October has now ended, taking with it the last of the summer’s heat.
With the change of seasons comes a different set of needs for our gardens.
Autumn is the perfect time to tidy up before the really cold weather sets in. As plants and grass begin to slow their growth, it’s a good time to have a clear up in the garden.
Mulch and Mush
Cut back plants that have turned brown and mushy, but maybe leave some of the more interesting seed heads for the birds and to add interest to the borders architecturally.
If you have a lawn, it’s better to avoid cutting it. Aerate the lawn with a fork then rake up leaves as they fall and use them for mulch on your flower beds, or you can also gather up the leaves and place them in black plastic sacks. Tie up the bag and make holes with a fork before storing them behind a shed or out of sight. Wait until the Spring when they will have mulched down, ready to spread around trees and shrubs.
Prepare indoor bulbs for flowering at Christmas. Hyacinths and daffodils can be forced during the winter months. You can find bulbs on sale now in garden centres and nurseries. Prepare a pot with holes in the bottom and cover with a few crocks. Mix some compost with grit and fill the pot half way up. Place the bulbs on top then cover with more compost and water slightly. Place in a dark cupboard and check for new growth. Water if dry. Bring them out into the light onto a window sill when shoots are about 5 cm, then enjoy watching them grow and flower in your home.
More things to do this week…
- Deadhead flowers that are continuing to bloom
- Collect seeds and store in paper envelopes or bags and label. Store in a dry place until Spring
- Prune branches on trees and shrubs that have died back or are in the way. Cut back to a healthy side branch
- Divide deciduous shrubs by cutting back foliage, forking roots apart and replanting elsewhere
- Plant bulbs: daffodils, crocus, iris reticulata, muscari (grape hyacinth) and scillas in window boxes and in the garden. Tulips can be planted now too or well into November or December.
Oh yes, and don’t forget to feed the birds! Seeds, berries and suet balls will be appreciated and a lovely way to light up a gloomy day watching from your window!
Enjoy your Autumn and Winter gardening! Please send your seasonal gardening tips to us at email@example.com or tag us in on social media through @BeautifyBalham!