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Gardener's Diary

September 2011

An introduction from Rosemary Martin...

Previously in The Gardener's Diary...

August 2011

July 2011

June 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..


FuschiaDue to the warm dry summer we have had, many trees have been deprived of water and started to drop their leaves already, making it feel quite autumnal.

When trees are stressed they shed their leaves, shut down their systems, pretend it`s autumn and sit it out till spring. But don`t worry, your trees have not died, they will be fine and come next spring, be covered in buds again..

Lawns are also looking very brown and dead, but they will recover so don`t feel you must water them. It is a shame that we in the UK so look forward to enjoying our gardens in our brief summers, only to find we often have a parched desert for a garden! One of the benefits of the dry weather is the lack of snails, slugs and aphids in the garden.


 

Jobs for the month

September 2011

 

Fruit and vegetable gardening for September   click here

Hanging baskets, tubs and window boxes

winter hanging basketContinue watering daily. A plant food, such as `Miracle gro` mixed with water will ensure your flowers get an extra lease of life, or the granular equivalent.. Regular deadheading will help keep the plants flowering profusely. Plants that have `gone over` can be removed and any that have got straggly can be pruned. Plant up hanging baskets, tubs and window boxes with autumn flowering plants to see you over the winter and spring months.

Lawns

Most lawns if left to their own devices will have suffered in the recent dry summer. My lawn was compacted in places, so any water just sat on the surface before evaporating. I have ‘spiked’ it to loosen it up and allow water and air to get in. This was done by digging the garden fork in, wiggling it about to make holes and lifting the turf up slightly. The areas of lawn I have done and then watered are looking considerably improved. Regular mowings are still required, but raise the cutter now a notch or two.

Shrubs and flower borders

Recycling garden waste is becoming more important and you can contribute by making your own compost to put on your borders. Not only does it enrich the soil, making shrubs stronger, but the mulch helps keep any moisture in, which benefits the plants in times of drought, as we have had recently. . Keep your borders looking cared for and colourful by continual dead-heading of flowers and ensuring the lawn edges are neat. This is the month to collect seeds from flowers that you want to grow again next year. Take softwood cuttings of shrubs you want to propagate, and any tender perennials that may not survive the winter.

Wildlife

It is time to clean up the bird feeders for the coming cold months and keep them filled. 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...

Ponds and water features


Give your pond fish less food now. You will find they won`t want to eat as much as previous months. Start removing any dead or dying foliage from the water plants, rather than letting it die down naturally and polluting the water..

House plants

spadeMake sure your houseplants are in tip top condition for the winter. If you think re-potting for a houseplant is needed, it can still be done now rather than risk overwintering one that is pot bound. On a warm day put houseplants outside for a fine spray with your hosepipe to clean the foliage. Not woolly leaved plants though!

 

Weeding

Continue as for previous months preventing all those minute weeds from taking over with a light hoeing.... A nice easy maintenance job with a hoe this month that will prevent seedlings from germinating.

 

 

 

 

Happy gardening till next month....

sneezing sunflower



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