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In recent weeks we’ve participated in the Swallowfield Show which turned out to be very successful for us! Also, now that the cooler months are coming into play, we’ve been out and about helping with conservation!
Top tips for September 2016
September sees shortening days and cooler evenings, and a general feel that autumn is on its way. The grass is heavy with dew in the morning and the many of the veggie plants are looking past their best. Fingers crossed that we are lucky enough to have an Indian summer.
Keep your garden in bloom
To keep the garden in bloom for as long as possible, keep deadheading and watering container plants to prolong their flowering display – they will often last until the first frosts. But, once they’re past their best re-plant with winter and spring plants such as winter heathers, trailing ivies and spring-flowering bulbs.
September is a good month to plant perennials, when the ground is warm and moist. Don’t place your plants too close together. Most plants are relatively small when you first purchase them and to make boarders look full it can be tempting to space them closer together. However, they will grow and won’t fair so well if they don’t have enough room as they will compete with each other for light and water. Check plant labels for the predicted spread and plant just a little closer than recommended if you want the plants to provide a covering so the soil is not visible.
Staying on the subject of planting, now’s the time to set spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils, crocus and hyacinths. They should be planted before the first frosts and thrive best in free draining soil, in a sunny position. As a rule of thumb, plant bulbs two or three times their own depth and two bulbs width apart with the top facing upwards.
Start the autumn clean up!
In the vegetable garden start the autumn clean up. Remove any crops that have finished and keep the area free of weeds. If you’ve grown pumpkins and squashes, place them on a piece of slate or wood so they’re not sitting on wet soil, which will cause them to rot. And if your pumpkins need a helping hand to ripen in time for Halloween remove any leaves that are causing a shadow over the fruits to ensure they get as much light as possible. To test if sweetcorn is ripe, pinch a kernel – if it’s ripe it will release a milky sap, if the sap is watery it needs a bit longer and if the kernel is starchy, you’ve left it too late to harvest.
Keep your lawns fresh
The warm, damp soil makes this an ideal time to create new lawns from seed or turf, or make repairs to a patchy lawn. For existing lawns, raise the height of your mower blades as the growth rate of the grass slows down. This will help the lawn withstand any drier autumn weather spells and keep it resistant to treading as the wetter weather sets in. Feed your lawn with an autumn fertiliser, which is rich in potassium and low in nitrogen. It will help to harden up your lawn as we go into winter.
Things you can be getting on with this month…
- Put pot feet or bricks under pots to raise them off the ground to prevent water logging
- Net ponds to stop autumn leaves falling into the water and rotting.
- Install water butts to collect rain over the autumn and winter.
- Is the last month to apply a lawn weedkiller to control perennial weeds such as daisies and buttercups.
- Collect ripe seeds from you favourite plants and store them in labelled envelopes ready to sow in the spring.
- Give us a call to order your firewood so you are well stocked for when the nights get chilly.