MUST dos in the garden this month
- If you're going away for the holidays, remember to prepare your garden for the time you'll be away. Find a list of garden to-dos and tips on preparing your garden for the holidays in the article below.
- Mulch every bed, container plant, hanging basket, shrub, tree and indoor plant. Mulch keeps the soil cool, combats evaporation, discourage weeds and protects tender new roots.
- Feed and deadhead repeat-flowering plants to encourage new blooms to emerge.
- For autumn clour, plant Nerine bulbs in well-draining soil.
- Stay on top of weeding this month.
- To ensure your lawn is picnic-perfect, feed with high nitrogen fertilizer and water well. Don’t feed the lawn if you are going away.
- Ensure all areas in the garden, including containers plants and hanging baskets, receive sufficient water during the long summer days.
- Sow these perennials: yarrow, blue Felicia daisy, hollyhock, columbine, Michaelmas daisy, Alpine aster, English daisy, Heart-Leaf Bergenia, Begonias, Dusty Miller, Shasta daisy, foxglove, Gazania, Baberton daisy, , rock rose, , coral bells, Lobelia cardinalis, sea lavender, cup flower, Oriental poppy, Penstemon, balloon flower, Scabios, and sweet violet.
Grow from softwood cuttings
A softwood cutting is a shoot terminal with the growing tip intact. They are mostly taken very early in the season before there is any sign of hardening in the new shoot. They can take about 4 - 8 weeks to root and herbaceous plants (those plants that die down in winter) are usually best propagated by taking 8 - 10cm softwood cuttings in Spring. They include: Chrysanthemum, Fuschia, Dahlia, Hydrangea, Impatiens, Pelargonium and geranium. However, in this how-to guide, we took softwood cuttings from lavender which is not a herbaceous plant.
- Remove faded crinum flower heads and feed. Be sure to save the fleshy seeds for planting.
- Lift and divide Acanthus if necessary. Cut down faded and old leaves and flower stems down to the ground. Give it a good layer of mulch and compost and water once a week during hot, dry weather.
- Prune all hedges for neatness.
- Clean out all ponds and water features, and invest in some new floating greenery. Water lilies and other water plants will be at their best now.
- Stake tall perennials to prevent them from falling over.
- Continue planting Gladioli for succession.
- After the flowering, lift and divide and overcrowded irises.
- Feed with 8:1:5 granular fertilizer.
- Keep a good layer of organic mulch around your roses.
- Spray preventatively against fungus, black spot, insects, and red spider mite before leaving.
- Sow or plant a final summer crop of carrots and beetroot, tomatoes, fennel, dill, sweet peppers, eggfruit, and spinach.
- Cut rocket back to encourage new leaves.
- Harvest all your veg before going away and share with neighbours and friends.
- Harvest onions by lifting with a fork, shake off any extra dirt and hang out to dry in a cool, shady area.
- Give citrus trees their mid-season feed of granular fertiliser.
- After harvesting fruit from deciduous trees, apply a post-harvest feed and cut back watershoots.
- Give citrus trees their mid-season feed, apply a layer of organic mulch and water well.
- After fruiting, remove dead or diseased canes from berries and cut out old woody canes down to soil level.
Indoor plant care
- On hot, dry days spritz leaves with water to increase humidity.
- Wipe dusty leaves with a wet cloth or give them a good wash in the shower.
- Keep feeding Hippeastrum lilies every two weeks with liquid fertiliser.
Look out for these pests
- Watch out for red spider mite.
- Avoid blight and mildew on tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and pumpkins.
- Put out bait for slugs and snails.
- Splash bait on the leaves of pumpkins, squashes, and fruit trees to prevent attack by fruitfly.
- Discard fallen fruit responsibly to prevent fruit fly infestation.
- Amaryllis caterpillar on crinums and other bulbous plants.
A few festive tasks!
- Hang a welcoming festive wreath made from plant material from your garden on the front door.
- Christmas is a time for a lot of whites to cool down the garden. Plant white roses, gardenias, begonias, agapanthus, chrysanthemums, impatiens, star jasmine and orange jasmine.
- String up fairy lights all over the garden add a festive touch.