- Watch out for late frosts and protect tender plants with fleece.
- Hedges can start to be clipped, check for nesting birds before you start.
- Mow lawns weekly
- Collect rainwater with a water butt.
- Hoe borders to prevent annual weeds from spreading.
- Liquid feed plants in containers every two to four weeks. Q4 soluble is a good general feed.
- Top dress spring flowering Alpines with grit or gravel to prevent rotting.
- Prune Clematis Montana after flowering.
- Remove any reverted green shoots from variegated evergreens.
- Tie in Rambling & climbing roses as near to horizontal as possible. This will encourage more side shoots, therefore producing more flowers.
- Check roses for signs of black spot and aphids, we recommend Roseclear is used as a preventative.
- Caterpillars, aphids and other flying pests can be a problem this time of year. PY products are excellent at controlling these issues.
- Apply a high nitrogen feed to your lawn to encourage a healthy looking lawn. Scott’s lawn builder lawn food is our recommendation.
- Remove dirt and algae from walls, paving and patios, we recommend Patio Magic.
- In dry spells, treat timber products with Ronseal timber care.
- Apply greenhouse shading to the outside of glass to prevent temperatures soaring on sunny days.
- If growing tomatoes, peppers and aubergines in a greenhouse remember to tie in the leading shoots. Stems are less likely to break or grow in an undesired direction if trained early on.
- Apply a liquid feed to spring bulbs after they have flowered, to encourage good flowering next year, we recommend Q4 soluble.
- Trim back Aubrietia and Alyssum after flowering, this encourages fresh growth and new flowers.
- Keep on top of your weeding.
- Protect fruit trees & fruit bushes from late frosts using protective fleece.
- Tie in climbing & rambling roses to trellis or wires.
- Sow seeds of annuals, biennials, herbaceous plants & vegetable plants outdoors now. For best results prepare a good seedbed, free from weeds & stones.
- Feed trees & shrubs – we recommend Vitax Q4.
- Re-seed your lawn where patches have appeared.
- Now is the time to divide Bamboos & waterlilies.
- Sweet Peas can now be sown outdoors.
- Divide herbaceous plants when they have grown too large for their allotted space.
- Lavenders can be pruned now, protect open wound from frost.
- Hoe your borders.
- Protect your plants from slugs & snails.
- Vine weevil larvae are active now, be aware if your plants suddenly start to wilt. Use vine weevil killer as a drench to control the problem.
- Mulch rose beds with a 5- 8cm layer of organic matter, we recommend blended farm manure.
- Remove frost damaged shoots from evergreen plants.
- Put rabbit guards around newly planted trees & shrubs to protect the bark.
- Mow your lawn as required.
- Repair lawn edges.
- Apply a high nitrogen lawn feed to encourage good strong growth. Scott’s lawn builder lawn food would be our recommendation.
- Excellent time to apply a Lawn weedkiller.
- Sow new lawns from Mid April.
- Remove algae from paths & patios, Patio magic is our recommendation.
- Treat timber structures, we recommend Ronseal products.
- Start to use a liquid feed on your houseplants once you start to see signs of new growth.
Good quality high energy feeds are what birds need in winter, going into spring to meet garden birds’ energy requirements through the coming year
One in three people are now doing things specifically to encourage wildlife into the garden – which is an increase of a third compared to four years ago. Also, a survey by Ipsos Mori, commissioned by the HTA revealed that 75% of garden owners agree or strongly agree with the statement “It’s important to me that my garden supports wildlife like birds and bees”. 60% of us now regularly feed the birds in our garden and nearly a quarter provide nesting and breeding habitats.
There are a wide variety of foods available which attract different species and different diners to your garden. Garden favourites the robin and blackbirds love plump, juicy mealworms which will provide a good source of protein, fat and valuable moisture. There is a huge variety of seed mixes are full of nutritional value and are eagerly consumed by most species. Straight seeds such as sunflower hearts are the first choice for many birds and black sunflowers are enjoyed by chaffinches, greenfinches, sparrows and tits. Nyger seeds are nirvana for goldfinches and siskins.
With Autumn being nature’s natural time to plant, now is the ideal time to start planning your spring garden.
Research commissioned by the HTA revealed that 45% believed that spring bulbs should be planted in spring, when in fact autumn is the key time to do both.
Taylor’s Bulbs have put some information together on the most popular bulbs to get your spring garden started.
Hyacinths are a favourite because of their scent. They are pillars of delicious fragrance in many different colours. Try planting them near an entrance door or along a footpath so you can enjoy their perfume.
