Leaves, leaves and more leaves! Autumn is just around the corner, with its gorgeous kaleidoscope of colours as the leaves start changing colours, but before it hits us in earnest, there’s still plenty to do in the garden for those of us who love our little or large patches of green.
September is generally much cooler than August. It is beginning to get gustier too as the days shorten and the Gulf Stream shifts into its winter position. With October looming, along with the falling leaves and the monstrous gales, it is time to enjoy the last hints of summer sun.
For those who love gardening, it’s a great time to reap the rewards of your labours. For example, picking your laden fruit trees, or the last autumn raspberries, dig up the final crop of potatoes, carrots and other root veg before the slugs do their worst. It is so satisfying when you cook with produce you have grown, that it is suddenly all worth the effort. If you have hanging baskets and potted plants give them an extra feed and water if necessary, they will often keep blooming until the first frosts arrive.
September is a busy time of year for gardeners, tidying up the summer perennials and getting ready for next year’s collection of floral marvels as it is the time to get planting bulbs ready for the spring. To get your garden going as early as possible next year, consider bulbs such as daffodils, crocus and hyacinths. I would also recommend investing in a long armed bulb planter, which you can get for as little as £12 and are a brilliant way to save your knees and back. Most reputable garden centres will sell them such as Hillier’s. On the subject of bulbs, for a colourful bloom at Christmas now is the time to plant hyacinth and amaryllis bulbs for forcing and of course they are a perfect home-made Christmas present for the older ladies of the family.
Over the next few weeks there will be a lot of happy gardeners going secateur crazy as rose bushes are pruned and hydrangeas de-headed not to mention all those hedges that could do with a winter trim in readiness for next year’s spring growth. If you’re unsure about what to prune when, seek advice from websites such as http://www.gardenersworld.com/.
While you are pruning, the keener gardeners can collect and sow all the seeds from the perennials or divide up the tumours in plants like irises. For those who have ponds or pools, it is time to cover them with leaf netting, to avoid blocking your filters.
But don’t forget to give your garden an extra bit of autumn colour. Fill gaps in borders with autumn flowering plants such as sedum and chrysanthemum to extend the colour to the end of the season.
Speaking of leaves, the garden centres will see the sale of rakes, wheelbarrows and leaf blowers sky rocket over the next month, so make sure you get in early before the shelves are bare.
Happy gardening everyone. You will reap your rewards next year, but some things are worth waiting for.