Everyone raves about spring being the best time of the year for garden-lovers, but we tend to disagree, and we do so for one simple reason: you can’t point your speaker system out of the kitchen window and sing along to Earth, Wind And Fire’s September – their undisputed greatest hit – during spring. Well, you can, but it just feels a little hollow and a little soulless. It is just a song that deserves an autumnal setting and your full commitment.
Anyway, now that you have the soundtrack in place, it is time for you to hop on the good foot, head into your beloved garden with a thermos flask full of tea (milk and one if you’re asking) and finish of all those tasks that need both love and attention this September:
There Are No Perks For Being A Wildflower
This may be a hard pill to swallow, but that gorgeous patch of wildflowers you let burst to life in the corner of your garden needs to be cut back. It’s okay, we’ll give you a minute to stare up the ceiling, wipe the tears from your eyes and swallow the lump at the back of your throat. The reason you need to do this is because weeds will see this spot as a weakness and then attack it with all their might and main. So, to stop this happening, we suggest you start up the strimmer, pull down your visor and get to work. Just make sure you rake away all the cuttings when you’re done so that the weeds don’t have any delicious nutrients to thrive off. (By the time you have completed this, you may need to press the back button on your iPod so that you can listen to September again).
I’ve Bean Thinking Of You This Month
This is the time of year when your beans and peas will probably stop providing your mealtimes with anything of great value, which is why you need to get all medieval on them by lopping their heads off with a sword or guillotine or even just a pair of secateurs. As a little tip, try and leave their roots in place as these will keep supplying nitrogen to your soil, which is mighty fine of them. Oh, actually, you could also start picking your pumpkins and marrows about now. Just make sure you leave them in a sunny spot for a couple of days or so. If they get a tan, then great, but the main aim of the game is to have them harden up before you store them somewhere; that way you will have the perfect pumpkins for Halloween and the perfect marrows for, I don’t know, National Noodle day (it’s on October 6th, apparently)
You Fought The Lawn And You Won
There is no better time to sort out your lawn than the golden months of September and October. That’s because grass always tends to enjoy a little growth spurt in the autumn, meaning any strain you put on it now will grow out nicely before winter makes its grand entrance. So:
- If you have some bare patches dotted around the place then now is the time to lay down some new turf or even just re-sow some seeds, while this is also a great time to scarifying your lawn – if there is a lot of thatch knitted in your grass that is. The good news is, it is not technically that difficult to scarify a lawn. The bad news is, well, it’s a lot of hard work. That’s because you need to rake it out with a spring-tined rake, which isn’t anyone’s idea of a lovely old job. Just so you are aware, this will leave your lawn looking like it has just rolled out of bed with a severe hangover, but don’t despair; this is just a short-term look that will blossom into a much healthier and greener lawn in no time at all.
- Another thing you can do to help your lawn out this autumn is aeration, which is a fancy way of saying, “get a fork and spike it all over,” unless you want us to do it professionally for you. Either way, what this will do is help the water soak into the soil, taking a load of fresh air with it. Basically, this is your lawns equivalent of enjoying a Sunday roast and a pint of bitter. Mmmmm hmmm.
Luck Exists In The Leftovers
It can be way too tempting to leave any leftover vegetables that are still growing right where they are, but we wouldn’t advise it. Why? Because in a couple of months time you may find that all those potatoes you left in the soil attracted some pretty hungry slugs who decided to snack on your Christmas spuds and before you even had a chance to add some goose fat to them. As for the other vegetables you may have in your garden, now is the perfect time to dig them up and a) swap them out for something more seasonal, b) freeze them so that you aren’t adding to the food waste culture, c) pickle them so that you have another year’s supply of pub-like snacks to enjoy or d) just store them. Your call.
Go On, Have A Go At The Roses
Everyone that has even the smallest interest in gardening has dreamed of being able to take rose cuttings and make them blossom, but they give up on this dream because they think it is a task that only Alan Titchmarsh can do because he has the skill and the time to do it. However, this isn’t as tough or time-chomping as you may think. All you need to do is look for any long and healthy stems, cut them off about 40cm below a leaf bump/clot/bulge/growth/swelling or whatever you want to call it. Then strip away all the thorns and leaves – except the one at the top – plant these stems around the edge of a pot filled with abrasive compost, water them like crazy, and then put them in a place where they will be able to catch the Winter rain without much trouble at all. Voila, by next summer these roses should be ready for planting. Told you it was easy.