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by Chilli-head 4th May 2021, 8:26 am

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» A late start to the February garden
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default December in the garden ?

Post by Chilli-head 1st December 2019, 8:49 am

The quietest month of the year, in the garden at least ?  Anyone doing much ? The gardening magazines usually say browse seed lists and sharpen your secateurs - which reminds me I need to do both of those.


Last edited by Chilli-head on 1st January 2020, 9:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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default Re: December in the garden ?

Post by freebird 2nd December 2019, 10:44 pm

Well now, a spell of dry sunny, if cold, weather enticed me outdoors and I finally moved the rose bush that was occupying what is to be my asparagus bed. Also had to find homes for many cyclamen plants that grew around it. We have more dry days forecast, so will get that plot covered in composted manure, ready for planting crowns in the spring.

Oh, and I have ordered three apple trees - 2 step-overs and a super column as I haven't room for full size trees. They will come bare rooted, so will need to be planted as soon as they arrive.
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Post by freebird 6th December 2019, 11:17 am

Apple trees planted.
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default Re: December in the garden ?

Post by Dandelion 15th December 2019, 3:14 pm

Oh well done FB. I'm waiting for a spell of dry weather which coincides with me not being at work so that I can finish digging up a very large hydrangea bush. It's not your ordinary straightforward urban hydrangea, it's probably something like H Arborescens, and is huge. It was given to me as a cutting by my mother, who discovered that she could propagate it quite easily, and now it has taken over part of the garden I can see why it was easy to grow! However, it is really NOT easy to remove: it has a tangle of roots and runners on the surface of the soil, and the occasional really deep root, and in our clay soil is quite firmly rooted, thank you very much. I don't want to undo the work of the knee surgeons so I'm doing a little bit at a time, but I don't want spring to come and the undug bits to throw up shoots again! It's too muddy today so I'm taking it easy indoors.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by freebird 15th December 2019, 10:01 pm

Huge considerations, Dandelion. Having spent a couple of months cutting down and digging out large, overgrown shrubs, I can imagine exactly what you are up against.

What I would say is, if the hydrangea wasn't inclined to sucker, then any roots left in the ground aren't likely to regrow. I would dig out the soil as far as practicable and then cut the roots as far into the soil as you can. Long deep roots tend to be anchorage roots. I would certainly remove as much surface roots and runners as possible though. Good luck!
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Post by Ploshkin 16th December 2019, 9:53 am

I've done diddly squat in the December garden. When there's less than 8 hours of daylight they tend to get filled rather quickly and there hasn't been much incentive to get out there in the constant rain. I'm hoping to get over to the polytunnel to finish clearing up and get some muck on the beds as that is the first place I will be doing any planting in the new year. Outside the fruit cage plot is still just a mess but I have cut down the bushes that need taking out or moving - I will need some muscle to assist with that. I need go get some new fruit ordered.
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default Re: December in the garden ?

Post by Chilli-head 16th December 2019, 10:26 am

I did a little in the greenhouse, another trug of chillies returned to the kitchen to be stewed with beef and butternut squash for dinner tonight. I needed to clear out some of the moldering plants to make space for overwintering things - the citrus mainly. I cut some ivy and holly for Mrs C-H to make her wreath with - there are so many berries on the holly I expect we will have birds roosting on the front door !

But it isn't very appealing out there is it. Very sodden out here.
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Post by Ploshkin 16th December 2019, 12:19 pm

You're right Chilli Head, it's not very appealing. Yesterday it was warm, dry and pleasant at first light. An hour later it was nearly dark with torrential rain which, by the middle of the day, became a thunderstorm right on top of us that left everything white with nearly 2" of hailstones.
The thing that gives me the incentive to get out there is when the days start lengthening noticeably. Before that I just want to hibernate.
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Post by freebird 16th December 2019, 5:40 pm

I've no plans to do any more in the garden, except maybe get some compost onto the place where the asparagus crowns will go. I was out for an hour or so today, replanting a fuchsia that came up 10 days ago to make room for an apple tree. Should have been done much, much sooner and hoping it's still viable as it was a real beauty. Fingers crossed.
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Post by Dandelion 21st December 2019, 12:36 pm

I keep thinking that I'll go and sort out the shed or greenhouse while the weather is so ghastly, but I have to admit that it doesn't take much to persuade me to stay in the house! I love the fact that soon we'll be seeing the days lengthen (and hopefully experience some drier weather). What's the consensus on which the shortest day is? I had always thought it was the 21st, but have heard it might be the 22nd...

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by freebird 21st December 2019, 10:32 pm

It varies Dandelion. Usually the 21st, but not always. It is on the 22nd this year.
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Post by Dandelion 29th December 2019, 5:50 pm

I didn't know that. Maybe it fits in with leap years?

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by freebird 30th December 2019, 4:12 pm

We've had two lovely days here, and I've done a lot of clearing in the garden. Just woody stuff that has been lying around awaiting shredding.

Had a rethink about where to put my asparagus bed. It will mean yet more clearing though ....
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Post by FloBear 30th December 2019, 7:30 pm

Well, there's not much of December left but I decided I needed to try and get my gardening mojo back. I've printed a calendar for January and am going to aim to do something every day, 15 minutes minimum. Adapted from an idea on another forum.
Today I swept up leaves on the pavement in front of my house and put them in the leaf-mould bin. So that's a start!
On wet days it will be a job in the GH.
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Post by Dandelion 30th December 2019, 9:20 pm

That sounds like a very good idea FloBear.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Ploshkin 30th December 2019, 9:26 pm

I think I ought to adopt that Flobear. One thing I do do is once I start on weeding I try to fill a trug a day with weeds.
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default Re: December in the garden ?

Post by Dandelion 30th December 2019, 9:27 pm

Still hacking away at the impenetrable hydrangea plant here - there is an impressive pile of bits of roots and runners, and still about half a square metre still to dig up and clear. What you said was helpful Freebird (thank you) - I have a trusty pair of loppers I've been using to cut through roots. I think I'm now down to the heart of the plant so it's more dense and deeply rooted, but I'm digging away the soil around it to create a trench, and trying to gradually loosen it all. We'll have to borrow a pickaxe if all else fails. The awful thing is that I've given a friend a cutting of the same perishing plant - I may need to contact her and confess...

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Dandelion 30th December 2019, 9:29 pm

I'm looking forward to growing some cottage garden plants in the soil where the hydrangea was when it's gone, but I may leave it unplanted for a season just in case anything hidden begins to grow back.

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by freebird 30th December 2019, 9:30 pm

It must have been leaf mould bin day today, then! As well as shredding I was also gathering leaves - they were originally attached to the pile of stuff for shredding, but it had hung around so long that most had fallen off. Since I have emptied the dalek of all the crap ahem, non-composted material that previous people had left, I've adopted it as my leaf mould bin. It's a big container, and now 3/5 full.

Goodness! Three posts while I was writing mine. Dandelion - why not grow annuals there for next year. Won't matter too much if something does start to regrow.
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Post by Dandelion 31st December 2019, 4:57 pm

freebird wrote:

Goodness! Three posts while I was writing mine. Dandelion  - why not grow annuals there for next year. Won't matter too much if something does start to regrow.

I have got some seeds for giant decorative Dill, so I may sow some of those around the bed - I think the Dill would give the Hydrangea a run for its money! I just have a bit of a horror of not getting the Hydrangea fully removed before it regrows. As I child I often started projects or jobs without finishing them (much to my parents' frustration, as my room was full of bags of knitting, sewing and other craft projects) and I think it's given me a strong desire as an adult to get things finished, possibly being a bit too focussed sometimes...

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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