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Garden Tidy-Up

February 1, 2018


An experiment with cutting Helleborus argutifolius has worked in as much as the stems remained upright in this decanter for five days. I cut two and held them head down to walk back to the kitchen (aiming to keep any liquid in the stems) then I held the cut ends over a gas flame for 60 seconds. They have lasted five days but interestingly each morning I found that one of the flower heads had drooped.  I topped up the water and within ten minutes the droopy stem was upright again.

All it takes to get me outside is an hour or two of sun so last week under a blue sky I decided to rake off leaves that were still loitering since Autumn. These were mainly from the Hydrangea petiolaris that lines the garden walls and the leaves had dropped at the back of borders out of easy reach.  I had hoped that over Winter the worms would drag them in but one look at the untidy mess prompted a gentle raking session. This long-handled rake is really useful for weaving through established plants at the back of borders. The three prong head is easy to manipulate and is light enough to avoid damaging existing plants. The smaller one is great on the allotment where a surprising number of leaves fall from ancient trees that surround the site. The broad bean row was smothered in crisp, decaying leaves and the short rake plus a short-handled hoe quickly cleared the ground.

I am trying not to bend too much at the moment so a kind garden fairy filled this sack with the raked off leaves and all from just one small bed. It’s now stored behind the garden shed along with six other large sacks ready to mulch the ground in Autumn.

In order to get ahead with some preparation for the growing season I started a tray of Centurion onion sets off in seed tray in-fill packs. Found in Wilco and good value at 3 for a £1 they are designed for seed sowing but there’s plenty of room for these onions plus compost. They will be kept inside for a few weeks and planted on the allotment when the green shoots are up.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 2, 2018 12:42 pm

    I’m glad you had some good weather to get outside. I was interested to read how you deal with your onion sets. Here in central Italy I plant mine out in November; this year there were more sets than I needed to fill the allocated bed so I planted some quite closely together to use as spring onions; some I planted into a seed tray (in the greenhouse) for even quicker spring onions. This may seem as expensive way of achieving spring onions but I don’t have much success growing them from seed!!

    • February 2, 2018 12:50 pm

      I am experimenting with the onions partly because there’s a lot to do on the allotment before I can sow them direct. The ground is now horribly wet and cold and I hope to arrive with a tray of sprouting onions in a month or two. Also I can plant them in trays here without bending !!!!

      • February 2, 2018 5:13 pm

        I pulled something in my back last week so I can totally relate to that!

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