Category Archives: breeders

DAPHNE bholua ‘JAQUELINE POSTILL’

gooderham image_new

 

February is here and already the days are noticeably longer, and until this week colder, now it looks like windy and wet weather are on the way.

In my garden this delightful shrubs is in full Bloom. It is fragrant and mine planted in a sheltered patio area gives off a nice fragrance as you walk past.

This is a delightful upright evergreen shrub, providing colour at what can be a dull time of the year.

Easy to grow really in any fertile soil, sheltered area is best, does not like to be transplanted so give careful thought to where you plant it.

Can be grown in containers.

Good for borders

Slow growing very little pruning is required.

HT 200cm Spread 150cm

Hardy throughout UK – RHS H4.

During this month check through all the seed you have collected for any Plant Breeding Projects you are working on or have planned.

During bad weather check through catalogues and online to see what new plants are being introduced this year.

Helps when making comparisons with plant breeding plans you may have.

For developing your new plant breeding selection or new plant discovery I can offer full trialling and new plant development service more details available on my website.

Also pictures can be taken, recorded and stored if needed.

Full Plant Protection applications processed in UK, EU, and other world territories.

Mother stock build up, Plant propagation and virus testing available.

With UK leaving the EU, a Procedural Representative will be needed for making PBR Applications in Europe, I have access to a company in Europe so can easily assist in making those PBR Applications, including sending plants to testing stations which going forward will not be in the UK.

‘GOODY’S GARDENING’ – MONTHLY GARDENING ADVICE

FEBRUARY GARDENING 

February fill dyke black or white!

February can be a month of heavy rain and some winters snow, the phrase refers to ditches being filled with water or snow!

Plants to look for in February

Galanthus

Daphne

Camellia Elegans

Prunus x subhirtella Autumnalis Rosea – Rosebud Cherry

Crocus sieberi Violet Queen

Jasminum nudiflorum – Winter Jasmine

Snowdrops and Crocus will be up now and most likely in flower.

Carry on clearing branches and twigs from any recent storms, good idea to check fences and property borders for damage.

Trimming and tidying of perennials and grasses can continue while weather allows, trim dead leaves off Hellebores shows up flowers better.

Trim shrubs that have finished flowering.

Towards the end of the month ideal time to prune hybrid Tea roses and floribunda, cut away any dead or diseased stems. Make cuts at 45° angle.

If you have winter bedding, deadheading and removing dead leaves will prolong flowering and keep plants looking good.

You can divide perennials now those that have overgrown their allotted space and those you want to move, such as Geraniums.

Prepare beds for new planting such as roses, but remember do not plant Roses in the same area as previously planted.

Improve beds where you have poor drainage by digging in gravel and organic material now is the time for soil improvement when weather conditions allow.

Weeding of borders can also be carried out as these will continue to grow.

Plant Lilly bulbs in pots for summer flowers.

Plant bareroot hedges, like Beech, blackthorn, hazel etc. Soak roots for at least an hour before planting.

Can also plant container grown.

February is also the month to prune buddleia, Spiraea japonica, tamarisk and hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata).

If you have plants in containers then these will need still to be checked for watering, keep them raised to aid drainage.

Dahlias and Cannas stored check for drying out and any disease, remove those that have rotted.

Good time to look through catalogues and order seed.

Last chance to take hardwood cuttings of ornamental shrubs like Cornus, Ribes, Salix.

Cut back ornamental vines.

For lawns you can lay turf and repair lawn where required but avoid wet or freezing weather.

Remove any twigs and branches.

If the lawn needs mowing cut to maximum height to give a tidy up, edging the lawn will give a nice neat finish.

Good time to get mower serviced, check tools and sharpen where needed.

Late summer and autumn flowering Clematis can be cut back to lowest pair of strong buds.

You can trim winter flowering Heathers as flowers fade to keep bushy habit.

Last chance this month for pruning apple and pear trees.

Time to cut back autumn flowering Raspberries and black currents to encourage new canes.

Not a lot to do with the pond if you have one keep from freezing completely.

Clean out waterfalls streams, remove any branches and debris.

For veg garden finish any deep digging.

You can cover some of garden with polythene or cloches to warm up soil for early sowings.

Early sowings under cloches can be made of Carrots, Lettuce, Radishes, Salad Onions and Summer Cabbages.

Plant shallots now, plant quite deep to prevent birds pulling out them out.

Start chitting seed potatoes if you did not do last month.

Jerusalem Artichokes can be planted now, relative of sunflower, very tough will survive in the poorest of soils.

If growing peppers and tomatoes from seed you can start these now in a heated greenhouse, take about 3 weeks to germinate.

Look at storing more water for watering your plants during dry months by installing more water butts.

Mulching is also worth considering best for next month.

If you have alpine plants then some gravel round crown helps with drainage.

Enjoy the Garden, get out there as much as you can during this month, spring is well underway.

