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Planning Retirement Online


Gardener's Diary



An introduction from Rosemary Martin...


Previously in The Gardener's Diary...

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012


The Gardener's Diary


RosemaryI have been gardening now as a hobby for about forty years, but have no formal training.. I don't have a favourite style of gardening, traditional is nice, but I also think the modern trends work well. 

This column adds a new dimension to my interest in all aspects of horticulture and will hopefully help others find pleasure in this healthy and therapeutic pastime ... 

Please e-mail me with your garden problems, comments, or ideas for this section of laterlife, remembering to tell me which country you are from.. 

Click here for previous editions of Gardener's Diary..


Jobs for the month - October



September - November is the time to give your lawn to an application of Autumn Weed and Feed. Wait for a dry day (that could be a problem!) when there is not too much wind. Even if your lawn is looking green and lush due to so much rain, the Autumn weed and feed boosts root growth over winter.


Have you thought about growing some windowsill herbs for use in the winter months? They are freely available in supermarkets now and bring a little of the outdoors in to your kitchen.. It is so nice to cook with fresh herbs.



Stop feeding houseplants now until about March- April. Cut back on watering this month and place plants where they will be out of draughts for the winter months. It is always worth double checking that you are giving your houseplants the conditions they require..



Now is the time to plant up specially prepared hyacinths for Christmas colour. Amaryllis can be planted indoors now and hopefully they too will be in flower for Christmas.

Handy tip: Put labels in the soil near any bulbs you have planted, which will save you overplanting with other plants in error!



If, like me, you find it difficult to throw away pelargoniums, (geraniums) dig them up and store them in containers to overwinter in the greenhouse. Keep them as dry as possible and take cuttings in the spring. I know August is the proper time to take Pelargonium cuttings but I find they generally rot off over winter, whereas the cuttings taken in spring are strong and healthy with 100% success rate.

Continue growing lettuce in the greenhouse for autumn use.


Birds on feederIt is time to clean up bird feeders that will do such a good job over the coming months and fill them with peanuts or seed. There are strong stainless steel types in the shops now that Squirrels can't get into.  

If you are making heaps of leaves and twiggy stuff ready for a bonfire, do have a check that a hedgehog is not sheltering there before you strike a light. This very often does happen unfortunately...

Talking of hedgehogs, if you have been plagued by slugs and snails this year have you thought about Getting a hedgehog?


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The above article is part of the features section of called laterlife interest. laterlife interest contains a variety of articles of interest for visitors to written by a number of experienced and new journalists.

It includes both one off articles and also associated regular columns of a more specialist nature such as Healthwise, Gardener's Diary, our regular IT question and answer section called YoucandoIT and there's also 'It could be you' by Maggi Stamp laterlife's counsellor on human relationships. 

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