I just love the garden in autumn! It’s still warm enough to be outside for ages, there’s plenty to do and lots to enjoy as well (especially when the leaves start to change colour). It’s the time of year for tidying up, planting and getting a head start for the coming year. Here’s my top tips for the next few weeks:
1. Bring indoors any houseplants that have been in the garden during the summer. Check for pests and spray if necessary. Also look at the bottom of the pot, that’s where slugs or snails hide.
2. Preserve some herbs to use in winter. Chop them finely, add to ice cube trays, pour in a little water and put in the freezer. When needed, just pop the cubes into stews or sauces to give them a really fresh herb flavour.
3. As the summer bedding plants fade, dig them out and fill the gaps with pansies and polyanthus. The sooner these are planted, the better the display next spring.
4. Most spring flowering bulbs can be planted straight away but it’s best to delay planting tulips until late October/early November.
5. Help those green tomatoes turn red before the weather turns colder. Hang a couple of bananas by the plants. The bananas will give off a gas which will encourage the tomatoes to ripen faster.
6. Give your lawn a big late season boost by feeding it with Lawn Magic. The feed will turn it a glorious green and help it look better next year. The grass is still growing, although slowly, and will need a light trim from time to time. Raise the cutting height to 4cm (1.5″) so you don’t cut too much off. Brush off any worm casts before mowing or they’ll get squashed and form muddy patches.
7. Finally, it’s the best time of year for planting trees, roses, hedges, shrubs and most fruit. The plants will settle in over winter and will romp away next season. If you’ve got the choice, do your planting in the autumn rather than waiting until next spring.
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