Kitchen-Garden-051216The espalier apple trees and trained pear trees have at last shed all their leaves in Stephanie’s Kitchen Garden, which means that it's now the perfect time to give them a bit of attention.  This week they will be treated to a winter wash to clean away any pests or diseases that may have nestled into the nooks and crannies of the branches for winter.  The wash will be repeated around February before the new buds begin to unfurl.  The down side to this job is that the wash doesn’t smell particularly pleasant, so I always make sure that it is my last job of the day so I can head straight for the shower when it is done!

After they have been washed, we will be applying glue  to the trunks of the fruit trees.  This will prevent any bugs hiding in the soil around the base of the tree from climbing up and into the branches ready to attack next season. Again, this is a process that will be repeated in the Spring. It’s also a good idea to put the glue around the tree supports as well to stop the pests from using them as a climbing frame.

The trees surrounding the garden have at last finished dropping their leaves and for me this signals the time to carry out a hands-and –knees tidy up.  We’ve been raking leaves for weeks, but I find that you can never pick every leaf up unless you collect them by hand.  The toil is always worthwhile when the garden is restored to its tidy self.  A few years ago I invested in a good kneeler and a hand claw and am always very grateful for them at this time of year!