SARCOCOCCA hookeriana Var Humilis

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SARCOCOCCA hookeriana Var Humilis
Sweet Box
Highly scented flowers from December onwards, ideal to plant near front or back door, I used to have a group near my front door, from December until February it was a scent you could smell as soon as you walked up the path or opened the door.
Evergreen winter flowering shrub, quite slow growing, tough plants, dark green leathery leaves, small highly scented white flowers, followed by black or red berries (not edible) in the summer, they quite often persist until the winter, prefers full to partial shade, good humus moderately fertile moist soil that does not dry out in summer. Needs little pruning, if any needed prune lightly after flowering. Fertilize early spring.
Height 100cm Spread 100cm. Fully hardy in the UK.

It would be slow to hybridise varieties of Sarcococca!
January is an ideal time to look through seed catalogues looking at what new plants are available before you plan on any crossing or plant breeding programmes.
Check through the seed you have collected, see if any plant breeding projects spring to mind.
For developing your new plant breeding selection or new plant discovery I can offer full trialling and new plant development service more details available on my website.
Also pictures can be taken, recorded and stored if needed.
Full Plant Protection applications processed in UK, EU, and other world territories.
Mother stock build up, Plant propagation and virus testing available.

‘GOODY’S GARDENING’ – MONTHLY GARDENING ADVICE
JANUARY GARDENING

So we start the new year with periods of cold then mild weather. Although we have had some rain it’s quite dry here in Norfolk as I write, the forecast is for windy and cooler conditions, then relatively mild again with cloud but not a lot of rain. Towards the end of the month it may turn colder..
There is still work to be carried out in the garden when conditions allow.

Plants to look for in January

Chimonanthus praecox ‘Wintersweet’
Eranthus hyemalis ‘Winter Aconite’
Helleborus in variety, orientalis types give a good range of colours and give good opportunities for hybridising.
Heathers
Iris unguicularis
Mahonia X media ‘Winter Sun’
Ophiopogon planiscapus – good foliage colour

If you have planted autumn bedding you will still need to keep all baskets and tubs watered and checked each day but reduce amount of watering keeping them moist and not wet.
Plant lily bulbs.
Continue to trim back and tidy garden, clearing weeds, digging over borders ready for mulching in spring. Add bark and gravel to heavy clay soils to improve drainage.
Regular weeding and hoeing whenever you can will keep weeds under control they will continue to grow during periods of mild weather.
Tidy and remove any fallen leaves from borders add them to your compost heap.
Check tubers and bulbs of plants, such as Dahlia, Canna and bulbs that you have stored for signs of rot and dampness, remove any that are rotting, but also if they are too dry they will not be any good.
Pruning Evergreens are best left now until the spring.
Cut back ornamental vines, Ivy, Virginia creeper.
Prune Wisteria by cutting back side shoots, avoid cutting off flower buds.
Prune Apple and Pear trees – avoid periods of very cold frosty weather. Leave Cherries and Plums until the spring to reduce risk of bacterial diseases.
Its still ok to move/plant deciduous plants unless soil is waterlogged or frozen.
Most likely you will not need to mow lawn but it’s best not to let it get too long. If it needs a cut don’t cut in frosty conditions and not too short.
Don’t walk across the lawn in frosty weather, or you will leave brown marks where you have walked when frost thaws out.
Keep clearing leaves off lawns as they will block light, hold in moisture increasing risk of disease, moss and algae.
If you have a pond, put some net across to stop herons stealing your fish.
Good time to clean filters, skim leaves off pond surface and rake leaves and debris out of pond.
Drain down any pumps.
Break ice on the pond by holding a saucepan of hot water on it until it melts through.
Trim back marginal plants.
Check water levels and top up if needed.
If you need replacement pumps, filters etc now may be a good time to look for sales and discounted stock.
In the Greenhouse, finish cleaning.
Brush any snow off greenhouses and polytunnels.
Hippeastrum bulbs, maybe you had one as a Christmas present, now is the time to start them off.
For vegetables harvest any parsnips and leeks.
If you grow peas, put a cloche over the area you will use to sow in, do this a few weeks before to let soil warm up.
If you grow potatoes you can start growing in containers under cover for a very early crop, you will need to fleece up containers during frosty weather if your greenhouse is unheated.
If you have Brassicas remove any yellow leaves as they harbour pests and diseases.
Rhubarb can be forced, place a bin or bucket over the crown, this will force young tender pink stems in a few weeks.
Repair any fences and sheds if they are damaged during periods of windy weather.
Keep patio areas clean of algae and moss.
Patio heaters and chimineas may still be needed for those bright clear nights! It’s a good idea to get your gas patio heater checked by a registered heating engineer once a year.
Good time for planning any new hard landscape projects to carry out over winter.
Build a compost heap for leaves and grass clippings.
When weather allows, not water logged or frozen, digging over soil will expose pest larvae to birds and improve soil structure, do this for all vacant vegetable garden soil in readiness for next year. Add plenty of organic compost from your own compost if you have it
Put out food and water for birds during cold periods, but keep area clean and clean feeders regularly to reduce risk of spreading virus and diseases amongst birds. Cleaning up feed debris will help keep vermin under control.
If you must have a bonfire remember to check that you do not have a hibernating hedgehog inside! – they need gardeners help right now as populations are decreasing.
Clean tools and drain any petrol out of any power tools you will not use over the winter.
During these dark days, its is a good idea to get out those seed and plant catalogues and start planning for next year.
Check through the seed you have collected, see if any plant breeding projects spring to mind.

