Raking, dead-heading and plant protectionPosted By: rocket veg Category: Growing Veg, Seasonal Tips
We are approaching the shortest day of the year and things may appear pretty dormant in the garden and on the allotment, but there are plenty of jobs which still need doing – limited daylight hours and weather permitting.
I have given my lawn a second going over with a wire-pronged rake, partly to remove leaves which, if left to rot, are likely to damage the grass by inhibiting healthy growth; also, to scarify the lawn by removing ‘thatch’ – moss, dead grass etc. Give it a go and you’ll be amazed at the amount of matter that you remove and how much better your lawn will look afterwards. Spiking the lawn with a sharp fork will help air get to the grass roots and aid regrowth when spring arrives.
I’m still dead-heading plants in what passes for my ‘herbaceous border’ (rather a grand description for a short flowerbed in our smallish terraced house back garden). There are several schools of thought about whether or not to remove faded or dead flower and seed heads, some people preferring to leave them as a points of interest in the garden when little else is happening; others regarding dead flowers as unsightly and better off on the compost heap! I have clumps of Sedums and a large Hydrangea - all colour long gone from the flowers, but the shape of the heads is sculptural and curiously decorative. They’ll be left alone until early in the new year, I think.
On the allotment
On the allotment, I have raised the height of the netting covering my precious brassicas as the pesky pigeons have discovered that by sitting on top of the net it sags under their weight till it rests on the tallest plants – my developing PSB (that’s Purple Sprouting Broccoli in case you wondered). The crafty birds then peck away to their hearts’ content, leaving a mass of decimated leaves and ruined flower spears. Tall canes with an empty plastic pot on top are just the job to push the net a foot or so above the plants, the pigeons looking elsewhere for rich peckings.