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Ramblers and beetroot - This week in the garden

Weekly jobs to keep your gardens looking lovely all year round

Welcome back to my weekly jobs, gardeners.

The nights are drawing in a bit more each evening now. We are now approaching the beginning of the end of summer and so our gardening jobs start to turn to cutting back and tidying of the garden, in readiness for the next season ahead.

Some of our herbaceous perennials can be cut back now, as they finish flowering and start to die back. Consider leaving a few though not only for winter interest in the garden over winter, but also to provide food and shelter to wildlife over the difficult and cold months. They will really appreciate our gardens to stay just a little bit wild.

So, here are a few jobs to keep you busy in the garden for the next week to come.

See you next week, folks.

Plant bulbs for Christmas

I know, it’s the ‘Christmas’ word again. But with a little bit of planning now, we can have beautiful flowers ready in time to bring in to the house for the festive season.

Hyacinths, amaryllis and ‘Paperwhite’ daffodils can all be planted now to get a headstart. Hyacinths in particular have a wonderful fragrance and will fill your house with it.

Bulbs can be placed into a pot of compost and watered in well. Amaryllis bulbs can be soaked first before planting to rehydrate the roots.

Place the pots of bulbs in a dark place that is fairly cool. Once green shoots start to appear, then the pots can be brought inside in the house. Then you will have lovely flowers ready in time for Christmas.

Prune rambling roses

Ramblers are impressive climbing roses, but sometimes pruning of different types of roses can be complex.

Rambling roses are not repeat-flowerers, so they only flower once during the summer. Once they have finished flowering, ramblers can be pruned. Pruning of roses helps to keep them healthy and productive. If left, they can become straggly and will produce less rose buds every year.

When pruning ramblers, aim to take out one in three of all the oldest stems. This will thin out the growth to prevent it becoming too overcrowded. Prune out some other stems that have finished flowering and tie in new stems to the supports. Cut back the side shoots to finish.

Look out for clematis wilt

Clematis are beautiful climbers that are popular in many gardens, with a large range of varieties, flowering at different times of the year. If you are looking for a climber for your garden, there is definitely a clematis for you.

However clematis can be susceptible to a fungal disease called wilt, so it pays to be vigilant of your plants. Clematis likes to be planted deeply in a nutrient-rich soil that is shaded. However in many situations, they are planted in dry, shallow soil, so some problems can occur.

Check for fungal disease of the foliage, as affected leaves may have leaf spots or the stalks turn black. If the case is severe, then the clematis may not survive.

The best method of control for clematis wilt is preventative. Try to mulch your clematis deeply to protect the roots and cut back all infected growth. Dispose of this affected foliage to avoid contamination of the soil.

Harvest carrots and beetroot

Carrots and beetroot are brilliant veg to grow and they are easy too. Growing your own fruit and veg is very rewarding, it is a healthier and more sustainable way to live, and it’s probably a lot easier to do than you might think.

At this time of year, if you sowed carrots and beetroot in the spring, they should be about ready to be harvested. Carrots are usually ready to harvest between twelve and sixteen weeks after sowing.

This means that you can sow continuous crops of these vegetables to ensure that you have a regular supply of veg available all through the growing season.

Check your carrots and beetroot now to see if they’re ready to be harvested. Carrots will be ready when they’re a good size. They’re best picked when they’re ready and not left too long in the ground, as the flavour will deteriorate.

You will know when your beetroot is ready to be harvested when there is about an inch or two poking up above the surface of the soil.

Happy harvesting, gardeners.

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