One of the more interesting aspects of gardening is the identification of areas in the garden which have different climates. In these locations, we can grow plants that may be different from those of our neighbours and friends. Identifying microclimates also allows gardeners to plan their garden for the best results. To understand microclimates is to understand your garden, its orientation, soils, slope (if any), shelter, setting of the house, buildings, and anything else that directly effects the site. Gardeners also need to understand the microclimates of rainfall, sunshine hours, prevailing winds, wind types, temperature variation and the like. It is the combination of these factors which creates microclimates in the garden. Every garden has microclimates. Here is a description of some of the factors.
June means winter is here. Fortunately we’ve had some rain but more is needed to increase soil moisture to a point were it is no longer in deficit.
The last of the leaves will have fallen so now is the time to give the whole garden a good clean up, removing all the leaves, weeds and plants that have finished.
Pruning fruit trees can be started but only on fine sunny days, there is no great hurry yet!
May heralds the end of autumn and the beginning of winter so many of the tasks this month involve cleaning up around the garden and doing repairs and maintenance on green houses, shade houses and any structures used for climbing plants. Autumn has been mild and dry so far, so many of the plants have not yet dried off (dahlias and begonias) or frosted back. This may delay lifting them for the winter but if you want to plant some of the winter /spring plants you can lift them and place them in trays to dry off. Spring bulbs will need to be planted before the end of the month as the colder wetter weather will make it more difficult once it arrives.
This month is the transition from summer to autumn and a very busy time in the garden. Nights are cooler and morning dew is on the grass.
Pip fruit harvest time is here with apples and pears at their very best. Choose only the very best, sound fruit for storage over the winter and the second quality fruit for now, or to make into sauces or jelly.
April is the real month of autumn when the trees put on their spectacle of coloured leaves. Although we are approaching the end of the growing season for summer fruit, vegetables and flowers, we still have time to prepare the ground for the autumn planting of trees and shrubs.
This is a busy month for bulb planting and for winter annuals such as pansies, violas, polyanthus, primulas, wall flowers, forget-me-nots and poppies.
February heralds the beginning of peak harvest time for most of our fruit and vegetables that were planted in Spring and early Summer before Christmas. The flower garden will be blooming as the dahlias, begonias, perennials and Summer annuals reach their showy best.
The longer days of Summer are here along with the warmer days and nights which means plants will grow rapidly. There are many tasks in the garden that will need to be attended to on a regular schedule.
We have had some useful rain in the last month but not enough to sustain good plant growth so watering is needed. Watering is best directed to the areas of the root zone of the plants and given a good soaking so that they may need to be watered about once every 10 to 14 days dependant on how hot and windy the weather has been.
As I write this it has been raining overnight (18mm) which is the first real rain that we have had over the last month, the plants will really appreciate this and it will mean a few days without the need to water the garden.
I noticed that some plants are showing signs of significant frost damage which is causing the leaves to be rather distorted. This may appear as if the plants have been harmed by a herbicide, given time they should grow through the damage.
The frost may have also caused the fruit set on stone fruit plants to drop so it may be a light crop this year.
Spring has now arrived and in my garden plants are really moving into growth. The weather has been on the dry side with only 4mm of rain at the time of writing, for August we would expect 40mm so it is dry. The Spring bulbs will need to have some water if this dry spell continues so that they can grow well and be in good condition to produce flowers next year.
The apricot, peach and nectarine are in full flower now which is about 2 weeks earlier than usual so hopefully there will not be any hard frosts that can damage the flowers. The soil is now dry enough to dig over and work up to make a good friable soil ready for seed sowing or the transplanting of seedlings. read more…
We have had a very dry autumn. The soil is still relatively warm and the small amount of rain has not penetrated deep into the soil. Some bulbs are confused. Narcissus that usually flower in late winter are blooming now. Narcissus ‘Grande Primo Citronaire’ and Narcissus ‘Nylon’, which usually flower in late July, are coming … Read More