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Your autumn garden

Many people ask me lots of questions about gardening as I go about my daily work, I thought it might be a good idea to provide you some gardening tips that you can read in the comfort of indoors with a cuppa in your hand. So I shall write regularly with seasonal tips and ideas.

If you have a question please feel free to email me and ask, I will answer and post the most interesting in my next blog. It might take me a little while to answer, but I will answer.

Jobs for the October garden

Ornamental garden

  • Cutback and divide herbaceous summer perennials.
  • Plant spring bulbs except for tulips
  • Plant prepared Hyacinths for Christmas flowering
  • Scarify, aerate and top-dress lawn.
  • Scrub birdbaths out to help maintain the heath of your feathered visitors.

Vegetable garden

  • Autumn fruiting raspberries need not be cut back, allow them to continue fruiting, then tie in.
  • Put up netting to prevent pigeons from damaging winter brassicas.
  • Plat autumn onion sets.

Your garden in October

This time of year is a good time to assess your garden and decide if you would like to make any changes. Because of the warmth left in the soil newly planted or moved plants will establish well before winter sets in.

If you are not confident in your design abilities, take a photograph of your garden, print it off. Then put tracing paper over the photograph and draw your design. You can throw the tracing paper away as many times as you like until you are happy with the results.

If you feel that major changes are requires consider consulting your local Landscape contractor. Your chosen contractor will level off ground, lay paths, build walls and steps or build raised beds effectively and efficiently. Leaving you to stand back and enjoy the finished results. Don’t forget to take ‘before’ and ‘after’ photographs.

Tree and large shrub planting.

If you would like to incorporate later elements into your garden, now is a very good time to plant. Ensure that you use a stake when planting trees Strong winter winds might tip it over if not staked in.  If your tree or shrub has been grown in a pot remember to ‘ruffle’ the roots with your fingers before planting, easing the roots out of the round shape they have got used to growing into. This will encourage the roots to grow out not carry on growing round and round.  Dig your hole to just a little bigger the pot .ensure you have the depth correct, the earth should not be any higher that the level in the pot.  Once planted tread around the base of the plant or tree to ensure they are really firmed in. Water really well and continue to water very well a couple of times a week if the weather is dry. Stop watering once the leaves fall off or the weather cools if the plant is evergreen.

Lawns

Whether your lawn is your pride and joy or the pace the family play and relax it will benefit from some TLC at this time of year. Take the time to scarify, this means to remove the thatch or dead grass that has wound its way around the base of the growing grass. If you have a small patch of grass using a sprung rake will get this out. This is hard work, so if you have a large area I would suggest that you hire or buy a scarifier. However you remove the thatch you will be surprised how much the waste is produced. This will not be wasted if you put it on your compost heap.

Purchase an autumn weed and feed and apply this to the lawn according to the instructions on the packaging. After a while you will see weeds start to dies off, the grass will be slightly greener.

If you have any bald patches in your lawn, this is also a good time to sow grass seed. Rough up the soil in the thin area; apply the grass seed at the density suggested on the packet. Sprinkle on a little compost and leave to germinate. If the weather is dry keep moist by watering.

You may decide that a new lawn is required, so talk to your landscaping contractor to price up laying one for you.

Spring bulbs

All bulbs need to be planted in well-drained soil. They will sulk and rot if you do not. Before planting bulbs incorporate lots of organic matter into the soil.

If planting in drifts take handfuls of bulbs and throw them on to the ground where they are to be planted. Then plant them where they fall, this provide the most natural effect. Plant crocus bulbs three to four inches deep and water well after planting. Plant daffodil bulbs at least four inches deep and water in well after planting.

If planting in a lawn you will need to use an auger or something that will ‘drill’ the hole for the bulb remember wherever you plant the soil should be well drained.

Now is the time to plant spring bulbs except for tulips. Drifts of snowdrops and crocus, for example if you wold like white crocus try ‘Joan of Arc’ or for something bigger and bolder try ‘ruby giant’ (lovely purples). All of these look outstanding at the very beginning of spring for the very best effect plant them in drifts.

Wild British daffodils,(Narcissus pseudonarcissus) look stunning planted through the edges of a lawn or through a rockery. Larger scented narcissus are very good planted in pots or boarders close to the house and garage, use verities like ‘Narcissus Puebelo’ or any of the Narcissus jonquilla verities. They all smell wonderful, and a joy to see in the spring.

Enjoy your garden this September; there are still wonderful colours to be enjoyed. Encourage the wild life, start feeding the birds, put up a bug house and keep the birdbath filled.

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