Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Preparing for winter

It is late indeed as the season has been so mild, but the time has come to puts plants to rest for winter while cheering the place up with some winter bedding.

Today we put up the lean-to frames, made of wood battens and clear plastic sheeting, to cover the fan-trained peaches and apricots and keep them dry to prevent peach leaf curl (Taphrina deformans), a fungal disease that may weaken the plants and infection from which is promped by wet conditions in spring. 

Peach leaf curl on leaf

Peach leaf curl on underside of leaf
There is a very convenient leaflet with instructions on how to make lean-to frames, like the ones we put up today, on the RHS website.
The fan-trained plants...... with frames on

After that, I learnt the use of a new tool as we filled some empty raised beds with wallflowers (Erysimum) that will overwinter and flower for some early cheer.

The row maker is like a rake with ruler markings and adjustable tines, so that you can space rows evenly, and draw a grid on the soil before you start planting - you can plant where the rows meet, or in the space between the rows. A convenient tool for extensive formal planting, or when you need accuracy in spacing rows, like in plant trials.

Drawing rows...
... and a grid
Bed planted

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