Dear Gardeners,

Firstly, for those of you who have enjoyed a real Christmas tree this year, please do contact your local Council to see where you can take it to get it shredded. Some places allow you to take the bark chips home, which you can then compost for at least 8 weeks before spreading onto your garden. That’s real recycling!

  • Seed potatoes are now in stock so it’s a good time to get your first earlies chitting to give you the earliest start when spring arrives. Chitting is where you encourage the seed tuber to start sprouting by putting it in a cool, light spot - maybe a kitchen windowsill, on a flat tray, dish or even in egg boxes. When you plant them out, be careful not to break these new shoots, which gives you a head start
  • Look at your garden for dull or empty patches and consider brightening them up at this time of year with one of the best plants for winter colour - the Hellebore. They come in many flower colours, different foliage colours and usually evergreen, single and double flowers and are very hardy and easy to grow even in very shady gardens.
  • For the energetic ones now is a good time to get some well-rotted garden compost or farmyard manure to spread over your allotment, vegetable patch or new bed or border. Leave it on the surface for a month or two and then dig in. 
  • The coldest months of winter are the time to prune apple and pear trees but cordon or espaliers should be done in the summer.
Finally, make sure you are resting well as the gardening season will be upon us soon.

Until next month, happy gardening!

The Diamond Doctor