 months you should have some nice leafmould.
- If you have any decorative plant pots that aren't frostproof. Empty them of all soil and store them in the shed, greenhouse or garage.
- Plant or move roses. They like plenty of sun and a clay soil. Leave 60cm (24in) between plants to allow air circulation, which will reduce the chance of infection.
- As the nights draw in houseplants will require less feeding and watering. However as the temperature drops outside the central heating goes on and the temperature in the house tends to go up. Ensure your houseplants don't dry out.