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The Magical Colours Of Autumn

October 11, 2012

wwwgardendesignercouk-41.JPGAlthough autumn is now here and taking its effect on our gardens, there are plenty of routine gardening chores which we can be getting on with.

For instance, we can still be mowing our lawns with the blades nice and high.

Around this time of the year we can also be getting on with winter digging as well as pruning.

Do remember do not trim established hedges now unless the weather is very mild as any frost may damage new shoots.

If you have any tall roses in your garden, then I’d prune them back in height now to reduce ‘wind rock’, which is what happens when the winter wind rocks the plants back and forth.

Not only does this cause structural damage to the plant itself, but also this rocking creates a gap between the soil around the base of the plant whereby water can collect and rot the plant.

While on the subject of roses, around now is the best time for planting bare-rooted roses, new trees, shrubs and getting hedges established, but I wouldn’t plant them in frosty, wet or windy weather; I’d choose a nice dry day instead.

It’s time to slowly start tidying up the garden getting it ready for the roughwwwgardendesignercouk-24.JPG treatment it’s going to get during the winter months. I’ve already started clearing out the dead foliage of perennials as well as generally clearing up other parts of my garden.

Talking of perennials, if you have any which have become a little too over-crowded, then lift and divide them and either move them elsewhere in your garden or give them away to a fellow gardener.

Now is the time to be thinking about improving the soil in your garden, as better soil will naturally produce better plants. If you have your own well-rotted compost then dig that in, if not, then you can always get some from your local garden centre.

If there is limited space around your existing plants for digging then simply just spread the compost over the soil surface and the worms will quite happily oblige and do the rest of the work for you. I’m always one for getting nature to do some work for me in the garden and this is just one of those jobs.

Many of us have problems with moss on our lawns and so it’s a good idea to rake over, or ‘scarify’ the surface, removing as much of the moss as possible. It might interest you to know that in classical Japanese gardens, gardeners will do the opposite and remove any grass from their moss surfaces.

One job that I’m looking forward to doing is planting out my winter pansies. I love these plants as I think they’re really great for adding cheery winter wwwgardendesignercouk-6.jpgflowering interest. Not only do they come in such a wide variety of colours but they’re so versatile too and can be used in borders, raised beds, hanging baskets, window boxes and containers.

You can still keep planting spring bulbs out this month, but be aware that squirrels will probably be wanting to dig your newly planted bulbs straight out again for their own winter larder.

If squirrels are a problem in your garden then protect your bulbs by covering the newly planted soil area with chicken wire, remembering to remove them once the shoots start to come through. Another tip is to use Cocoa shell mulch as squirrels aren’t too fond of this.

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