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Planning Retirement Online


Gardener's Diary



An introduction from Rosemary Martin...


Previously in The Gardener's Diary...

August 2012

July 2012

June 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 - September

Reduction in the watering and feeding rates should now begin gradually until the winter minimum is reached. Give the leaves of houseplants a misting with tepid water to clean them, and use a special houseplant leafshine for plants such as rubber plants and swiss cheese plants. Checkfor pests such as Mealy Bug and Red Spider Mite which can be sprayed to eliminate them. Mealy Bug is a persistant pest.

Bulbs are starting to come into the garden centres at this time of year, and September is the main month for planting them, with the exception of tulips which wait until October. If you are not planting bulbs straight away, store them in a dry, dark place with plenty of ventilation, using paper bags not polythene.

lawn tractorNow is the time of year to raise the blade of your mower and rake the lawn to remove excess debris, and runners of creeping weeds. Apply an autumn fertiliser which you will find in abundance at your local DIY store. Read instructions carefully if you have animals or children. Also aerate the lawn if you have dry patches, or areas the rain doesn't soak in to.

This month I usually fill the greenhouse with cuttings of plants such as shrubby salvias, artemisia, sage, hebes, pelargoniums and anything else I may lose through frost over winter. I keep the greenhouse doors open, and shade the cuttings from the sun until the weather turns damper and cooler, then transfer them into the conservatory before the first frosts, to be overwintered.

Complete the annual cutting of older hedges of all types. Towards the end of September is a good time to plant evergreen hedging shrubs and conifers but the site may be prepared now with lots of compost added.

zinniaFlowers for cutting
Keep cutting flowers for the house and at the same time dead-head any faded blooms. Chrysanthemums are delightful this month as are dahlias which, together with some greenery, will give you a good floral display for indoors.

Herbaceous plants
Take time to dead-head any flowers that have faded, and cut down any plants that are finished for the year. At the end of this month any bedding plants left in the borders should be removed to the compost heap and replaced with biennials such as wallflowers, sweet william and stocks.

Ponds and water features
Clear your pond of any decaying vegetation and cover the pool with netting to prevent falling leaves from going into the water. Reduce the quantity of fish food you give your pond fish. You will see that as the weather cools and the days shorten they will want to feed less and less. By the end of October they will have stopped feeding altogether for the duration of the winter. Depending on the weather, water features can be left going until the end of October.

young green woodpeckerWildlife
Give bird feeders a good clean, by knocking out any congealed peanuts, and washing in a mild disinfectant. From now until the spring months make sure you always have a constant supply of bird food available to attract a wide variety of birds to your garden. They will also come to rely on you for food so do keep them topped up in all weather.. The photo on the right is of a young green woodpecker on our palm tree, if you can see him!



 Some more flower shows to visit this year:-

Wisley Flower Show  -  September 5th - 9th




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