Autumn is here and there is no time to stand around and warm toes around the fire and get cosy, the race is on as this month its a busy one. Shorter days and nights drawing in quicker, heavy morning dews and starlings prepare for their mass exodus to Africa for the winter months.
Garden Checklist for this month
1. Leaves have already started falling and so this will now become a regular job to be done in the garden. Clear fallen leaves from lawns , as these will cause bare patches and encourage lawn diseases such as dollar spot, red thread and powdery mildew. On pathways leaves create serious trip hazards so collecting them is vital. Collect leaves can be turned into leaf mould and then applied to borders as a mulch in autumn or spring.
2. Leaf mould is helps improve soil structure and is great for earthworms and bacteria. Simply place leaf mould around the borders and the worms will draw it in.
We recommend a spring tine rake either metal or plastic for clearing large swathes of leaves, alternatively consider investing in a petrol leaf blower.
3. This month sees the start of the bare root season. Bare root plants can include hedging, fruit trees and ornamental trees. even roses can now be ordered and planted in a bare root form. ~The bare root season last from ~Autumn to spring and provided the ground is not frozen you can plant during this window.
4. Continue to get bulbs and wallflowers planted to provide early spring interest. Once these are planted and all borders have been cleared and tidied get the mulching underway. Compost, bark are all ideal materials to be using. for large rose beds, order in some loads of well rotted manure to spread over the beds once the pruning has been carried out.
5. Cover up all tender plants with fleece or wrap with hessian for plants that are too large to move the the greenhouse. These can include (Musa – Bananas, Agaves, Aloes, Tree ferns and other tender plants. Canna lillies and Dahlia bulbs should now be lifted and taken to the conservatory. Agapanthus (African lillies) will alsom need the same care.
6. Continue planting varieties of Garlic till the middle of the month. Broad beans can be sown too like Aquadulce in seed trays in the greenhouse. Continue growing varieties of lettuce crops in pots and grow bags in the greenhouse.
7. Dig over empty borders in the vegetable plot so that frosts can break down large clods of soil.
8. Prune back all roses to prevent their roots being swept in winter winds and gales, reduce height by half, then apply a compost and slow release feed round the base of the plants.
9. Clean out bird boxes, feeders and bird baths. Wear gloves to avoid any parasites. once clean dried start filling feeders with food. Fat balls and seeds are a good option, once the cold weather begins, ensure they are kept stocked to maintain frequent visits.
10. If the autumn maintenance lawn treatment was not carried out last month then there is still time to carry it out this month. However should frosts be forecast it will now need to be left till spring. By the end of Noveber the lawn should not need to be cut at all. should any leaves accumulate then use the mower to suck them up on the highest setting. Get your lawn mower booked in for its seasonal service to avoid the spring rush.