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Getting Ready for 2021 - Ferdinand's Checklist

Ferdinand2000Ferdinand2000 Posts: 271
edited 13 October in The potting shed

As a patchy-knowledge gardener I am doing a lot of things for the first time in my garden inherited last year, and I don't want to miss any preparations now that will help next year.

This is my list of jobs I *hope* to do. I've been collecting bits and pieces as I have thought of them. It's mainly obvious things (I hope) that I need to have in place not to miss the timing in the spring, as I did this year.

I would really appreciate if anyone could point out anything that is horribly at the wrong time.

** Now to Before first frost

- Compost - 1st 0.6 cubic m compost bin in place and full. May need another.
- Leaf Mould - dumpy bags ready front and rear.
- Buy + plant bulbs
- Make huge rampant redcurrant a bit smaller, and goblet shape. Take out old wood now. Prune remaining branches back in spring.
- Trim back bamboo clump.
- Tie up escaped blackberry branches to framework.

** Winter 

- Get small leanto greenhouse (?). Already have tomato house, conservatory and cold frame. May not need it.
- Reduce watering to just keep soil damp and stop feeding containers from approx start Nov to mid Feb.
- Reshape 4 x old apple + pear trees into smaller size by pruning - before first frost or after last frost. Most of it is branches which have gone too far out of the shape I want. Target is to keep heights at about 3-4m max.
- Renovate raised beds. Largely cosmetic improvement by cladding in half-round timber.
- Build framework (ie 1.8m tall post and rail fence) 300mm inside front wall to allow Pyracantha to scramble to 1.8m for privacy.

** Spring

- Repoint 14m West-facing stone wall ready for fruit cordons next year. (Too ambitious?)
- Proper review of soft fruit bushes + prune.
- Plants and seeds and things.
- Think about boundary treatment wrt wind.

** At indeterminate time

- Draw up plan of garden with existing structure and planting to help thinking.

Thanks everso much for any help.

Ferdinand
(Trying to avoid howlers)
“Rivers know this ... we will get there in the end.”
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  • Ferdinand2000Ferdinand2000 Posts: 271
    edited 14 October
    OK.

    Found one limit of what people like to comment on :smile:

    Will focus future questions to be smaller. 
    “Rivers know this ... we will get there in the end.”
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen SpainPosts: 3,695
    That’s an intimidating list! I tend to avoid long lists as they make me feel guilty when I don’t achieve them. My only thought is, do you know the variety of your apples and pears? Some are tip-bearing and others spur-bearing and that makes a difference to how and how much you can prune them. You could be literally cutting off your chances of fruit if you do it the wrong way. I’m no expert, btw, I inherited an orchard of pear trees, so they told me. Turned out two of them were apples 🙄 Still no idea what varieties they are as, so far, I have got a few diddly apples that fell off or were eaten before they could mature.
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 9,109
    @Ferdinand2000  And in your spare time ?  ;)

    The only thing I would suggest with the list is to insert one or two jobs/things you have already done.  I know it is cheating a bit but it is always satisfying to look at your list and see a few Ticks on there ( the scribed ones as opposed to the itchy ones )
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 16,484
    I suppose you already know, but blackberries don’t fruit on the same branch next year so any with fruit now need to be cut to the ground.
    I don’t make lists, I walk round and think ‘better do that now’ and that’s the extent of my list.
    I used to but got despondent when I couldn’t do it all so now I see what’s s priority and do that.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Ferdinand2000Ferdinand2000 Posts: 271
    edited 14 October
    @Nollie thanks for your reply.

    This is a photo of the group of fruit trees with a recent bamboo in the middle.



    The fruit trees are probably vintage 1940s, when this was first built. There are four - two in front and two behind, with the bamboo which has nearly blocked that window between the back two. The ones I know are: 

    - the one with the yellow leaves on the left is a traditional hard pear with the slightly leathery skin.
    - the one to the right where you can still see a branch of apples are small red eaters. this had a reasonable prune three years ago and seems OK. I want them roughly that height.
    - the one behind on the left that with the branch nearly as high as the chimney has been producing big cookers that bake nicely is the biggest. I thought it was a bramley but a few still left on it are going a little red, so I am wondering. This still has a fair number of apples on it.
    - then there is a small one on the right at the back which produced a lot of red eaters with very pale flesh, which I have started calling a Braeburn but it may well be something similar. See photo below of the colander of these. These keep well. That’s been there for a couple of weeks whilst I decide what to do with them.



    I think my first prune will be to take the outrageously large branches that go out of the envelope I want for the tree back to either a suitable point or to the trunk.

    The bamboo should be easy as it just needs canes round the side taking out so that I can down my paths at the back of the garden, and perhaps some leaves so I get to see some stems. It’s like the briar batch where Bret Rabbit goes.



    Ferdinand 

    “Rivers know this ... we will get there in the end.”
  • Lyn said:
    I suppose you already know, but blackberries don’t fruit on the same branch next year so any with fruit now need to be cut to the ground.
    I don’t make lists, I walk round and think ‘better do that now’ and that’s the extent of my list.
    I used to but got despondent when I couldn’t do it all so now I see what’s s priority and do that.

    Yes - I know that, though whether that is what I do when it is what I think I am doing is another thing ;) . I tied in some of them when I did the harvest and it needs a bit of a prune for the extras and tying in the rest ones that have escaped. It's a Himalayan Giant so I have to get done up like Sir Lancelot.

    I like to do a list for a specific identifiable project such as a house or a kitchen etc. Especially with gardening my knowledge is not thorough, so if I notice something I may forget it if not written down.

    Sometimes putting something on a list is "yes, I've thought about that and remembered it, so I don't have to do it yet".

    Thanks for you help.

    F

    “Rivers know this ... we will get there in the end.”
  • @Ferdinand2000  And in your spare time ?  ;)

    The only thing I would suggest with the list is to insert one or two jobs/things you have already done.  I know it is cheating a bit but it is always satisfying to look at your list and see a few Ticks on there ( the scribed ones as opposed to the itchy ones )
    I have a couple of those - one compost bin is already put to bed, but then I look at all the other stuff still to prune back I am shredding all my amazon boxes to get browns to go in with the greens.

    The only item that concerns me is the wall repointing which is at least 3 or 4 weekends, as I have not done any of that and it is a long wall. Strange arrangement - the boundary is ithe face of the wall on my side, but I don't see my neoghbour shelling out £££ to repoint my bit when he has both sides of the other 60m of it that will also need attention soon. When I asked he said "you have my permission to repoint it". Which is exactly what I would have said to him.

    Ferdinand


    “Rivers know this ... we will get there in the end.”
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 6,935
    I admire your forward planning ! Personally l think it's good to make a list (although l appreciate it's not everyone's thing). It gives you something positive to aim for, especially in the current climate. 
    I also agree with @philippasmith2 's comment about including a couple of jobs that you've already done. Okay,  it's cheating, but it's also encouraging 😊
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen SpainPosts: 3,695
    Hmm, I see what you mean, they are rather overgrown and need intervention! I wouldn’t attempt to try and ID your apples or be able to tell if they are tip or spur bearing. I suppose the worst that could happen is you don’t get any fruit next year. @pansyface is pretty up on her fruit trees so might be more help if she sees this...
  • One more job to add to your list (mostly because this was today's job for me, and it's time sensitive!). Get a bunch of sticks, labels, whatever, and put them in the ground next to anything you want to move but will disappear in winter, like alliums, gladioli etc. I use upside down plant labels with the point in the air, that way I can spot them quick and know exactly where I need to dig up a bulb, corm etc.

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