Enjoy the garden, Happy New Year to you all.

IRIS unguicularis

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IRIS unguicularis

Algerian Iris

Unusual Iris, as it flowers in winter from December onwards.
It is a rhizomatous or bulbous perennial with narrow leaves to 30 cm in height. It has very fragrant flowers, deep violet marked with white and yellow at the base.
Maybe it’s worth collecting seed from this Iris for plant breeding.
Looking for different colours, flower size etc.
You must keep records of any crossings you make. Be critical when making a selection, be prepared to be strict when discarding plants.
Pictures are important so get the camera ready to take photos to record your work.
For developing your new plant breeding selection or new plant discovery I can offer full training and new plant development service. More details are available on my website.
Also pictures can be taken, recorded and stored if needed.

‘GOODY’S GARDENING’ – MONTHLY GARDENING ADVICE
DECEMBER GARDENING

Now the weather has changed to colder conditions the clocks have changed, we had the first frosts of the season, December has started quite wet and windy, having just gone through storm Dierdie, with strong winds and heavy rain the weather has now turned milder, looks like this will be the pattern over Christmas, with a colder spell for January.

There is still work to be carried out in the garden.

Plants to look for in December

Clematis cirrhosa
Helleborus
Heathers
Hyacinthus
Iris unguicularis
Ophiopogon planiscapus – good foliage colour

If you have planted autumn bedding you will still need to keep all baskets and tubs watered and checked each day but reduce amount of watering keeping them moist and not wet.
Raise these up on pot feet or bricks to improve drainage.
Planting tulip bulbs, Daffodils, try some in tubs and patio plants mixed in with bedding to give early colour, still time to do this.
Look out daily for slugs and snails check your local garden centre for best controls, an idea I have seen is to place an old roof tile on ground, snails go under here during daytime just turn over and pick them off each day.
Continue to trim back and tidy garden, clearing weeds, while weather is open lift, divide and move perennials.
Regular weeding and hoeing whenever you can will keep weeds under control they will continue to grow during periods of mild weather.
Tidy and remove any fallen leaves from borders add them to your compost heap.
Good time still to move shrubs and trees if needed.
Now is a good time to carry out soil improvement works by adding compost , good to add also bark to heavy clay soils to improve drainage, frost will help break down soil.
Bring in any tender plants if not already done so, put in greenhouse or conservatory.
Pruning deciduous trees and shrubs can start during this month. Evergreens are best left now until the spring.
Good time now for seed collection now, storage is important, remember cultivars will not come true to type.
Continue mulching borders when its not frosty or snow on the ground.
Continue to mow lawn when needed, while weather is open and temps are above 5°c grass will keep growing but do not cut as short as you would in summer, keep edges neat,
Keep clearing leaves off lawns as they will block light, hold in moisture increasing risk of disease, moss and algae.
Avoid walking on lawn when frosty.
If you have a pond, put some net across to stop herons stealing your fish.
Good time to clean filters, skim leaves off pond surface and rake out of pond.
Drain down any pumps.
Break ice on the pond by holding a saucepan of hot water on it until it melts through.
Trim back marginal plants.
In the Greenhouse, finish cleaning.
Poinsettia are available now keep in a warm draught free room, don’t buy from outside stalls, keep protected when transporting home.
For vegetables there is still time to plant broad beans, Garlic, and spring cabbage plants if you can find them, look in local garden centre.
You can grow herbs over winter if you dig some up and move indoors, they will need good light, don’t overwater.
Sow peas – Meteor sown outdoors will give an early crop next year.
Time to paint fences and sheds carry out any repairs, in the greenhouse replace any broken glass needed before winter.
Pressure wash decking, put away furniture.
Patio heaters and chimineas may still be needed for those bright clear nights!
Good time for planning any new hard landscape projects to carry out over winter.
Build a compost heap for leaves and grass clippings.
Digging over soil will expose pest larvae to birds and improve soil structure, do this for all vacant vegetable garden soil in readiness for next year. Add plenty of organic compost from your own compost if you have it.
Put out food and water for birds during cold periods.
If you have a bonfire remember to check that you do not have a hedgehog in side! – they need gardeners help right now as populations are decreasing.
Clean tools and drain any petrol out of any power tools you will not use over the winter.
During these dark days, its is a good idea to get out those seed and plant catalogues and start planning for next year.
Check through the seed you have collected, see if any plant breeding projects spring to mind.

Enjoy the garden, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to you all, see you next year.

DENDRANTHEMA ‘Pumpkin Igloo ’

Pumpkin Igloo

DENDRANTHEMA ‘Pumpkin Igloo ’

Perennial Mum

Truly hardy garden mums, flowers for over a month, flowering in the UK normally begins around September and continues into November the flowers only being spoiled by the Autumn frosts and rain.

Low growing mounded habit ideal for front of border, ground cover near pathways and border edging, ideal also in containers and patio planters and the other good thing is that you do not need to throw these out, tidy up and they will come back for next year.

