EDP Norfolk|January 2020
1 SOW SEEDS ON TIME!
I am so often caught out by this: buying seed packets, putting them to one side, getting immersed in work-related projects and forgetting to sow until I have no hope of seeing them flower or crop. So this year I will mark up in my diary when I need to sow each plant. And stick to it. Honest.
2 FEED THE SOIL
If you feed your soil, you strengthen your plants. If you strengthen your plants they will grow more robustly, more resilient to pests and diseases. giving you better crops, and borders full of lush foliage and flowers.
A great way to feed the soil is with homemade compost, so if you don’t have one, start a compost heap in a discreet corner of the garden. Mix household food scraps with woody prunings, scrunched up cardboard packaging and grass cuttings. (Avoid meat-based scraps or you’ll attract rats.) Try and mix ingredients so that there is some air space in the heap. Add dry material if it’s soggy, water if it’s too dry. Leave until well-rotted down, and then use in planting holes and as mulch on the surface of the soil.
3 PRUNE EARLY
Another time-critical one - this year I will finish pruning back shrubs and trees before they start into growth. This will enable me to see the structure of the plant, and the prunings are lighter and less bulky. Exceptions to this are trees which are susceptible to silver-leaf disease including cherries, apricots, greengages, plums and laurels. These need pruning in summer while they are in growth.
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