The year has flown by and the good weather in September has delayed the onset of autumn and winter but there is a change in the air now. The nights are getting noticeably cooler and the leaves have started to cascade to the ground. Bound to happen sometime, but Christmas is not too far away and then the days will be getting longer again ! So, thank you September for being so good !
There’s plenty to do out there in the garden over the next few weeks so whenever there’s a nice bit of sunshine head out there and get the jobs done before winter really arrives.
1. The LAWN has continued to grow well into the autumn and will still need cutting for the next few weeks. Falling leaves will also need seeing to over the coming weeks as if they are allowed to settle for too long on the lawn they will impair grass growth. Don’t cut as low as a summer cut and use the mower to collect all the fallen leaves at the same time. If your mower mulches everything you will have to rake off the leaves first. Autumn Lawn feed can be applied to help the grass stay green in the winter and will prevent moss from building up.
2. It’s basically time to say Goodbye to your summer plants in window boxes, hanging baskets and other patio containers. They have struggled along after the long summer but need to go now. These containers can then be replanted with some spring flowering bulbs at the same time as making arrangements with some autumn and winter flowering plants. Pansy, Viola, mini Cyclamen and Heathers will give a splash of colour for the early winter. Berried plants like Solanum, Gaulthera and Pernettya can be added to the arrangement for a mid-winter seasonal look, and for a touch of winter greenery Holly, Ivy , Ozmanthus and dwarf conifers can be added to arrangements in larger containers and barrels.
3. SHRUB beds can be tidied up. Remove fallen leaves that may be collecting in sheltered corners of the garden, especially from under shrubs and flower beds. These decaying leaves will provide a safe haven for overwintering slugs and bugs. By removing them you will be reducing the problems for next year. Pruning can take place to make some of the shrubs look more presentable but do not prune back, spring flowering shrubs. If they are pruned now you will be removing their flower buds for next year,. Prune these immediately after flowering next April or May.
4. ROSES could do with a light pruning to tidy them up but a proper pruning should be done in and around February. Again remove fallen leaves from around the bases of the bushes for health and hygiene !
5. TREES are holding on to their leaves a little later this autumn and could get damaged by autumn gales so make sure younger trees are well supported and remove any torn or damaged branches if they occur.
6. HERBACEOUS PERENNIALS are beginning to look very tatty now and as the frosts arrive you can start cutting these back down to just above ground level and remove the decaying leaves and stems. These plants will all sprout up again from soil level next spring.
7. If you have any ALPINES in a rock garden just make sure that these low growing plants don’t get smothered by fallen leaves.
8. Fruit should all be harvested from the garden by now but still too early for pruning.
9. Try to keep the vegetable garden tidy during the winter, removing unwanted vegetation when necessary. Covering the ground with sea weed or rotted farm yard manure will help to keep winter weeds down as well as improving the soil fertility and texture and will be sufficiently rotted away for when the planting season comes around in the spring.
10. And when you’ve got nothing else to do why not make a scarecrow for Halloween and for the garden !…..there is a scarcrow making workshop in Willowfield Garden Centre on Sat 25 th if anyone is interested just for the Hoooowl of it !
Happpy Gardening…hoe, hoe, hoe……