Monday, January 11, 2010

Just a few things to keep in mind with the current wintry conditions.

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Just a few things to keep in mind when the novelty of playing in the snow is over and you are turning your thoughts to cleaning up.

Firstly, if you are clearing your driveway or footpaths give a thought as to where you are dumping all the snow, make sure your not dumping it on any fragile plants hidden by the snow.

Check for wind and snow damage. Cut out damaged twigs and branches.

Heavy downfall of snow can weigh down and damage the branches in your larger specimens, this will be a greater risk to evergreen shrubs and conifers.
Be ready to brush the snow away using booms or floor brushes as soon as possible, especially where palms and cordylines are affected. This is also a particular concern with tightly clipped hedges where the considerable weight of thick snow can force open the middles, ruining their shape for  the following season.

Waterlogged pots will be at risk from cold and frost damage at this time of year, no more so than terracotta pots or those with a porous pots nature. Stand these pots onto pot feet or blocks so that the pot is raised allowing good air circulation around its base

Fill the bird bath regularly with fresh water, and keep it clean and free of ice.
Removing pumps and filters from ponds and water features will help prevent them from being damaged by freezing water during the winter.

This is an ideal time for some last minute work on your fruit trees and bushes so long as you don't mind working in the cold. Cut down and dig up the roots and stumps of any old or tired plants that are no longer producing reasonable crops.

Now the only thing left to do is put your feet up by the fire, with a hot drink in your hand (alcohol optional but recommended after all your hard work) and wait for them spring bulbs to poke their heads out from under the melting snow. And don’t forget to save some of them ashes from the fire to use a fertilizer for your Iris and other alkaline soil plants.

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