What To Do In Autumn
The Village Show on 9th sept was a great advertisement for village life. A big thank you to the scouts for putting on a great day. I now know from personal experience what it takes to compete with the likes of Annie Bennett, Gordon Jones and the colossus that is Phil Morant. I spoke to a lot of people who wished they had entered in more categories plus others who hadn't entered this year but wished they had. So next year it could be standing room only. Let’s hope so and let’s give the organisers our support. One thing that I still cannot fathom is the outcome of my Tesco potatoes entry. Three specimens – all of them nearly exactly the same size – came nowhere. I believe I was robbed and the judges didn't even wear masks. Not that I'm bitter or anything.
All plants given to the environment group have now been planted on the village green so thanks to all who donated. Most of the gaps have now been filled. When travelling around the village it is good to see the effort that a lot of villagers make to keep Wenvoe clean and tidy.
This year seems to have been particularly bad for a lot of lawns, especially on slopes. I believe the wet summer has had a detrimental effect by washing any goodness out the soil. Having spoken to green keepers and trawled google for advice to share, the consensus is that lime is the answer and should be applied in the Autumn on a dry but not frosty day. The lawn will then have all winter to absorb the lime. Dealing with moss in lawns is time consuming and, if you get a contractor in, very expensive. While looking for moss killer at garden centres I came across a lawn treatment that claims you don't have to rake out the moss after treatment. It’s called Mo Bacter and was trialled on BBCs Beechgrove Garden series with outstanding reviews. They have it at the local garden centre. I don't know how good it is but I will be giving it a try in the Spring after liming. If your planning on laying new turf the Royal Horticultural Society reckon now is a good time and they should know.
Things to get done in October. Gardening at this time can seem like a lot of effort for little return, but work done now is well worth it such as clearing borders, cutting back and planting for next year with cheap perennials from garden centres. I have picked up really good plants at this time of year, a lot of which can be split, giving you multiple plants. October advice from the Eden Project Cornwall includes the following. 1. Divide herbaceous perennials. 2. Plant out spring flowers such as wallflowers. 3. Plant prepared hyacinths in vases for scent and colour in the house. 4. This is the time of year to cover up your garden furniture and clean out greenhouses, ponds and water butts.
On the veg patch, now is the time to divide established rhubarb crowns to create new plants. Planting out spring cabbage is another job to be done now. Tip from Jeff Dowling at the allotment. If you're going to use farmyard or horse manure, get it
quite fresh and cover it with a sheet till it rots down so that the goodness is kept in. Well rotted manure that has been left to the elements will have had all nutrients washed out of it before you use it.
I hope that you are enjoying the produce at this time of year. There is nothing quite like eating fruit and veg in season, whether it's consumed fresh or made into jams, pickles, tarts and wine. Don't forget to plant garlic now, pointy end up. Quite apt really with Halloween imminent.