Gar­den mas­ter­class

Toby Buck­land

Cornwall Life - - INSIDE -

Ap­ples are ripe when wind­falls ap­pear un­der the tree or when the fruit eas­ily twists off the twigs. While pick­ing check the branches for ‘Brown Rot’, a dis­ease that at­tacks ap­ples, plums and pears turn­ing them into speck­led brown ‘mum­mies’. If left on the branches they in­fect neigh­bour­ing fruits and the dis­ease spreads to the branches.

If reg­u­larly dead­headed, dahlias have months of flower left in them yet. Dead­head­ing though takes ‘a good eye’ as the spent seed­pods look just like new buds ex­cept with slightly pointed ends.

Prune over-grown shrubs and trees, but main­tain a nat­u­ral, grace­ful habit by thin­ning as op­posed to shear­ing back the branches to all the same length. Prun­ing while in leaf is fine as you can clearly dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween weak and strong growth, but just re­mem­ber that the leaves add weight so don’t cut off more than you can safely hold in one go.

Pep up your lawn by scar­i­fy­ing and aer­at­ing the sur­face, i.e. giv­ing it a good rake and prick­ing over with a gar­den fork to re­move grass-chock­ing ‘thatch’ and let air into the soil. It’s also the ideal time to sow a com­pletely new lawn and re­pair bare patches by ‘over-sow­ing’ with fresh seed. If start­ing from scratch con­cen­trate on lev­el­ling and firm­ing the soil be­fore sow­ing. It’s worth tak­ing the time to do this prop­erly as re­mov­ing bumps and dips once the turf has es­tab­lished is very time con­sum­ing.

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