Available in a range of colours, from Aris Horticulture USA. Distributed by Must Have Perennials.

So when selecting subjects  for plant breeding you can see it’s important to select for colour and height and also take into account today’s market trends in plants.

Having a series that has variations in colour, flowering either singles and doubles is good and makes it easier to get a take up commercially if there are more to follow.

So if you have different selections of  Dendranthema / Chrysanthemum growing in your garden its worth taking some seed from each, germinating these and growing on to see if you get anything different, imagine a shorter whole new range with different colours, flower size etc.

As you can see from the picture above new cultivars can be created be from plant breeding and crossing. It’s a long process, its good to look at plants in your own garden, looking for improvements that may be possible.

You see with the Dendranthema by getting a shorter flowering plant it makes the plant more fitting for todays market and also for growers more plants can be transported on a lorry in flower as its shorter so it’s a good growers plant.

You must keep records of any crossings you make. Be critical when making a selection, be prepared to be strict when discarding plants.

Pictures are important so get the camera ready to take photos to record your work.

For developing your new plant breeding selection or new plant discovery I can offer full trialling and new plant development service more details available on my website.

Also pictures can be taken, recorded and stored if needed.

‘GOODY’S GARDENING’ – MONTHLY GARDENING ADVICE

NOVEMBER GARDENING

Now the weather has now changed to cooler conditions the clocks have changed we had the first frosts of the season, November has started quite bright, but with clear skies comes the likelihood of frosts at night.

The monthly forecast is looking still quite mild with a chance of high pressure at towards the end of the month which will lead to cooler temperatures and frosts at night.

There is still work to be carried out in the garden.

Plants to look for in November

Alstroemeria

Chrysanthemum

Dendranthema

Geranium Rozanne®  – will continue flowering until frosts.

Hedera – variegated forms

Ilex

Mahonia

Ophiopogon planiscapus

Saxifraga fortunei

If you have planted autumn bedding you will still need to keep all baskets and tubs watered and checked each day but reduce amount of watering keeping them moist and not wet.

Planting tulip bulbs, Daffodils, try some in tubs and patio plants mixed in with bedding to give early colour.

Look out  daily for slugs and snails check your local garden centre for best controls, an idea I have seen is to place an old roof tile on ground, snails go under here during daytime just turn over and pick them off each day.

During this month as the Dahlia finish it will be time to lift and store, lift, and put in a tray to dry out somewhere cool and dry but frost free, when dry plunge in sand or compost and store for winter in frost free shed or garage, keep cool not warm or the tubers will start to shoot.

Begonias should also be brought in, dried out and stored in similar way as Dahlia.

Good time to plant new perennials they will establish before the winter and get a good start in the spring and be ready to have some resistance to drier conditions as they will be more established.

Divide perennials and alpines looking tired and not flowering as well, like Crocosmia.

Regular weeding  and hoeing whenever you can will keep weeds under control they will continue to grow during periods of mild weather.

Start winterising the garden insulating plants like Tree Ferns and Banana’s.

Ideal time now to plant Roses but not where they have been planted before.

Good time to move shrubs and trees if needed.

Bare root  deciduous hedging, trees and shrubs will become available for planting during this month.

Pruning deciduous trees and shrubs can start during this month. Evergreens are best left now until the spring.

Good time now for seed collection now, storage is important, remember cultivars will not come true to type.

You can sow sweet pea seeds now for early flowers next year, sow more in spring for later flowering.

Look out for Vine Weevil damage, damage shows when plants start to wilt, on inspection roots will have been badly eaten

you may also see white c shaped larvae, apply a biological control, plants in containers are unlikely to recover.

Sedums and Geraniums can be badly affected.

Start mulching borders.

Leaf clearing will start now as trees and shrubs start to turn and loose leaves.

Continue to mow lawn regularly, while weather is open and temps are above  5°c grass will keep growing but do not cut as short as you would in summer, keep edges neat,

Keep clearing leaves off lawns as they will block light, hold in moisture increasing risk of disease, moss and algae.

If you have a pond then still keep water circulating, using waterfalls and pumps, fountains etc, until cold weather has started.

Good time to clean filters, skim leaves off pond surface and rake out of pond.

Reduce fish feeding and stop altogether when cold weather starts.

Trim back marginal plants.

In the Greenhouse, clean out all old plants and clean and disinfect greenhouse with Jeyes fluid or citrox.

For vegetables there is still time to plant leeks from leek plants and onions from sets.

Time to plant broad beans, Garlic,  and spring cabbage plants if you can find them, look in local garden centre.

You can grow herbs over winter if you dig some up and move indoors, they will need good light, don’t overwater.

Sow peas – Meteor sown outdoors will give an early crop next year.

Plant Rhubarb crowns, Raspberry canes, Blueberry, Black and red currents.

Time to paint fences and sheds carry out any repairs, in the greenhouse replace any broken glass needed before winter.

Pressure wash decking, put away furniture.

Patio heaters and chimineas may still be needed for those bright clear nights!

Good time for planning any new hard landscape projects to carry out over winter.

