April 11, 2008 Weekly Garden Guide

  • Plant spring maturing cabbages, caulis, lettuce, spinach and broc. Strawberry runners can be also be planted out now. Plants need replacing often and you may well be able to harvest your own runners right now to save having to buy any.
  • Successful vegetable gardening involves good hygiene and tidy habits so a tidy up round removing spent foliage, getting rid of weeds and general housekeeping is always desirable but especially as you harvest autumn crops and prepare for winter.
  • Wrench trees and shrubs which you plan to move during winter. Wrenching involves cutting around the roots of the plant. It can force the tree into early hibernation but also encourages the plant to form fresh roots from the cut area. Plan to move as large a root ball as you can physically manage and the larger the top of the plant, the more roots you need to plan on keeping. After wrenching, leave the plant to rest for several weeks at least and don’t think about moving it until we get a great deal more rain.
  • With temperatures cooling down considerably, evaporation has slowed right down but do not forget to keep watering container plants as long as the promised rains fail to materialise. If your evergreen shrub in a container suddenly starts to drop its leaves, it is suffering extreme stress, probably from drought. Or it may be dead already.
  • Leaf fall appears to be starting early this year which is in part due to trees coping with the stress of the drought. Raking the leaves back under the plant or into a damp heap in the shade will encourage them to break down into lovely leaf litter which you can then rake back out as a friendly mulch.
  • Do not delay on the pre-winter tidy-up trim of the hedges.
  • The quote this week is from E.B.White (author of Charlotte’s Web) who wrote:

    Our vegetable garden is coming along well, with radishes and beans up and we are less worried about revolution than we used to be.