What's happening in the garden now...
The page below lists the various tasks that Ben and the team will be completing in the garden this month. Split into four main sections the lists will hopefully help you structure and plan your own gardening work schedule... so lets get busy
With the weather turning cooler, the garden changes in both growth rate and appearance. Late summer perennials begin to fire up their rich bright colours whilst annuals reach their peak.
Production is in full swing with vegetables and fruit cropping at such pace that the larder and freezer are rapidly filling up. At this time thoughts turn to next year with the possibilities of autumn planting and the end of season clean up. A busy but beautiful time to be in the garden, reflecting on the passing year so far.
If not already done so, make lists and order bulbs that you may want to plant this autumn for next year’s spring display; they’re good in pots but also great for extending the season in borders.
Prune and tie in all new growth of rambling roses to prevent damage during the autumn weather.
Clear excessive weed growth from ponds and water features, allowing time for the disturbance to settle before the cold weather arrives.
Continue collecting the seed that you want to save for sowing next year. Once dry, clean and label before packing away in a cool dry place.
Plan any autumn lawn maintenance and source hire of machines and suppliers of seed, top dressing and fertilizer if required.
Prepare and sow or lay new turf to take advantage of the cooler, wet weather that will help establish the new lawn before winter.
Rake, weed and tidy paths to instantly smarten the appearance of the garden.
Be mindful of pigeons, mice or slugs that may cause damage to crops and young growth of establishing plants.
Continue to liquid feed plants that are in containers and pots, allowing them to grow strong and healthy as we could have an Indian Summer.
Keep an eye out for plant diseases such as Box Blight and Black Spot, treat quickly to minimise the spread of infection.
If Box Blight is present, be sure to sterilise and clean tools regularly when clipping, especially as you move from one specimen to the next.
If possible, complete clipping of all topiary and hedges, allowing time for plants to recover before the onset of any frosts.
Plan to conduct any building or installation work of new garden features, taking advantage of the weather conditions and daylight hours.
Despite the cooler and wetter weather, continue to water recently planted specimens, pots and containers.
Deadhead and tidy Roses and Perennials to keep the garden looking tidy.
Take stock of you garden, review the year so far and think about future maintenance plans and improvements that you may wish to do before next year begins.
Ensure good ventilation and "damp down" on hot sunny days. But be mindful to start closing windows and doors in the evening as night temperatures begin to lower.
Sow, prick out and grow on winter salad crops to ensure a good size before the cold weather arrives.
Look out for aphid, whitefly and other glass house pests, continuing with cultural, biological or chemical methods of control.
Take cuttings of tender perennials that you may wish to use in next year’s planting schemes.
Continue to feed indoor Tomato, Chillies, Pepper and Aubergine, with a high potassium feed to ensure healthy development of flowers and fruit.
Pot on biennials such as Angelica and Digitalis for planting later this autumn or next spring.
Tidy, organise and “Spring Clean” the inside the green house, before cold weather pushes the tender plants indoors.
Remove any shading as day length decreases and light intensity reduces.
Clean, oil or paint any internal and structural timber that may exist inside the greenhouse, whilst conditions inside are relatively empty.
Prepare to move Pelargonium, Orchids and other tender plants inside the greenhouse once the “Spring Clean” is complete.
Keep indoor tomatoes in check by tying in and removing any unwanted side shoots.
Be on the lookout to stake, tie or net plants with heavy crops (aubergines, climbing squash, melons etc) to prevent snapping and damage.
Evaluate any pest and disease problems, research and plan for prevention next year.
Continue to deadhead Dahlia, Rose, Calendula, Zinnia and many others to extend cut flower season.
Be sure to water Cucurbits and Tomatoes during dry weather conditions, avoiding a “check” to the growth.
Clean and tidy Onions, Shallots and Garlic, storing in a cool dry place. Platting or stringing up will ensure a good ventilation and prevent damping issues.
Complete any sowing of winter salad and oriental brassicas.
Sow green manure onto areas of empty soil, reducing weed establishment whilst protecting the soil over winter and improving nutrient retention.
Keep vegetable patches weed free to avoid creating a ‘weed seed bank’.
Deadhead summer flowering corms and bulbs, like Lilium and Gladiolus, to ensure strong growth and flowering for next year.
Remove, label and store protection nets after the fruit has been harvested.
Begin planting Hyacinth, Narcissus and other bulbs that will be forced for Christmas displays, stagger the planting to every couple of weeks ensuring a continued supply of flowers.
Harvest and dry fresh herbs so that they can be stored for winter use.
Trim off and remove strawberry runners from parent plants to develop stronger flower buds for next year’s crop.
Begin to prepare any “no-dig” beds, by sourcing a good quality organic mulch or compost that can be applied to the surface of the bed this autumn.
Take cuttings of tender perennials, like Pelargoniums and Salvias, which can be used for cutting and flower arranging next year.
Plan any new additions to the fruit collection and research into rootstocks, pollination groups and varieties, so that you are ready to order and plant in the autumn.
Direct sow hardy annuals like Cerinthe or Nigella for an early crop next year.
Tie in new canes of vigorous Blackberry and other Hybrid Berries to prevent snapping and damage.
Collect and dry seed from cut flower annuals and biennials, to grow and swap with friends next year.
Continue to harvest, harvest and harvest….making preserves and chutney with excess produce.
Freeze excess Raspberries and Blackberries to use in pies and crumbles later in the winter months.
Harvest excess tomatoes, slice and slowly roast before storing in olive oil and garlic.
Weed borders regularly to reduce competition for light, space, water and nutrients.
Regularly deadhead Roses and other plants in the borders to promote flowering and keep the borders looking fresh.
Monitor growth of any new additions and individually water during dry periods.
Mark out newly proposed changes to the garden layout, so that you can visualise and experience how the alterations will affect the entire garden.
Take time to look over the borders in detail, making notes of what is working well and where improvement is required. These notes will be of great use later in the year when deciding on future maintenance, improvements and additions.
Inspect staking methods to make sure they are offering adequate support, add temporary staking with canes and string should anything be flopping unnecessarily.
Plant out any biennial or perennial plants that have been propagated and grown on during the year, allowing time for them to establish before winter arrives.
List, source and order additional plants or spring flowering bulbs for borders that need renovating and improving.
Mark and make notes of plants that you wish to divide this autumn or early next spring.