Build a compost heap for leaves and grass clippings.

Digging over soil will expose pest larvae to birds and improve soil structure, do this for all vacant vegetable garden soil in readiness for next year. Add plenty of organic compost from your own compost if you have it.

Put out food and water for birds during cold periods.

If you have a bonfire remember to check that you do not have a hedgehog in side! – they need gardeners help right now as populations are decreasing.

ANEMONE hupehensis (Pretty Lady Series) ‘Pretty Lady Julia’

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This  series of Anemone is bred by Mr. Yoshihiro Kanazawa of Japan, this series of Anemone features four pink forms and one pure white, ‘Pretty Lady Julia’ has double flowers.  All in the series have good compact habits, 40cm high and 60cm spread, fully garden hardy they make ideal border plants for today’s smaller gardens also good for containers and patio. Flower from August until October.

So when selecting subjects  for plant breeding it’s important to select for colour and height and also take into account today’s market trends in plants.

Having a series that has variations in colour, flowering either singles and doubles is good and makes it easier to get a take up commercially if there are more to follow.

So now is the time to be busy looking at your flowering plants and those that are flowering from your selections and breeding work and making further crosses and selections.

As you can see from the picture above new cultivars can be created be from plant breeding and crossing. It’s a long process, its good to look at plants in your own garden, looking for improvements that may be possible.

You see with the Anemone, by getting a shorter flowering plant it makes the plant more fitting for todays market and also for growers more plants can be transported on a lorry in flower as its shorter so it’s a good growers plant.

Keep records of any crossings you make. Be critical when making a selection, be prepared to be strict when discarding plants.

Pictures are important so get the camera ready to take photos to record your work.

For developing your new plant breeding selection or new plant discovery I can offer full trialling and new plant development service more details available on my website.

Also pictures can be taken and stored if needed. 

SEPTEMBER GARDENING

Well the weather has now changed to cooler conditions and we have had some welcome rain, lawns are beginning to recover. Daytime is still warm though but temperatures at night

have been quite low down to around 7°centigrade and lower in some places here in UK.

Plants to look for in September

Anemone (Japanese)

Aster

Buddleja – all gardens should have one

Crocosmia

Dahlia

Geranium Rozanne®

Heliopsis

Helenium

Penstemon

Phlox paniculata

Rudbeckia

Salvia

Sedum

Verbena

Caryopteris

Hibiscus

Hydrangea arborescens

Roses

You will still need to keep all baskets and tubs watered and checked each day.

Start thinking about autumn bedding

Apply liquid feed regularly once a week is ideal

Look out  daily for slugs and snails check your local garden centre for best controls, an idea I have seen is to place an old roof tile on ground, snails go under here during daytime just turn over and pick them off each day.

Deadheading plants like Dahlia will prolong flowering.

Good time to plant new perennials they will establish before the winter and get a good start in the spring and be ready to have some resistance to drier conditions as they will be more established.

Perennials dying down or fading can be trimmed back to encourage growth before the winter.

Regular weeding  and hoeing whenever you can will keep weeds under control. If time is short pull off seed heads this will help to reduce seeded weeds.

Continue to take semi-ripe cuttings now.

Good time now for seed collection now, storage is important, remember cultivars will not come true to type.

You can continue to trim evergreen hedges now.

Look out for Aphids and other pests, black spot on Roses, check with local garden centre for best controls.

Look out for Vine Weevil damage, damage shows when plants start to wilt, on inspection roots will have been badly eaten you may also see white c shaped larvae, apply a biological control, plants in containers are unlikely to recover.

Sedums and Geraniums can be badly affected.

Prune climbing roses once flowering is finished.

Continue to mow lawn regularly, keep edges neat, still time to apply weed killer for perennial weeds, use a selective weed killer here.

Seeding and repairing of dead patches can continue now through the month, but you will need to water as weather can still be quite dry.

Apply a fertilizer but do not use summer feeds as these are too high in nitrogen fertilizer, slow release is best. Do not apply in drought conditions, if  using feed and weed avoid getting onto ornamental plantings as it will cause damage.

If you have wild flowers in lawn and want to keep them then do not use feed and weed.

During the dry period if you are watering the lawn do this at night when evaporation is low.

If you have a pond then keep water circulating, using waterfalls and pumps, fountains etc.

Clean filters as needed, remove blanket weed and skim off floating weeds such as duckweed, feed fish as needed.

Remove any debris leaves etc reduces toxin build up.

In the Greenhouse, open greenhouse and increase ventilation on sunny days, extra shading like shade paint applied to outside may be needed during hot periods, don’t let greenhouse get to hot.

Damp down the floor of the greenhouse on hot days this will control Red Spider mite.

You should be having some good tomatoes and cucumbers now.

Keep greenhouse clean and as crops come to an end remove and clean up,

Citrox is a good cleaning product.

Check for pests like Aphids, red spider mite, white fly, regularly, biological controls are available look online.

For vegetables there is still time to plant leeks from leek plants and onions from sets.

Time to plant broad beans, Garlic,  and spring cabbage plants if you can find them, look in local garden centre.

