Bright days, cold nights & beautiful autumn colours are breaking out all over.
Tall grasses that have played a supporting role, become more noticeable in Autumn, as herbaceous plants begin to die back & the garden slides towards winter. It’s good to leave theses grasses in place & watch the changes as they develop into the colour of straw. They also provide some cover & seeds for birds.
Rudbeckia & Sedum are looking good in my garden & a few roses are hanging on, despite the nights being very chilly.
These are such good value. Continue planting them, I admit to not planting any in my garden yet, this is not recommended, but the reality of life sometimes.
Bulbs are great in pots, where they can be moved around as they reach peak flowering time, but also in the ground for more permanent planting. As a rule of thumb, planting depth is twice the size of the bulb, but tulips I plant tulips 150cm/6in in the ground, so they don’t get damaged if I’m digging nearby.
Tulips are better planted in November/December so that proper cold kills off the spores of tulip virus.
Release all bulbs from packaging they arrived in, especially if its plastic, & keep them somewhere cool & airy.
I have a relaxed approach to tidying the garden, as long as the edges of the lawn are trimmed & the grass not too long, it all looks well ordered.
Then I remove dead foliage & debris from around the base of plants, & put it in the compost if it doesn’t show signs of disease, mould & the like.
Its a great time of year to plant shrubs & trees. The ground is still warm & the next few months allow them to settle in & develop their roots all ready for next year.
Fruit & Vegetables:
Currents & Gooseberries:
This is the perfect time to plant bare-rooted currents & gooseberries. They have the great advantage of being cheaper, settle in more quickly than plants supplied in containers & there’ll be no plastic pots to deal with.
Because it takes up room for so long, I used to think that garlic didn’t earn its place in a small garden, but the flavour of freshly picked garlic is gorgeous, & remains so, even when its been stored for a few months.
Plant it now, so the tip is just showing above the surface, 18cm/7in apart & 30cm/12in between rows. It’ll have plenty of time to develop into fat, juicy bulbs, before its harvested next summer.
Spent Vegetable Plants:
Clear out runner beans, courgettes, & all those plants that have finished producing. My runner beans have slowed down, but are still producing …. just, but they’ll be over by the end of this month.
Clear them out & put them in the compost bin, unless they look unhealthy, my courgette plants were decidedly covered in mildew. I love the whole process of using old plants to make compost, & using it in the garden the following year, its a satisfying cycle.
This is not an exciting one, but tidy the shed, clean tools & the glass in your greenhouse, it’s surprising how much a light a layer of grime excludes. Sit back & feel virtuous, you’ll be so glad you did this when next Spring comes around.
Despite the shorter days, this is a good time of year, though I’m relieved that the pace of the garden is slowing down.
Have a good month in the garden.
all photos: Jill Anderson