Winter is upon us at Lingfield Point albeit slower than anticipated with temperatures being above average for the time of year. This has meant that normal winter tasks are delayed as gardeners attempts to stay on top of the grass cutting as well as struggling against a barrage of falling leaves.
What is required in horticultural terms is a couple of good frosts – not just the wind – to bring down the rest of the leaves and to shock the lawns into their dormant state. Grass will not grow once the temperature drops below 3 degrees.
So what do the green fingered get up to over the winter months?
There is a misconception that gardeners collect food and bedding and hibernate like large squirrels through the winter season. This is not true, particularly of our very own Colin at Lingfield Point.
Of course when there is snow on the ground or our Park is a frozen vista, there are limits to what the discerning gardener can do outside. However we still need to make sure all equipment and tools are fit for the following season. We have a regime of servicing and maintenance to follow as a gardener without a working lawn mower in the summer is about as useful as a chocolate kettle.
In addition outdoor tasks – when conditions allow – include continued leaf collection, edging of lawns, hard pruning of many shrubs that may not have received a good prune for years, collecting materials for composting, general tidying of shrub beds and other areas and not forgetting the crucial bark mulching of shrub beds.
The winter also allows us time to plan and produce innovations for the following season. This could include planting projects and improvement works. With the plant world dormant, there are excellent opportunities for replacing or enhancing old areas of landscaping which will then come to life in the spring.
So remember if you see Colin in the winter, give him a wave or smile – he’s hard at work creating Spring 2012!