December 1, 2023

Isle of Wight Observer News

The Island's favourite newspaper

GREEN FINGERS: What a wet and dreary last few weeks we’ve had!

2 min read

I usually start off my article with a comment about the weather and, this month, there is no exception. After all, gardening and the weather are integral to one and the other.

What a wet and dreary last few weeks we’ve had! With the ground saturated, there have been few opportunities to get out into the garden let alone do any jobs.

However, there are some jobs that can be done, especially if you are lucky enough to have a greenhouse or polytunnel in which to work.

There’s no better time to have a good clear-up ready for the spring. Cuttings can still be taken from plants such as geraniums and fuchsias, especially if you can keep your greenhouse frost free.

It’s not too late to sow sweet peas; in fact you can sow these anytime from mid-October until early February.

I have just started to lift my dahlia tubers. Ideally, I would wait until the leaves have been frosted, but with the exceptionally wet ground, and still no sign of an imminent frost, I’ve decided to make a start.

I cut the stems down to around six inches. I then turn them upside down and leave to dry out on the bench in the polytunnel for around three weeks. Once dry they can then be stored away until the spring. Just remember they must stay dry and frost-free.

The leaves have started to fall off, so try to rake most of them up and add to the compost. This will break down over time and make a super mulch for your flower beds.

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