From Michael Coulter

Autumn is almost here and the first of the trees are showing colour and the mornings are cooler with dew on the lawns.

This is a busy time as we need to get our gardens ready for the coming season as well as making the most of the fruit, vegetables and flowers still to be harvested and used.

Many of the tasks that we need to do now will have an effect on plant health and productivity next season, so are very important that they are carried out on time.

At this time of the year we get an abundance of leaves, green matter and pruning matter that will all make very good compost. This is very good for the soil health when dug in next season, so if possible make a compost heap rather than throwing this material away.

Many of our sections are smaller now and will not have room for a compost heap so another method for using this resource is as the ground becomes empty dig a trench about a spade depth across and place the leaves etc at the bottom, then fill the trench in. Repeat this process, gradually working your way across the garden. This works well especially in the vegetable garden.

For any gardening queries or advice throughout the month refer to our online facebook group which will be monitored over that time.

Lawns

  1. Feed and treat for weeds.

  2. Treat for any fungal disease.

  3. Treat for grass grub and porina.

  4. Treat for moss especially in shady areas.

  5. Catch grass clippings and mow regularly.

Fruit & Vegetable Garden

  1. Spray stone fruit with a fungicide or copper.

  2. Remove any diseased fruit from trees as these can be a source of infection  next season.

  3. Complete pruning of stone fruit and remove the old fruiting stems of the raspberries and other cane fruit.

  4. Harvest pip fruit as it ripens but before it gets over ripe so that it will store better.

  5. Pot up any strawberry runners that have rooted in the ground to replace old plants.

  6. Sow green crops in the unused areas to improve the soil.

  7. Keep citrus well watered to help fruit develop.

Flower Garden

  1. Remove Summer annuals as they finish.

  2. Plant Spring bulbs.

  3. Disbud and tie up chrysanthemums

  4. Prepare ground for planting pansy, polyanthus, poppies and other Winter Spring annuals later in the month.

  5. Cut back perennials as they finish flowering ready for dividing up later on.

  6. Take cuttings of geraniums and fuchsias.

  7. Sow sweet peas.

  8. Plant some pots of daffodils and other flowering annuals to give colour around the yard.

  9. Later in the month is a good time to plant some trees and shrubs before Winter sets in.