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Gardener's Diary

October 2011

An introduction from Rosemary Martin...

Previously in The Gardener's Diary...

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

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..

salad from the gardenThe rains have finally arrived and now probably won't ever stop. But it is welcome because having recently aerated my lawn, I then topdressed it, mixing grass seed in with the soil and raking it evenly over the lawn - with this rain it now looks a treat.

We live in an area in which the chafer bugs decimate our lawns and rather than spend lots of money with chemical treatments, our group of neighbours decided to repair our lawns..

Of course the arrival of ANOTHER new puppy last week won't help the lawn at all!

Autumn has arrived and there really is no excuse not to do those jobs in the garden you meant to do all summer - see below for suggestions..


Jobs for the month

October 2011


Fruit and vegetable gardening for October   click here


begoniaHouse plants

Houseplants that have spent the summer outside should be brought back indoors, before any early frosts kill them. Reduce watering to a minimum this month. Check all houseplants for any pests and diseases and treat accordingly, referring to your gardening books.


There is still time to give your lawn it's autumn 'weed and feed' and a good raking.. Take care to protect your pets until the weed and feed has been washed in by rain. Follow instructions regarding the composting of treated clippings. Try not to walk on worm casts, instead wait for a dry day when you can brush them with a stiff yard brush to disperse them. Don't try to discourage worms, they are the good guys..

Herbaceous borders

Continue dead-heading, weeding and hoeing, to keep the borders looking neat. The mild weather has ensured a stunning late display of Chrysanthemums, Michaelmas daisies and Dahlias, so the garden is still ablaze with colour. This is a good month for splitting clumps of perennials to increase your stock and improve overcrowded clumps. Dig up the plant, then use two garden forks to split the clump into smaller bits and re-use the smaller outer edge bits, discarding any dead roots from the middle.


Put a wire mesh lid over the pond to keep the falling leaves from adding to the rotting plants and producing gases that can harm the fish. This is a good month for building an extension to an existing pond, or creating a new one. It can then have a chance to overwinter and be ready for occupation next spring.


hedgehogDozy hedgehogs can be encouraged to spend the winter in your garden if you provide shelter in a container for hibernation. Squirrels hibernate on and off, sleeping for long periods, but waking when refreshed. Rabbits, foxes and moles don`t hibernate at all, but forage what they can during the winter months. Foxes are now becoming an every day sight as are the gulls which used to be just seaside birds. Keep bird feeders topped up and provide water for the birds.

Fences, paths and walls

A nice sunny day is ideal for checking that your boundary fences, walls and any paths are in good condition to survive the approaching winter.  Strong winds will have weakened fences in particular. Paths should be treated with something like Algon, which is the easiest treatment of all to use for getting rid of slippery algae on paths and drives.

Happy gardening till next month....

sneezing sunflower


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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.

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