January 2014 In Your Cyprus
This month is a golden opportunity to get out in the garden and start some of the winter chores like planting and pruning.
Planting trees and shrubs is not difficult. First dig the hole making it deeper and wider than the rootball of the tree you are going to plant. Hopefully the hole will be damp, if not add some water but don’t make it too soggy. If you have bone meal put a couple of handfuls in the bottom of the hole, otherwise some slow release fertiliser will do.
Take the rootball out of the bag or pot and look closely at the roots. They may be wound round and round the pot which usually means that that they have been in it for too long.
Tease them out gently and get rid of any cloggy soil which may be around them and trim any dead or very thin roots. Should the tree be large you may need to put in a stake before planting. If you put it in later on you may damage the roots.
Sit the plant in the hole leaving the graft point just above the level of the top of the hole and fill in the sides with some good garden soil and gardening compost.
Winter jasmine should be starting to flower brightening up the garden. This is a shrub or climber that is pruned AFTER flowering. It’s amazing how many plants are in flower throughout the winter.
Pyrostegia and Viburnum tinus both bring brightness and cheer and of course polygala just never seems to stop blooming. Osteospermums and marguerites give the garden some colour through the winter and soon the first narcissus will flowering in the borders. Cacti and succulents are beginning to throw out new flower stems too and Aeonium arboreum flower heads, looking like golden broccoli, will be shooting skywards. Aloe flowers of reds and yellows brighten up the countryside vying with the bright yellows of the native oxalis, which can be a nightmare to get rid of in gardens!
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