You can also set up new Asparagus beds,

Time to paint fences and sheds carry out any repairs, in the greenhouse replace any broken glass needed before winter, take advantage of the evenings while they are still light.

 

Take time to relax in garden at some time each day while it’s still light evenings for barbecues and generally  enjoying the fruits of you hard work.

The garden should be an extension of your house an extra room if you like and it will be looking good.

PRIMULA ‘Tortoise shell’ (DACLAND)

Primula Tortoise Shell  unusual form of Primula (polyanthus type with double flowers from now until early summer, good for borders and containers.

This plant was selected and bred by Daphne Lloyd and Norman Draper of the UK.

It was brought to me for trials a few years ago from their plant breeding and selection.

image002

Now is the time to be busy with seed sowing of seed from your plant breeding projects, for developing your new plant breeding selection or new plant discovery I can offer full trialling and new plant development service more details available on my website.

It look like spring may finally be here with temperature forecast to rise although still having rain.

Most trees and shrubs are now budding up, looks like frost has passed for now.

APRIL GARDENING

Will April be full of April showers or drought!

Hardy annuals can be sown now, can sow direct into borders to fill gaps.

Many hardy perennials can still be sown now, sow into plugs or small pots.

Instant colour can be provide by planting Primula and Viola, look for cornuta types.

Look out for slugs and snails on new Hosta shoots, check your local garden centre for best controls

Pot up plug plants, water in well but allow to dry a little between watering

Put bedding plants outside during daytime on fine days, but bring them in at night this harden them up plants will get a better start.

Regular watering of containers is needed now, feed also will help get things underway.

Too early for summer bedding, but you can plant up tubs and baskets if you have a frost free area.

Regular weeding should be carried out whenever you can will keep them under control, perennials infested with spear/couch grass

can be divided and weeds removed.

Divide those clumps of perennials like Hosta’s, Hemerocallis, this will invigorate and improve plants, every three years or so.

For cut flowers you can plant up Delphiniums and annuals.

Prune Lavenders to new shoots.

Deadhead Pansies, Viola and Primula.

Clean up winter bedding that has not survived remove self-seeded forget-me-nots so they do not take over other plants.

Look out for Vine Weevil damage, damage shows when plants start to wilt, on inspection roots will have been badly eaten

you may also see white c shaped larvae, apply a biological control, plants in containers are unlikely to recover.

Sedums and Geraniums can be badly affected.

Look for slugs and snails check online for best control methods or ask at local garden centre

Evergreens in cooler areas you can still move evergreen shrubs but it is getting late now and watering could be difficult as season progresses.

Much roses with organic matter.

Cut back Salix and Cornus.

Remove frost damaged shoots from evergreens.

Take cuttings of your favourite conifers.

If you have newly planted trees you will need to put on guards to protect against rabbit damage.

Mow lawn regularly now, keep to an even height throughout season.

Apply a spring fertilizer, can include moss killer if needed but care is needed with application as pollution of ground water can

Occur if used incorrectly.

Alternatively rake or scarify lawn to remove moss.

If you see a lot of starling on your lawn then you may have leatherjackets – Crane fly larvae, look for controls on line, biological control

is the only control available to amateur gardener.

If you have a pond start using water filters now, fish will be starting to be active don’t overfeed.

Continue tidying marginal and bog plants.

In the greenhouse prick out seedlings, space out plants, check watering every few days.

The greenhouse will need venting each day now when weather is warm, you may need light shading on bright days.

R=Temperatures can droop at night you may still need the greenhouse heater or other protection.

On warm days damp down greenhouse floor helps to control red spider mite.

House plants can begin feeding now, check watering every few days.

Wipe clean shiny leaved plants with damp cloth.

In the veg garden winter sown broad beans and peas will be in active growth now, peas will need support, twiggy sticks are ideal.

Keep on top of weeding whenever conditions allow.

Plant potatoes now.

Continue sowing vegetable seeds now for succession of  crops.

Any seed for march can still be sown in April.

Sow, Beetroot, leaks, carrots, lettuce, cabbage etc.

Under glass sow, cucumbers, pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers.

In sheltered areas make fist sowing of French beans.

Sweet corn can be sown now use a peat pot so you can plant direct in garden later.

Strawberries and Raspberries will be starting to grow now, feed with a tomato feed, not a high nitrogen feed.

Time to get out the barbecue and garden furniture ready to enjoy the long summer days.

Take time to walk round garden each day  – enjoy.

HELICHRYSUM ‘Ruby Cluster’

March is well here now, and officially spring has started, but last week you would not have guessed with heavy snowfall and temperatures below freezing during the day.

But that has gone now and today the temperature is 9°c and raining!

I see many plants starting to grow, Delphiniums, Primula, Lonicera is coming into bud, and Crocus still in flower seems unaffected by the cold weather and snow.

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One early flowering plant that will be coming into bud and flowering towards the end of the month is Helichrysum Ruby Cluster, grey foliage woody stemmed plant with dark red flowers, its is a plant that likes free draining soil the plant is quite hardy but dislikes winter wet.

