August 17, 2007 Weekly Garden Guide

Regular readers will note that a couple of entries, here, are repeated from last week. Space constraints in the newspaper version meant that some entries were held over.

  • An esteemed colleague in a national publication tells us that there are a number of bulbs which can be lifted when in full growth (but probably better done just after flowering) but he only cites snowdrops and bluebells by name. Normal practice is to dig and replant when the bulbs are dormant in their off season but most of us forget where they are at that time. We knew that the English advocate moving snowdrops (galanthus) when in full growth but it appears that it can be done with other types of bulbs. However, if you are going to do this, we would recommend only transplanting to well cultivated garden beds or pots as opposed to field or woodland drifts in harder conditions. It is a big ask for bulbs in full growth to go into compacted, heavy conditions and to settle in well.
  • Make sure you have finished pruning grape vines. The sap will be starting to run and the vines weep and drip for days if you prune them too late.
  • Pruning of deciduous trees and shrubs (excluding cherry trees which are summer pruned) should be done immediately too. This includes deciduous fruit trees. If you have not already given a clean up copper spray to fruit trees and maybe roses, then get onto it.
  • Try and keep on top of the early flush of weeds. Remember the old edict of one year’s seeding equals seven year’s weeding. Preventing weeds from going to seed is much better than eternal weeding which can be very dull and discouraging.
  • In all but the coldest areas, early potatoes can be planted now.
  • Keep sowing a succession of lettuce and brassicas in trays or pots to be planted out into the garden in six weeks.