Action Plan: Shea Burn’s Important Jobs for Your Garden This Week
- Ciar Byrne says now is a good time to plant a deciduous hedge like beech
- Gardeners add time to take root before spring and summer
- She warns that it may take three to five years for the hedge to become a thick barrier.
Plant of the Week: Iris Unguicularis (Algerian Iris)
The iris blooms with a sweet fragrance in the middle of winter, adding color and fragrance. Native to the Mediterranean, I. unguicularis prefers well-drained, neutral to alkaline soils. Plant in a sunny location around September. The best varieties include deep purple Mary Bernard and pale blue Walter Butt.
hedge your bet now
It’s a good time to plant a hedge of deciduous trees such as beech, hawthorn and hornbeam, as long as the ground is not frozen or flooded.
Or try native hedging such as blackthorn, hazel, and dog rose to bring a rural feel to your garden.
If you plant them in the ground while their roots are bare and dormant, they will have enough time to take root by spring and summer.
Using a string tied between two sticks, mark a straight line where you want the hedge to be and dig a trench about 10-15 cm deep. Add humus-rich organic matter, such as well-rotted farm manure.
Then place the individual plants 45-60cm apart in the opening until they are covered a few inches above the roots.
Hedges may not grow much in the first year, but within three to five years they provide a thick barrier that helps reduce flooding and pollution. Also great for wildlife.
cut back perennials
Alternating torrential rains and freezing temperatures have taken a toll on the gardens. I usually leave seeds and pastures as much as possible, but this year everything turned black. Taking advantage of the dry weather forecast for this weekend, we plan to cut down the remaining perennials with hand tools. This is also an opportunity to assess which plants need to be lifted and divided in the spring.
Now is a good time to plant deciduous hedges such as beech, hawthorn and hornbeam, as long as the ground is not frozen or flooded.
It can be hard to get the urge to get out in the garden during the winter months, but I’ve found that organizing my tool shed gives me the kickstart I need. Remove everything from it and clean it well. If you haven’t already done so, wash out your old flower pots and reuse them. Sort the seeds and organize them into recycling boxes or tins depending on the month you sow. Soak a large tool in a bucket of warm water and wipe it off with an old towel. My number one tip for cleaning pruners and hand tools is of course to use biodegradable baby wipes.
It can be hard to get the urge to get out in the yard during the winter, but I’ve found that organizing my tool shed gives me the kickstart I need.
I grow raspberries and want to try something new. Any recommendations?
Mr. T. Clawson, York.
Try the tayberry, a raspberry-blackberry hybrid bred at the Scottish Crop Research Institute in the 1970s. They are a bit like loganberries, but are tougher and produce twice as many fruits. Rubus ‘Medana’ is an original tayberry that tolerates both sun and shade and produces heavy clusters of dark purple berries from June to mid-August.