In the Garden: August 20, 2010

  • The season of panic for gardeners is nigh. The slow moving cold days of winter are over and the rush of spring means the pressure is on to get everything done. Priority number one has to be pruning grapevines if you have them – their sap is on the move already. If you are not sure what you are doing, our Outdoor Classrooms on the topic (both winter and summer pruning) show how – click on the Outdoor Classroom topic to the right or type into the search box immediately below the photo of yours truly on the top right.
  • Kiwifruit are pruned in a similar manner to raspberries – take out old fruiting canes and weak growths, leaving the best of last season’s new growth to set fruit for next season. It is usual to tie kiwifruit along horizontal supports to increase crop yield and to keep them under control.. We saw them trained to cover pergolas in northern Italy where they were regarded as rather more exotic than here. They were very effective and we are thinking of trying it.
  • Keep sowing peas fortnightly and sow onions from seed.
  • Get a mulch onto the asparagus patch if you are lucky enough to have one. It is the optimum time for feeding this crop as it breaks dormancy and comes into growth.
  • It is the last call for using hormone sprays on the lawn, if you feel you must. After this next week or so, put the spray right away to back of the cupboard until all deciduous plants in your own and your neighbours’ gardens have put on their fresh foliage later in spring. You can cause terrible leaf damage which can last until leaf drop next winter, or even kill the plant in bad cases, with even the slightest whiff of spray drift at the wrong time.
  • It is the time for digging and dividing spring and summer perennials which will be coming into growth.
  • Do not delay on sowing new lawns or patching balding old ones. The lawn we showed in the last Outdoor Classroom is now a pleasing swathe of green though still very fresh.
  • Apparently the use of Cold Water Surf as a moss killer is widely known, judging by the calls I received after last week’s Countdown to Festival. And it is quick – I tried it on a mossy path and within three days it had turned brown. Don’t be too generous lest you be like the person who told me she laid it on so thick that her lawn foamed when it rained. Another caller told me it does not have to be CWS – any washing powder will do so I have bought the cheapest I can find to experiment. Be a little cautious though – it will either be the alkaloids or the phosphates or something caustic that causes the moss to die. In moderation, septic tanks show these are not a problem but you probably don’t want to carpet your environment in them. Vinegar also works.

2 thoughts on “In the Garden: August 20, 2010

  1. Bernie Sullivan

    I read in your August news letter that cold water surf is good for killing moss in lawns.
    How is it applied? Do you mix it with water and at what rate.

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      This is purely anecdotal advice – it appears that quite a few people have tried it successfully but I don’t claim to be an expert on it all. Scatter the powder dry. It only kills on contact so you want to be reasonably thorough but not too generous.

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