This Helichrysum is available in other varieties and colours, Pink Sapphire, Amber Cluster, Emberglow, they are all from UK Plant Breeder – Chris Bowyer based in the North midlands.

So it if you have a plant breeding project underway and are looking for advice, assistance in developing your new plant commercially then I can be of service, more information is available on my website.

MARCH GARDENING

Will March be full of spring cheer of will winter return for another bite!!

Finish clearing the last of leaves and winter debris.

Still time to finish cutting back and trimming grasses.

If you have overwinter Fuchsia, prune back to one or two buds on each shoot.

Pruning early flowering Clematis once their flowers have finished and summer flowering Clematis before growth starts.

Prune bush and climbing roses, add some fertilizer to base, look for specialist rose fertilizer.

Plant new roses either bare-root or container, do not though plant where you have had roses before.

Trips to your local retail nursery or garden centre will find many plants starting to arrive for planting, still too early for spring bedding though, don’t be tempted to plant outside yet!

You can sow and plant hardy annuals.

Good time to plant snowdrops in the green brighten up garden next year.

You can start planning the new beds you prepared last month.

Time to revitalise established plants in containers, remove top 5cm of compost and replace with new add some all season slow release fertiliser.

Containers will need regular watering now.

If you have Dahlia tubers you can start them now,  place in pots or trays and cover only the tubers with compost, water, keep frost free, you can take cuttings from the new shoots if you need more plants.

Spring flowered bedding you can give regular feeding now, this will help to produce a good display during the season,

For a good display of spring bulbs next year you can remove spent flowers and seed heads, leave leaves for now.

Keep an eye now for slugs and snails use your usual method.

Lift and divide and perennials that you want to revitalise, move or create more plants.

You can take basal cuttings of perennials that are showing new growth.

Seed sowing is well underway now, look for some new varieties to try.

Cut back Cornus (dogwood) and Salix (willow) grown for coloured stems in winter.

Where possible start regular hoeing of weed seedling as you see them it will help later in the season to keep on top of them now.

Now is a good time to lay new turf, work from planks, do not walk over it for several weeks, you will need to water it during dry periods, first cut should be on the highest setting.

Established lawns can be cut now if needed and weather allows, don’t mow if frosty or if frost is forecast. The first cut of the season should be light, keep blades 1cm above usual height.

Good time to get blades sharpened and mower serviced if you did not get it done last month.

Later in the month you can apply a spring fertilizer that is high in nitrogen this will help the lawn recover from winter.

Any bare patches, fork over and loosen soil then apply some fresh grass seed, keep watered, may have to protect from birds.

Neaten edges with a turf iron, it  will make lawn borders look a lot better. Work from a board if it’s wet.

For ponds you can start feeding fish now, give a little but often.

Check, repair or replace pumps and filters.

Tidy up plants in bog garden add new plants if required.

In the veg garden you can start chitting early potatoes for planting later in month, plant shallots, onions and garlic.

Dig in some green manure or compost to improve soil.

Prepare seed beds for planting and you can start sowing , carrots, radishes and lettuce under cloches for early crops.

Continue to plant fruit trees and raspberry canes, autumn fruiting canes should be cut back to ground to encourage new canes to develop. Summer fruiting cut back to top of supports to a bud.

In the greenhouse you can start sowing winter greens.

Sow tomatoes in a heated greenhouse.

Start sowing bedding plants ready planting after the last frost.

Repot house plants and orchids before they start active growth.

Carry out repairs to pathways.

Clean algae and slime from patio and fences several products are available that will assist with this, just ensure that it is safe for plants and pets.

When planting in garden consider using a mycorrhizal fungi product like Rootgrow™ it helps with plant establishing.

Take time to walk round garden each day.

GALANTHUS – Snowdrops sign of spring

February is here and already the days are noticeably longer.

Snowdrops are up and out in my garden a sign of spring amongst the recent snow.

This can be quite a cold month wet or snow, and as I write the weather forecast for the coming week is for cold weather with frost at night and maybe some snow.

You can start Dahlia tubers now in a light warm place, maybe you have a new cultivar to try out, you can find further advice about how to develop you plant breeding lines on my website.

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Sow those perennials this month, the cold weather will help stratify seed.

FEBRUARY GARDENING

February fill dyke black or white!

February can be a month of heavy rain and some winters snow, the phrase refers to ditches being filled with water or snow!

Snowdrops and Crocus will be up now.

Carry on clearing branches and twigs from recent storms, good idea to check fences and property borders for damage.

Trimming and tidying of perennials and grasses can continue while weather allows, trim dead leaves off Hellebores shows up flowers better.

If you have winter bedding, deadheading and removing dead leaves will prolong flowering and keep plants looking good.

You can divide perennials now those that have overgrown their allotted space and those you want to move, such as Geraniums.

Prepare beds for new planting such as roses, but remember do not plant Roses in the same area as previously planted.

Improve beds where you have poor drainage by digging in gravel and organic material now is the time for soil improvement when weather conditions allow.

Weeding of borders can also be carried out as these will continue to grow.

Plant Lilly bulbs in pots for summer flowers.

Dahlias and Cannas stored check for drying out and any disease, remove those that have rotted.

