LeoBay Gardeners Corner





Over wintering Pelargonium’s.

LeoBay Summer 2012 033

Our Geraniums/Pelargoniums have given us so much pleasure

Over the last few years, they never let you down if you take a little care with them, during the summer months you can take cuttings [we will talk about this at a later date] which is simple to do and will give you many more free plants. However, during the winter months, before hard frosts, it is advisable to lift and store them.

First remove flower heads and cut them back to around 10cm/4inch, pot them in John Innes No.2 compost and store in a cold frame or greenhouse, water only occasionally over winter, follow this easy step and enjoy your Pelargoniums again next year without the need to buy more should you lose them to the winter.

 Make a compost heap..

To get the very best out of your vegetables and plants they need a good grunding, lets face it if you have an average size garden or bigger buying compost can become expensive, so why not make your own, it’s simple to do, and if your worried about an invasion of rats, don’t, this would only happen if you put cooked food products or egg shells that have not been washed on the heap, first you need an area of ground that the compost can sit on, we have made a frame out of pallets, just like a big box really, this is a good idea as it allows airflow which the compost needs, the idea is to have your compost not too wet and not too dry, in winter place a cover over the top it will keep it dry and warm, sprinkle with water if it becomes too dry to help with decomposition, we never turn our heap as we ensure good layering and moisture levels, on your heap start off with a layer of green i.e. garden waste, finished bedding plants kitchen waste [remember no cooked food or cold meats etc] next a layer of Brown i.e. paper cardboard spent compost, toilet roll inners egg boxes etc, but not what I call shiney cardboards or paper, keep layering this way and in a few months time you should have lovely crumbly compost that will have many uses, and best of all it’s Free.[you can help the process by adding a compost activator which can be bought from the £1 shop or any garden centre.

Sowing Green Manure…

Green manure can be sown in to any bare ground over winter to put nutrients back in to the soil, sow into your raised beds, vegetable patch etc and leave until the spring then dig in, [before it flowers] in the meantime it will suppress weeds and add colour where it would otherwise be brown and bare, again this can be bought from good garden centres, there are a few varieties to choose from so give it a go.



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Leaves are falling rapidly, and the wind & rain, is increased, tender plants will need protecting, from frost, gales, and freezing rain. Move plants in to Greenhouse, or into a sheltered spot, but if you can`t it is worth wrapping plants or pots,

Remember winter can be tough on birds, in terms of water and food, SO keep them well supplied and top up, everyday.

Protect Perennials, Shrubs & Evergreens.

Although, most perennials are hardy, when it comes to the cold, and frosty, weather, some are not including shrubs and evergreens. Frost on the ground can kill them, to make sure they survive, place in a good 2-3″ mulch around the base, to protect the crowns, and the roots, you can use straw, wood chippings, or even old carpet, Fuchsias and Ceanothus definitely, needs protecting.

Roses: Collect and dispose of all, fallen leaves, especially those that are diseased and infected, with a Fungus such as Black Spot. DO-NOT place rose leaves, on the Compost Heap, bin or burn them!!!! Prune tall roses by a third to avoid wind rock damage.

CATS:  Cat are a big problem in the garden, leaving there little parcels every where, to surprise you when you do a bit of hand weeding, when trying to cover up the parcels, they can damage, your tender little plants , Here are a few, hints on deterring cats from your Gardens.

Purchase some Dry grounded Chili, or ground some yourself, and sprinkle over the areas were you wish to keep them off.. Prickly Method: gather fallen holly leaves and keep the Hawthorn cuttings from the summer and spread them around your plants and borders.

Garlic: Sow NOW for that generous crop of fragrant fat bulbs, as Garlic needs a good frost to encourage, them to split into cloves. Separate the cloves, and bury them in a row, about 15cms apart, with the pointy end up, approximately 2cm below the soil, if the garden is heavy soil, plant them, in pots, in a cold frame, to start them off, and get a  start before planting them out, next spring.

Stuff Straw into the crowns of the trees to protect, them from frost, cover with bubble wrap or fleece.

Heap dry Autumn leaves or straw over the Agapanthus, this will give extra protection, from frost,

Leaf Mould: Collect all those leaves currently falling over the lawns and broader, as its a waste of a precious resource to burn them, or send then to local tip. Leaf mould acts as, a wonderful, soil conditioner, opening up heavy clay, and holding on to moisture, in lightly sandy soil, bulbs like snowdrops love leaf mould mulch, and in spring it imitates there conditions on there woodland floor. Leaf Mulch can also spread thickly on the ground, can cut down on the weeds and watering and also keeps your plants in tip-toe condition.







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