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Site last updated on 24 July, 2020 

More tips from Rod Hill


So, how are your summer Raspberries? We have had a really good crop this year.  The birds seem to have left them alone and they have not been damaged by  pest or insects.  When it comes to freezing them my wife has got it down to a fine art. She spreads them on a tray and places it at the top of the deep freeze and when frozen they go into containers and labelled, so simple.

We are not in the habit of keeping last years fruit in the deep freeze and if we have an abundance of fruit, it gives us great pleasure in giving it away and putting a smile on someone’s face. With the long dry spell that we are experiencing in Corfe Mullen make sure the fruit has a good evening drink occasionally.

Thinking of watering, I have noticed some of our young Rhododendrons have been looking stressed. I was keeping my eye on the Camellias last month for if they don’t get enough water in June when the flower buds are developing there won’t be any flowers next year.

I’m sure you have been doing some pruning, I have finished all my Box topiary and conifers. This month is ideal for pruning back Photinias or Red Robin if it is done now there will be another flush of red leaves this year. Having said that, if you have to bring it down in size and the top is taken into bare wood make sure there is plenty of side leaves left on otherwise the shrub will be stressed. Wisteria’s can be pruned back to the second bud. I have a Cornus about 8’ in height acting as a screen, but I do have to watch that it doesn’t smoother  some of the Azaleas close by as they will die through lack of light.  Cherry and all stoned fruit trees can be pruned if necessary until the middle of July.

If you are into propagation, this month you can take Heathers, Azaleas, Camellias, Ceanothus, Lavender and Daphne Adora cuttings just a mention a few. With regard to Daphne’s they do take five years before flowering if you are patient they will reward you with beautiful evening fragrance and well worth waiting for.

I have not spoken about the vegetable garden, but if you have more than enough, don’t be afraid to give some away and you too can put a smile on someone’s face.

Rodders, the retired  gardener.

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