This week, I'm concentrating on timely sowing of garden peas, picking and storing apples and pears and some timely tips for your beloved indoor plants.
Check out my monthly tips for more information on both ornamental and edible plants.
- Sow pea ‘Douce Provence’ for the earliest crops of garden peas. These round seeded varieties are hardy and reliable. Expect some losses when sowing at this time of year, so sow extra seed to compensate.
Douce Provence peas
- If your soil has a lot of wet and sticky clay, it may pay to sow pea seeds into a length of rainwater gutter filled with good potting compost. If you line the bottom with newspaper, I find that the young plants and compost will slide out neatly into a shallow trench in the veg plot, and the paper soon rots away.
Peas and beans sown in rainwater gutters
Picking and storing fruit
- Pick main-crop varieties of apples and pears. Choose only the unblemished fruits to store. Others should be discarded or eaten straight away.
Apple 'Cox's Orange Pippin'
- Apples can be stored quite well in ordinary clear freezer bags. Fill them up and then make a few holes in the sides, taking care not to jab the fruit. Fold the top over and invert the bag to let it sit upside down (covering the opening) in a cool building away from direct light. Check the fruit regularly and remove any that are ripe or rotten. This way, fruit can be stored easily well into winter, but they must be varieties that keep well.
Apples and pears stored in polythene bags
- Pears are better stored individually. But watch them carefully as they have a rapid ripening process. Finish the ripening off on a windowsill.
Pear 'Doyenne du Comice'
Look after your indoor plants now!
- Polish shiny leaves to get rid of dust so that leaves get more light and also look better.
- Move house plants away from any heat source as they may get too dry.
- Group plants as they not only look nicer but will also grow better together. Try mixing types with contrasting leaves.
Indoor house plants in a group
- Move borderline hardy succulent plants inside and put them on a sunny windowsill.
- Reduce house plant feeding by half, and also the frequency of watering. Plants generally need less water in winter.
- Why not add to your collection! Check out the range of houseplants on the Candide Marketplace.
- Erect a net over your pond to prevent falling leaves getting into the water and increasing the nutrient levels when they breakdown. They may also deprive the fish of oxygen as they decompose.
- Find more info here: