August in the garden

One of the best sounds for me in a garden or on a allotment is the sound of a hoe as you slide it across the soil in your rewarding war against the weeds that appear like magic in front of your eyes, that one was not there a few minutes ago, they arrive to test your sanity and eyesight, but what a rewarding sight when you’ve finished hoeing and your piece of ground looks immaculate until tomorrow or after the nights rain.

That’s what we gardeners live for, isn’t it? Seriously though we have proved this year really regular hoeing by this we hoe every day or every couple of days cuts down on weeds as you are not giving them chance to recover and when hoeing carefully around your plants it creates what I call a dust mulch which slows down evaporation from your soil.

One last thing about hoeing, if your life does not allow you to weed as regular as you would like do not then allow the weed in question to set seed, remember the old saying one years seed equals seven years weed.

Vegetable gardeners remember it’s not too late to plant out winter veg in your gardens, we have planted out kale, cabbage, onions and towards autumn time garlic needs to go in, a quick word about garlic, it needs between 9 to 10 months growing but what people forget is it needs a cold spell, this helps the growing bulb form into cloves.

A job I completed just before typing this article was summer pruning our pear trees. I restrict the growth height of our pear trees for one simple reason so I can reach the fruit but more importantly at this time of year I reduce all the vertical growth to create the spurs for next years fruit also cut out any dead, diseased and damaged branches, by doing this it removes foliage that is blocking the sun from ripening this years fruit and maintains the shape of the tree.

Pruning is not that hard just take your time and look at the tree, talk to it and it will repay you with many, many years of fruit.

To summarize, cut lateral growth in winter to make it grow more strongly and cut vertical growth in the summer to restrict it and to create fruiting spurs. Oh before I go, remember the spud I planted in a potato grow bag, well see photo for the result.
Until next time Good Gardening


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HEALTHY KNOWSLEY with Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health for Knowsley and Sefton
on August 7th, 2018

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