GARDENING COLUMN: Preparing for wintertime in the High Peak

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After a lovely warm start to October, and plants having another flowering flourish, things are now beginning to look very autumnal all of a sudden, with nights drawing in and a chill in the air, the leaves beginning to fall.

Collect leaves which can be composted down and added to your soil months down the line.

If your soil isn’t too wet to dig over, do that job now before the winter sets in, it is usually to wet to get on it in the early part of the year as this year proved.

Add some peat, grit, well rotted manure/compost from your compost heap will all help lighten it up if you suffer with a heavy clay soil and will help it drain better, which will help with better growing.

Loamy soil is a mix of soil, clay and sand, which can be at times too much the other way and drain away too much water and with it nutrients as with a sandy soil. It’s getting the right balance, but most of my customers have a very heavy soil which needs to be lightened up with the above.

Keep an eye out for frost now. We often get our first proper frost around the end of October in this area, so be ready to dig up any tender plants such as begonias, geraniums, fuchsias etc that you may want to over winter pot up and keep frost free and on the dry side.

My thoughts turn to making Christmas wreaths, all made from scratch, with very locally sourced material’s and my own individual styles to choose from, which I sell from the nursery from the beginning of December.

Then in the new year around end of February , weather dependant, it all starts all over again, but in the gardening job it never really stops, you have to think ahead all the time, it doesn’t happen instantly.

But don’t be too eager, if you start seeds off too soon, you will struggle as lack of warmth and most importantly day light will give you poor germination, wait till early to mid march and you will hopefully get better results.