These are the stately globes of the bulb world. Large heads or small, they are all magnets for pollinating insects. Try planting purple and white together, or for something a bit different, try Nectaroscordum Siculum which is loved by bumble bees.
Other bulbs which are good for wildlife, particularly insects, are Eranthis Cilicica (Winter Aconites), all crocus and snowdrops. These bulbs are particularly important as they flower early in the year when not much else is in bloom. On a sunny February day, you may see bumble bees searching for nectar. By planting a few of these bulbs, you can make a big difference to your local insect population.
Snowdrops signal the end of dark winter days, flowering in January and February when not much else is in bloom. They are an important source of nectar for early emerging insects, particularly bees. They come in various heights and sizes.
Again, early flowering and available in many different colours, they are a great source of nectar for insects. Nothing looks better than a carpet of crocus on a sunny February or March day, flowers fully open, showing their inner beauty. They are excellent for naturalising in grass or in a border.
The range alone makes them a favourite. If you are careful with your selection, you can have narcissi in flower for up to 5 months of the year from January through to the beginning of May! They come in all different heights and colours, single-headed, multi-headed and fragrant. What more could you ask for?
The elegant ‘ladies’ of the bulb world, there is a tulip for every situation. Short or tall, single-headed, multi-headed and fragrant, pastel, primary and bold colours are all available.
Autumn is the ideal season to plant all kinds of things in the garden from vegetables, seeding lawns, shrubs and perennials to evergreen, fruit, and deciduous trees. Yet when it comes to planting, many gardeners mistakenly think this should be done in Spring.
The ideal period for autumn planting is regarded as six weeks before the first hard frost so September and October is the perfect window for gardeners. Rather than let your garden lie dormant over winter, it can be rich with colour from oranges to reds, vibrant pinks and purples, blues to evergreens.
Autumn is a great time to plant as the soil is warm and the rain is frequent, providing plenty of moisture. This will give the plant the best start in life and encourage root growth. The plant will have time to put down roots before winter so that when spring arrives it will have a real head start. The plant will also require less watering as it will have already started to establish.
When planting, water well and remove the pot. Plant in a hole that’s approximately around 5cm larger all round. Back fill with soil mixed with multi purpose compost and gently firm. Water again and repeat regularly until established.
Here’s what you need to be doing in October to keep your garden looking good …
• Plant Autumn colour
• Create a bird feeding area
• Move tender plants inside or into a greenhouse to protect against frost, or fleece
• Harvest autumn vegetables
• Collect falling leaves
• Plant spring flowering bulbs
• Prune tall growing roses
• Dead head all faded flower heads and remove any parts of plants that have died back
Research commissioned by the HTA revealed that over two fifths of gardeners mistakenly believe that fruit trees and berries should be planted in spring, whilst in actual fact autumn is the key time to do so.
Despite the surge in grow your own gardening; many people still overlook the possibilities of home grown fruits and berries. There is an increasing number of tasty, unusual fruit such as gooseberries and loganberries that will happily grow in the UK climate. Growing your own fruit can be very rewarding – not only does it taste better, but is friendly to the environment and more importantly, you know where it’s come from”.
Small fruits and berries are nutritious, easy to grow at home and relatively low-maintenance, but planting them is a long-term commitment and it can take several seasons before fruit is seen. As the greatest abundance of fruit tends to appear in late summer and early autumn, it’s important to plant them during the autumn season and early winter.
Strawberries are the best choice to grow as they take up little space, are easy to maintain and their delicious fruit can be eaten straight from the plan. Their trailing habit makes them ideal for growing in containers or hanging baskets and the plants are cheap and easy to propagate.
Fruit trees are often referred to as a top fruit and can be further divided into two categories. PIP Fruit involves apples and pears and Stone Fruit involves plums, apricots, peaches, greengages, nectarines, cherries and damsons. Each type of fruit tree has a wide range of varieties and, by careful selection; fruit can be produced over a long period in summer for storage into autumn. It is best to grow different varieties of the same fruit near to one another to improve pollination and produce the best crop.
September is when autumn begins to creep into your garden, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to let it all go to seed – keep busy with the following jobs
• Look after your lawn – weed it and seed it
• Pick and harvest summer fruits
• Bring tender houseplants inside
• Continue to sow vegetables
• Clear out the greenhouse
• Collect and sow seed gathered from plants in the garden
• Net ponds before leaf fall gets underway
• Keep up with watering of new plants, using rain or grey water if possible
• Plant spring flowering bulbs