So, how did I get on with my list of jobs to do last week?

Given that I had a lot of non gardening commitments, quite well. The broad beans are in, a ‘Bright & Spicy” salad leaf seed mixture has been sown in the greenhouse and most of the apple and pear trees are sporting grease bands. The garlic did not get planted, but this is not urgent and I need to buy some more grease bands to finish the fruit trees.

This week I am planning to:-

Dahlia Collage

1. Finish Digging Up the Dahlia Tubers

A lot have already been lifted and turned upside down in the greenhouse to dry out. The last few were hit by the frost last week and now need lifting. I have left my dahlias in the ground for the last two years, but found that they either rotted in the winter wet or were badly attacked by slugs as the new shoots came through in May. This year I will lift them all and keep my fingers crossed that the tubers make it through the winter.  They will need to be stored slightly damp in a frost free place. Next week I will start the process of labelling and storing the tubers in boxes in the potting shed. I find that layers of fleece or newspaper over and around the boxes provides good insulation against the frost. Like stored fruits these tubers will need checking once a month for signs of fungus and rot.

2. Finish Planting Winter Containers

The fuchsias and dahlias are over, so it is time to clear out the pots and replant with spring bulbs. I will be making green garlands to cover the surface of some of the pots this year as an alternative to winter bedding, which I find always suffers in the bad weather. 

Winter Container Collage

3. Unpack the outside Christmas lights

I am planning to put these up next week. I love the cheerfulness that these twinkling lights bring to this dark time of the year and like to have them up for as long as possible.

The most time consuming job this week will be digging up the dahlia tubers.  I am also hoping to finish last weeks jobs, which include putting grease bands round the remaining fruit trees and planting the garlic.

I will be back next Monday with more jobs and to let you know how I got on.