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Nature blog - Jenny Bourne

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The RPA Nature blog with Jenny Bourne.

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This is without question the quietest month of the year for sowing and planting. Seeds of overwintering crops should have been sown at least a month or two ago, and it will almost certainly be too cold and damp to sow or plant anything successfully. The exceptions are garlic cloves, rhubarb sets, and bare-rooted fruit trees, bushes and canes, but only if the ground is not wet or frozen.

Fruit trees and bushes

Plant new, bare-rooted trees and bushes now. Prepare the ground in advance by clearing all weeds and digging in plenty of well-rotted manure or compost. December is your last chance for planting young, bare-rooted peaches and nectarines.

Secure newly planted trees to stakes with special belt ties. You may need two: one at the bottom and one at the top. The stake should remain in place for a few years – at least until the roots have established themselves firmly enough to support the tree.

Secure newly planted trees to stakes with special belt ties. You may need two: one at the bottom and one at the top. The stake should remain in place for a few years – at least until the roots have established themselves firmly enough to support the tree.

Garlic

Plant only if the weather is mild and only if the soil is not frozen or waterlogged. Otherwise, wait until February or March.

Rhubarb

Rhubarb is dormant now, so plant new sets or divide and re-plant old crowns. Rhubarb will tolerate the cold – in fact it needs a certain number of cold days – but doesn’t like being waterlogged.

Raspberries and blackberries

Plant new, bare-rooted canes of raspberries, blackberries, and hybrid berries if you didn’t do so last month.

Before planting any soft fruit, prepare the ground thoroughly. Remove all perennial weeds and dig in plenty of well-rotted compost or manure. Give your plant a good soak in a bucket of water before removing it from its container or wrapping.

Before planting any soft fruit, prepare the ground thoroughly. Remove all perennial weeds and dig in plenty of well-rotted compost or manure. Give your plant a good soak in a bucket of water before removing it from its container or wrapping.

SOW

 

Broad beans

PLANT

 

Vegetables

Garlic

Rhubarb sets

 

Fruit

Apples

Apricots

Blackberries

Blackcurrants

Blueberries

Cherries

Figs

Gooseberries

Nectarines

Peaches

Pears

Plums

Raspberries

Redcurrants

Whitecurrants

 

 

 

Text and photographs copyright © 2010 Alan Buckingham.

 

Allotment month by month by Alan Buckingham, front cover thumbnail Allotment Month by Month
(Dorling Kindersley, 2009)
Grow Vegetables by Alan Buckingham, front cover thumbnail Grow Vegetables
(Dorling Kindersley, 2007)
Grow Fruit by Alan Buckingham, front cover thumbnail Grow Fruit
(Dorling Kindersley, 2010)