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Gardening in Early Autumn

Gardening in the rain of early autumn can be frustrating but when the rain ceases, we must have trowels and secateurs at the ready.

For lawn lovers there is still plenty of time to seed and turf any patches in your gardens, raising the height of your mowers to around an inch (2.5cm) to put a little more green on your lawns is a good idea now and decreasing the frequency of your mowing is going to occur as the peak growing season comes to an end. Stop feeding your lawn during the start of September and wait to use an autumn feed in late October.

Your greenhouse will (or at least could) be looking full to the brim now with tomatoes, cucumbers, melons and peppers etc, so by the end of the month you should have removed the last of your fruit and composted the remains of the plants. If this creates vacant borders, you can sow winter lettuce, but you may find that your space is taken up by cuttings of successful summer plants like fuchsias and pelargoniums and any rooted cuttings from earlier in the year.

It’s now time to dry off your begonia bulbs to rest them for the winter and you could pot up freesia corms for a nice winter display. At this time of year  you may need to ventilate the greenhouse during sunny spells, but there is no longer a need to dampen off as the air is getting damper and the temperature dropping. This is a still busy time for Veg growers, sow lettuces, spinach and turnips and it’s time to plant out your spring cabbages.  

The usual pest problems are still prevalent too so net your brassicas to prevent bird damage and get busy stopping slugs from devastating your crops. A lot of your root crops will be ready to be dug up and stored, so it’s time to see those prize carrots, potatoes and beetroots. Top tip: always onions store in a dry bright place. Once these vegetables have been harvested, fork over and clean up the ground, ready for adding well rotted manure in late autumn to over winter.

Do general care of removing dead leaves from your crops and hoeing weeds in and around your plants helps to stop competition and pests. It’s now a great time to cut and dry your herbs ready for use during the winter, another fantastic trick is to freeze them immediately after cutting, this locks the smell and flavours in ready for use whenever.

      

September brings us the start of the spring bulb planting season, hundreds of varieties are available some of the most popular are daffodils, narcissi and crocuses. Lilly bulbs are ready to be planted into beds and borders and for lovers of flowers in the garden; sow hardy annuals for flowers next summer. Roses as always need looking after now, so prune your ramblers, remove any faded flower heads and start to take cuttings and root them in a sheltered spot outdoors.

Conifers and most evergreens can be moved now if you have something growing in the wrong place, but if the weather stays warm maybe leave it a few weeks until the plants are dormant. If you take cuttings from your evergreen shrubs now is the time to chop into them and get them rooting in a propagator. The last jobs in the garden now are on the fruit, you should still be harvesting your apples and pears and storing them ready for use, also damsons and plums will soon be ripe enough to pick. Pruning is essential at this time of year to remove any runners that form on our strawberries, and raspberries and loganberries should be pruned. While working with raspberries you should look to tie in the new growth to support wires increasing the stability and shape of the canes, you can cut out any blackberry canes when they have finished cropping and tie in the new ones.

That’s plenty to keep us busy but remember if you need any more advice or things explaining why not come and see us at Lymefield where there’s always someone friendly to help. Or look online or via social media. Happy Gardening!