Cobbling on the pergola base. (Image: Richard Wright)
Red and white grape Vinifera vines suited to temperate climates will in the next few weeks be planted at either end to climb up to the triangular-section Arris rail which will be wired to train the side branches as cordons.
By the time I am in my mid-70s (seven years away) — if I remain lucky — we will be able to relax with a glass or two of wine under the fruit which makes it, enjoying viniculture two ways.
RICHARD’S TOP TIPS:
Prevent containers becoming waterlogged by raising them off the ground for the winter using pot feet or bricks.
Encourage birds by investing in a bird bath and bird feeders. Our avian friends will keep garden pest numbers down.
Pigeons, however, are not welcome. Build a ‘tent’ out of arched water service pipe and micro-mesh to protect your brassicas from hungry birds.
Prepare a perennial vegetable bed to plant up with rhubarb and asparagus crowns.
Plant onion sets, shallots and garlic. It gives them a head-start for an earlier crop next year. Dig over heavy soils adding organic matter before planting.
Check your summer harvest of onions and garlic, removing any rotting bulbs immediately. The neck of the bulb is usually the first area to rot. Try using onion bags (pictured below) to improve air flow around the bulbs.
Prune apple and pear trees any time between now and February.
Are you an Isle of Wight gardener with a question?
If so, you can email Richard at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Isle of Wight County Press: In his top tips, Richard recommends putting your onions in an onion bag to dry.