I hope you’re enjoying the autumn colour, if you’re in this part of the world? It almost makes me happy that summer is over.
I’ve got a whole list of things to do in the garden this month, there’s a mix of clearing out the remains of summer & preparing things for next year.
Firstly there are spring flowering bulbs to plant, it’s such a joy to see them poking their heads through soil in late winter.
I’ve got a board over on Pinterest with some of my favourite bulbs, you can see it here for ideas & inspiration.
Roses need reducing in height so they don’t catch the wind & move around too much. if this happens, a deep pocket develops in the soil at their base & fills with water, which isn’t good for the roots, especially if it freezes.
There is of course a lot of leaf clearing to be done. Surrey is a very leafy place, & despite being in town, we’re surrounded by a lovely, leafy backdrop of trees. Turning them into dark, crumbly leaf-mould gives more purpose to collecting them all up.
Simply bag them up in plastic bags, re-using compost bags works well. Poke holes in the bags with a garden fork & tuck them away in a corner & they’ll quietly get on with decomposing. This may take up to 2 years, but it’ll be worth the wait, leaf-mould is such a good resource for the garden.
When it’s ready, spread the crumbly, rich stuff in a thick layer over bare soil as a mulch. Good soil makes such a difference, helping plants grow stronger & healthier.
It can be a stretch to think of picking sweet peas next year, but sown now they have a head start, flowering earlier than if you wait for next year to sow the seeds.
Now & through autumn, is the best time to plants shrubs & trees. It may not seem like it, but the soil is still warm & new plants aren’t stressed by blazing sunshine, & they have time to build up a good root system before next year.
We’ll remove the pump from the pond, store it in the garage & net the pond to keep falling leaves out.
I’ve cleared the tomato plants out of the greenhouse to make room for salad leaves & herbs. Pelargoniums have already claimed part of a shelf, it’s too early for a frost here, but I’m playing safe & getting them in from the cold before it’s too late.
I’m planting garlic bulbs this month, ready for harvesting next summer. they’re nice & easy, once in I leave them to get on with the business of growing.
Although broad beans can be planted in spring, planted now they’ll be ready for picking in late May if the weather has been kind. It’s best to plant one of the hardier varieties, like ‘Aquadulce Claudia’ that’s tough enough to grow through winter.
Plant the seeds 23cm part, 60cm gap between rows, they’ll need support next year as the plants grow taller.
Having vegetables before they’re available to buy is one of the joys of growing vegetables, don’t you think?
Enjoy the rest of the month.
all photos: Jill Anderson