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It’s that time of year when one has to admit that some of that scrumptious summer veg is well and truly past its best. Suddenly, it's time to clear away spent plants and prepare the soil for autumn and winter plantings.Forking over some soil
’re showing their autumn colour, you’ll have the best idea of their potential.Autumn is the ideal time to plant deciduous trees and shrubs. Warm soil and moisture promote good root-development, helping plants to settle in before harsh winter weather. A
, stopping them from munching my winter lettuce.
and snails are attacking my fruit, but are investing the most energy in munching my overwintering brassicas and winter lettuce.We even found a slug sliming its way across the kitchen floor, having stowed away in some apples we had brought inside to put
-pack containing six gorgeous, well-formed, compact, vigorous, perfect-looking shrubs, for planting in winter containers. It includes hollies, euonymus, variegated pieris, Choisya ternata, which look great in that sort of planting. But my point is, six fantastic
well in clay soils, which, after heavy rain, can pack tightly around the cloves and prevent them from reaching their full size. This winter has been phenomenally wet with most of my vegetable garden looking like a paddy field. Every time I check
, they stay so healthy looking because they're given an annual wrap-up to get them through the winter. In a place otherwise devoid of trees it was great to see this pair of rowans, and the effort to wrap them up every year seemed well worthwhile. My family
corner of Hampshire?I assume the weather conditions last year were responsible for the lack of dandelions, and perhaps the long, cold winter and burst or warm spring sunshine responsible for the recent dramatic display. I guess I'll not be alone
’re also starting to snuggle down for the winter. My veg plants benefit from the extra warmth provided by fleece and cloches. I like to keep out the cold by drinking twice as many cups of tea.
I hope you had a good Christmas and a break from your normal routine - maybe a little extra sleep and a lot of extra time in the garden or greenhouse. I’m enjoying the post-Christmas peace and quiet, and the chance to spot some winter birdlife