Snowflakes & Snowdrops

25 January 2021

Hello again, and we have left 2020 behind. I am working away on tidying and finishing off the Winter pruning in the orchard on the apples and pears. This is the best time to look at the bare structure looking at any crossing, damaged or diseased growth. The trees are in good health and not much has had to be removed.

It is important not to take too much off as the more cuts we make we may encourage water shoots which can become a problem in time, and we can weaken the tree if we cause too much stress. So, if you see areas of concern that you can see being a problem but not an urgent danger of causing stress to the tree try and do it in stages.

The shape! Is it your desired shape? Whatever shape you are going for espalier trained, goblet, open centre, or main leader it is a great time to view the tree as a skeleton. All its good and bad are on show. Always remember to use sharp, clean tools and always clean after finishing each tree as bacteria and diseases can be easily transferred if this is not carried out. I have recently found that it is sometimes best to use a sharp saw to cut some intermediate size branches opposed to using loppers as loppers tend to crush the tissue of the bark and the saw leaves a much cleaner cut in turn helping it recover more readily and leaving it less vulnerable to disease.

I am delighted with the results of the heavy rose pruning which was carried out. It has resulted in an abundance of healthy buds and hopefully a great display of those blooms we all love. We have taken several cuttings of climbers and hope that these will take root and be introduced into the gardens in the future for all to enjoy.

We look at the fields and gardens saturated with the heavy rainfall of recent weeks months. In between frost and snow I have been able to aerate the Oval lawns and plan to aerate all lawns before the end of the Spring. This relieves soil compaction and introduces air into the soil profile for roots to inhabit. These lawns are looking dense and healthy after the moss treatments and I hope to be able to produce these to a fine quality in the coming season.

We go into the coming weeks with hopefully longer, brighter days and the snowdrops and snowflakes popping up to put on a wonderful display. I look forward now and plan for spring and the tidying up of areas before those Spring tasks. Plenty to keep busy with and plan for, so stay safe and get planning for your garden 2021 enjoyment.

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