Good time to look through catalogues and order seed.

Last chance to take hardwood cuttings of ornamental shrubs like Cornus, Ribes, Salix.

Cut back ornamental vines.

For lawns you can lay turf and repair lawn where required but avoid wet or freezing weather.

If the lawn needs mowing cut to maximum height to give a tidy up, edging the lawn will give a nice neat finish.

Good time to get mower serviced, check tools and sharpen where needed.

Late summer and autumn flowering Clematis can be cut back to lowest pair of strong buds.

You can trim winter flowering Heathers as flowers fade to keep bushy habit.

Last chance this month for pruning apple and pear trees.

Time to cut back autumn flowering Raspberries and black currents to encourage new canes.

Not a lot to do with the pond if you have one keep from freezing completely.

Look at storing more water for watering your plants during dry months by installing more water butts.

Mulching is also worth considering best for next month.

If you have alpine plants then some gravel round crown helps with drainage.

HELLEBORUS Orientalis

January can be a bleak month, still shortage of daylight and as I write we have just had some very wet days.

Thinking of New Plants and breeding now is the time to start sowing perennials, the cold weather will help stratify seed aiding germination as the days get longer and temperature start to rise.

Helleborus will soon be flowering, I have seen some in flower already, look for some interesting colours, double flowers for new cultivars or hybrids.

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Helleborus niger crosses are more commercially viable, Helleborus Orientalis produce more mixed hybrids

If you have breeding lines and are thinking of how you can develop them further I can assist you with any trialling that is needed.

Further advice can be found on my website.

JANUARY GARDENING

Happy New Year!

With recent storms there may be branches and leaves to clear from the garden, these can be trimmed up and burnt, composted or taken to local recycle centre.

Carry on trimming back perennials and tidying garden beds.

Can still take root cuttings and seed sowing of perennials, shrubs etc can be carried out now, either in greenhouse or outside. You may need to protect seed trays from vermin. Cover with wire netting is ideal.

Plant lily bulbs and check Dahlia and Canna tubers for drying out and mould, remove any that are rotting.

Outdoor pots and baskets overwintered may need some water, can dry out surprisingly quickly during windy weather

During freezing weather winter bedding such as Viola, wallflowers can lift slightly from soil, go round beds and firm gently back in.

If growing sweet peas you can sow them now indoors, pinch out tops when 5cm high

In the veg patch you can cover some bare soil with clear polythene or cloches to warn soil ready for early sowing in March.

Remove any weeds that appear.

Still time to plant Garlic, I received some bulbs this week and will plant as soon as frost has lifted.

When lawn is not frozen or waterlogged cut lawn edges to improve appearance of garden, you may also need to give lawn a light trim once if month is mild.

Remove any leaves and debris remaining. Aerate the lawn to improve any wet areas.

Remember don’t walk over the lawn during frosty weather.

Remove any leaves from pond, melt a hole in ice with hot saucepan, check water levels, take advantage of any sales on for aquatic plants and pumps filters etc.

Move any shrubs, tress and plant new ones.

Cut back ornamental vines

Good time to do any landscaping

Pressure wash pathways to prevent algae, clean drains, check pipes, taps for damage from frost lag or drain if needed.

Hippeastrum bulbs need to be brought into active growth by watering and feeding, looking for flowering in late winter to early spring.

Check and clean gutting and down pipes, clean down pipe filters.

Now is good time to take some time to look at your garden and consider new projects, plants to add, things to change.

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM GOODERHAM HORTICULTURE LTD

Now is the time to think of log fires and presents round the tree.

But there is still time to think of gardening and plants.

Now is the time to look through the seed and plant catalogues for new and interesting plants and plan for new plantings next year.

From seed of course you can get new and interesting plants and also think of interesting crossings and plant breeding projects for the new season.

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Remember if you are thinking about plant breeding projects I can provide a full plant development service

If you have a new plant and want further advice, my contact details and further advice can be found on my website.

DECEMBER GARDENING

Most leaves are now down from trees good time to clear either compost or take to local recycle centre

Trimming of deciduous trees and shrubs can be carried out now but avoid doing during very frosty weather.

Continue trimming back perennials clearing weeds from beds

Root cuttings can be taken now and seed of alpines sown

Raise pots on the patio for winter to aid drainage bring in tender plants if not done so already

Clean leaves from lawn you may need to cut also as it will continue to grow if temps are above 5°c but do not cut as short as in summer months

Re-cut lawn edges look for wet areas and carry out aeration where needed

Do not though work on your lawn in frosty weather

Dig over the veg patch and work in some manure or soil improver

You can plant Rhubarb, Raspberries, Blackberries, other currents and strawberries now

Still time to plant garlic

Inside you can herbs and grow on the windowsill

Hardy salads can sown undercover.

If you have a pond net it to keep away herons, remove fallen leaves and debris from pond regular

Good time to remove any pumps and filters and clean ready for new season

Pressure wash paths and patios to prevent algae and mould building up

Clean and sharpen tools

Don’t keep too much fuel for your petrol tools over winter as it will not keep

Finally Happy Christmas