Did I say Autumn was the settled ripening time??? lets all visualize the wonderful mellow autumn days of the past to make it happen because so much needs to be done in gardens right now, weeding, hedge trimming, cutting back and clearing out Summer growth,
spraying, (so many weeds after all the rain!!) mulching, building new compost heaps then there are all those leaves ….(Whew, no pressure)
I have taken time this week to look around the garden to see what plants flowered well over Summer and those that have not because of trees getting taller and wider and blocking out light. The plants I found suffering most were Dahlia’s, some have not flowered at all from lack of light and moisture and others are hidden behind other plants. They will be dug up and transplanted into a sunnier spot, leaving the top growth on to die off back into the tubers. Other plants suffering the same are Dwarf Agapanthus, Roses, Asters and Dianthus, all of these need a lot of sunshine and light to preform well.
If looking to improve the look of established gardens a front boarder will do the trick, there are so many suitable plants that maybe multiplying around your garden like lambs ear, with it’s lovely silver textured leaf, variegated and Dwarf Iris, Blue Grass, Dwarf Agapanthus, Hosta’s, Hellebores, Purple Sage, Thyme, Erigeron daisy and Violas, plus heaps of other low growing evergreen plants that cuttings or divisions can be taken from right now to create borders. All these plants I have mentioned look great planted en masse in long rows to change the look of a garden.
The following flower seeds can still be sown now:
Aquilegia, Calendula (Marigold) Lupins, Stocks, Sweet Peas, Dianthus some will probably already be germinating around where these plants have been growing. I pot up most worthy plants that nature supplies in our garden to be planted out either before or after Winter depending on the maturity of them.
Topdress Lilies with blood and bone and compost, one cup of blood and bone to each bucket of compost. If you need to shift Lilies, never let them dry out – get them back in the ground straight away or store them in a wet towel until ready to transplant.
If you have trees and shrubs that need to be moved, wrench them now, by digging around one half of their roots and leaving the other half untouched for a few months. Make a trench around the lifted roots and fill with soft compost, the cut roots will form new feeder roots into the compost which will make the eventual transplant cope better. Remember plants which have had their root system reduced should also have their top growth reduced.
Veg and fruit
Tomatoes need all the daylight hours now to ripen, removing all shading leaves.
Sweet pepper plants that need more time to ripen can be dug up, put into a pot and placed under shelter to continue growing if any threat of frost.
Onion planting time is now. Sow onion seeds in rows 20cm apart and 6mm deep.
Sow a green crop, adding humus to vacant vegetable plots will improve the soil, Blue Lupin, Mustard, Wheat, Barley or Oats are good for this purpose – dug in just before the crop reaches flowering stage.
In cooler areas, citrus trees especially when young, should have a temporary roof for frost protection put in place soon.
My wine grapes are a disaster with mildew again this year – so no picking nor treading. Not to worry, there is an abundance of nice wine already made and on offer out there!
As for Scruff – our small Cairn Terrier who thinks he is an Alsatian… Bored and soooo over the rain…