This week, I've some tips on plant propagation, early bulb planting, what to grow in the veg patch and some tips on giving wildlife a helping hand. The seasons are changing, and there are lots of exciting things to do in and around the garden!
Hardy Plants and Bulbs
- Check roses regularly for fungal diseases, i.e. black spot, mildew and rust. Remove and burn infected leaves and continue regular sprays of Roseclear Ultra or Multirose. Choose disease-resistant varieties to plant in future.
- Make sure that any lavender plants- those not pruned earlier - are pruned now. Cut off faded flowers with about 2-3 cm of leaf shoot but don’t cut back into old woody growth.
Lavender Hidcote in a watering can
- Plant shady borders and areas under large shrubs with small-flowered crocus, Scilla, Anemone blanda, snowdrops and English bluebells. Avoid planting Spanish bluebells as they may hybridise with our native bluebells.
Anemone blanda - White Splendour
- Top priority bulbs to plant now are snowdrops, fritillary, ‘Paperwhite’ daffodils, autumn-flowering crocus and anemone. These will start rooting as soon as you plant them!
Snakes Head Fritillaries
- Take cuttings of Pelargonium, Fuchsia, Solenostemon [Coleus] and other tender plants.
Solenostemon \[Coleus\] cuttings rooting in a glass of water
- Check cuttings of Fuchsia, Pelargonium and other tender perennials for roots. If well-rooted, pot them on into 9 cm [3.5”] pots filled with good potting compost. If not, leave potting until spring. There is still time to root more.
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- Install a frog and toad shelter. These amphibious creatures are fantastic predators of common pests and real gardener's friends!
A frog in front of a frog home.
- Cut a hedgehog door in your fence to let them in and out - they travel surprisingly long distances at night. Why not build or buy a hedgehog shelter for them to hibernate in?
A wooden hibernation home for hedgehogs.
- Leave some seed heads and fruits on plants for winter feed.
- House plants that have been outside for the summer should be moved back indoors.
- Sow ‘Winter Density’ lettuce [outside] and the winter mix of Speedy Veg leaf salad leaves. You can grow the salad leaves in containers.
- Plant spring cabbages in well-prepared soil. Space them 30 cm [1ft] apart. Apply a fertiliser that has low nitrogen content as the nitrogen should not be added until the New Year.