My goodness, the weather this summer has been a bit challenging. It all started so well in June and then seems to have gone downhill ever since! August has been a bit of a washout but some plants, like my Dahlias, have loved it. So have the slugs, unfortunately, but my Slug and Snail control pellets have kept them in check.
We’re reaching that transitional time of year in the garden, but September can be glorious and if we get an Indian Summer (as I recently promised Craig on air) then the summer bedding can continue to look glorious. An occasional feed with Flower Power will make the most of it, as well as toughening up any over-wintering plants, like penstemons and hardy fuchsias.
On sunny days I like to get out and get ahead with a few of the key jobs for the coming weeks. I bring plants that have been in the garden during the summer indoors, like my lemon tree. As I do so, I always check the bottom of the pot, as that’s where slugs and snails like to hide.
I also give my lawn a big late season boost by feeding with it with Lawn Magic. The feed will turn it a glorious green and help it look better next year. I have a few patches this year (caused by ants), but they are easily dealt with by sprinkling some of my grass seed on them towards the end of the month.
My tomatoes are ripening well in the greenhouse and I’ve had a great crop. Towards the end of the month, I have a neat trick to speed up the ripening of the green tomatoes before the weather turns cold – I hang a couple of bananas by the plants! The bananas give off a gas which will encourage the tomatoes to ripen faster.
I’ll also be thinking ahead and growing Hyacinths to flower for Christmas. I buy ‘prepared’ bulbs and plant five per 20cm/8″ bowl using my multi-purpose compost. I water them, then place them in a cool spot outside. In early December, when the shoots are 5cm/2″ high, I’ll bring them indoors to a cool, light room and they should look and smell scent-sational for Christmas.
Just before I finish, I must mention some exciting news in the Jackson family. My son Nick loves healthy eating and got fed up because he couldn’t find a healthy, great tasting, gluten free pasta. So I suggested he developed one, and blow me, he has! So with lots of gardening, and lots of Nick’s pasta, I should be glowing with health by the end of the month!