Winter Gardening7th January 2016 • Stephanie's Blog • Stephanie Donaldson
With rumours of (the probably temporary) arrival of cold weather, I decided that it was time to tuck up my evergreen agapanthus – Agapanthus africanus. The weather has been so mild that any frost could do quite a lot of damage since many plants have continued growing lost past their usual season. Most will have to take their chances but the large pots of agapanthus have now had a deep mulch of Strulch www.strulch.co.uk – the wonderful mineralised straw mulch which will hold air and insulate the plants – and protected with fleece covers that will keep them cosy from now until spring. They may not be very decorative, but the pots are far too big to move undercover, and it’s better than losing the plants.
The lime tree that has been in its winter quarters in the kitchen is smothered in flowers and young fruit, but close examination revealed that it was also smothered with greenfly and possibly red spider mite. It is too large to treat in situ, so we carried it outside where I sprayed it down with the hose, dislodging most of the pests and then treated it with SB Plant Invigorator which feeds the plant and deals with the pests. It’s now back in the kitchen and looking much happier.
Finally, in preparation for the year ahead, I gave the greenhouse a thorough tidy and cleaned all its windows – this will make all the difference when I start seed sowing in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I finally got round to transplanting some hardy spinach plants into the border – with the extra light I’m hoping they will give us some fresh greens very early in the season.