GARDENING in September, the Willowfield Way !
We have had some lovely September weather recently and hopefully will still be continuing when you are reading this!
1.Prepare the LAWN ready for the winter. The grass is still growing away fairly well in the September sunshine at the moment but the cooler nights from now on will slow growth down a lot. Apply an autumn fertilizer to help put the lawn into good health and keep the moss under control for the winter. Frequent mowing at this time of the year helps to remove fallen leaves that can suffocate the grass underneath if not removed.
2.TREES around the garden need to be checked over to make sure newly planted ones are well secured and will not fall over in the first storm. Older trees with extra big leaf canopies after summers growth may take a beating early on in the Autumn so watch out for breaking branches that may need pruning back.
3. Some SHRUBS are still performing well and will keep on going until first frosts. The Hydrangea especially is flowering away and putting on a great display. The white, cone shaped, paniculata types are very vigorous and their cone shaped panicles are a complete contrast to the mop heads and lace caps of the regular Hydrangea. For Autumn displays these would rank up at the top of most reliable and easily grown shrubs. Also a good contrast for the common Buddleia. The Autumn is also a good time for planting new shrubs in your garden as they can settle down in their new surroundings during the quiet autumn and winter months so they are ready to burst into growth next spring. It is still too early to start pruning your shrubs so let them enjoy the rest of the growing season for another few weeks! Come and check out our Autumn stock of plants at Willowfield.
4.Many Perennials and HERBACEOUS plants have reached their prime at the moment and will begin to fade away for their winter’s sleep ! Again, it’s a bit early for cutting them back so just focus on supporting flowering stems with some canes to keep them from being flattened by wind and rain. In another few weeks you can cut them back fully.
5. HEATHERS are flowering away in full bloom at the moment and are a great addition to any garden. These summer/autumn flowering varieties of Calluna need an acid soil (peaty) so just make sure you use an Ericaceous compost when planting up. Most of the garden soil around Kenmare is acidic so should be no problem planting in the garden. The winter flowering Erica are more tolerant of soil acidity. Heathers can also be planted in window boxes, patio containers and even hanging baskets for a good splash of Autumn colour.
6.If your PATIO CONTAINERS are getting a bit tired looking, the winter pansy and violas are now available for planting up. These will give colour throughout the winter but need to be planted up soon so they can put on a bit of growth before any cold weather comes. Mini cyclamen can also be used to brighten up containers. Small conifers, trailing ivy, silver dust and spring flowering bulbs can all be added. For a one hit wonder, the large Garden ‘Mum’ will fill a pot all on its own and look good for several weeks…instant gardening !
7. SPRING FLOWERING BULBS can be planted from now until the end of November in the ground or in patio containers. There are dwarf varieties of tulips and small flowering narcissi which are ideal for the patio containers and the more traditional ’Golden Harvest’ Daffodils and ‘Apeldorn’ tulips are best planted in the ground. Crocus and Hyacinth can also be planted to extend the flowering season from late January through to April.
8. It’s Harvest time in the VEGE garden and remember to clear away finished crops to keep the garden tidy and remove sanctuary for slugs and other bugs! Digging in seaweed and well-rotted manure can take place from now on so as to be ready for next spring. Pick any apples from now on until and store in boxes between sheets of newspaper. Fallen apples should be eaten first or cooked as their keeping quality will be diminished due to bruising on falling from the tree. ( Apple juice or even cider are possibilities too for fallen apples)Watch out for wasps ! They are rather grumpy and nasty at this time of the year!
So, plenty to do. Make the most of any dry weather, the rains will soon begin, happy gardening!