The garden may seem to be winding down, but it’s a pivotal month of preparation, with plenty of things to look forward to.
Spring Flowering Bulbs:
Every year I’m delighted by what beautiful flowers are produced from such unpromising little lumps.
Buy them now to get a good choice of varieties. Keep tulips somewhere cool, and open their packaging, ready for planting in November.
I’ve been enjoying the Sarah Raven catalogue, the combination of various tulips are wonderful. Though I don’t always buy from S.R., but shop around for the best price of what I want.
Wherever they come from, bulbs are great value returning every year.
Clean out the Greenhouse:
This may not seem very exciting I know, but think of all the good things that will be growing in there soon. See below about growing salads through winter.
There’s something nice about clearing out lumbering, old tomato plants, feeding them into the compost bin, saving the green tomatoes for chutney and adding the spent soil to the beds.
To keep flowering production up for as long as possible.
My dahlias need constant picking, which is a form of deadheading. I miss the September Flower Show at Wisley, sadly not taking place this year. The dahlia tent was a real joy, organised by the Dahlia Society, and staffed by lovely, modest, extremely helpful growers giving advice …. maybe next year?
These plants are thinking about making buds for next years flowers, and need regular watering now to help them develop.
Keep the birds fed and watered.
THE VEGETABLE GARDEN:
Salads For Winter:
As the days shorten and the temperatures slip down, germination becomes more difficult. However, if you’re quick about it, you can sow seeds now to give you vegetables through winter. There is, of course, limited plants that’ll do this, but nevertheless there are enough to give you some freshly picked vegetables through winter and into spring.
Use salad seeds that are ideal for lower temperatures. As is obvious by the name, varieties such as Jack Ice and Winter Marvel work well as do all those salad leaves with fiery names mustards, oriental greens and rocket.
I’ve also sown Durham Early spring cabbage.
How to grow them:
Sow seeds in trays, or a small pinch in each module. Keep them under cover, mine are in the greenhouse but a cold-frame works well too. They’re ready to transplant into larger pots or trays, spacing well, as soon as they’re large enough to handle.
I’ve bought some guttering from the local plumbers, to plant salad seeds in. They take up little room in the greenhouse, and need less soil than most pots.
Garlic and Broad Beans:
Order Garlic now ready for planting in October, November.
I love a crop that needs little looking after, and thats the great thing about garlic, until next spring and summer when it’ll need watering.
Plan and order Next month fruit trees, next month is the ideal time to plant them. I’m thinking about planting a couple of espallier apple trees. These are trained flat on a frame or against a wall, fabulous for plenty of fruit from a small area.
Collect and save seeds, to have your own for next year, see here for all you need to know.
Glorious tulips from Sarah Raven here
and Peter Nyssen here,
Enjoy this month in the garden, keep yourselves safe and well.
all photos: Jill Anderson.