Plan for Autumn

autumn01Autumn is well and truly here with trees and shrubs showing full autumn colour. What a good year it’s been for garden bedding plants of all varieties, but especially geraniums, and the various kinds of begonias. I grow both bedding varieties and the big showy ones and the latter have been huge this year, so much so that the weight of the flowers have often caused the patio pats to keel over in a bit of wind.

If you have a greenhouse now is the time to pot up plants you want to overwinter. They will survive quite low temperatures providing the compost is kept fairly dry.

Clear out greenhouses of tomatoes etc and wash down glass and glazing bars with ordinary household disinfectant.

Pot up spring bulbs to provide early flowers for next year.

On the allotment, take down bean sticks to store away for next year. Rough dig over bare ground and bury weeds, but remove perennial weeds such as docks, thistles and bindweed.

Sow autumn varieties of broad beans at least 3-4ins deep and protect rows to keep pigeons away. Thin out branches on blackcurrant bushes, taking out the dead wood. Remove blackberry canes that have fruited and tie in the long new shoots which will bear next year’s crop. Gooseberry bushes need very little pruning. Just remove some of the old wood.

Finally autumn is here and the leaves are falling. Don’t waste them! Leaf mould made from decomposed leaves is a great potting compost, soil improver and mulch Collect and store them in bin bags and leave to rot down. Chop them down and water first to speed things up.