Colin Evans garden tips
BBC Berkshire's gardening expert tells us how to make the most out of Chrysanthemums and why it's good to give those hedges one last trim, before autumn really sets in.
The evenings are getting longer and autumn is not far away. Thankfully, we still have some of the summer left. The early mornings are dark and the ground outside is very damp.
Especially on the lawn, where the moisture is sucked to the surface by the warm and sometimes wet days.
Although the garden still needs some rain, the sunny days will mean that winter won't be such a long one.
Daddy Long Legs
You'll have noticed the plague of Crane flies or Daddy Long Legs as they are better known, flying into the house or getting stuck in the greenhouse.
Well, in case you didn't know, these irritating flies are the adult form of the Leather Jacket Grub, which live below the soil surface.
The adult grubs don't damage in the garden, so other than them taking over your house, there's little to worry about. Also, after they have hatched they only live for around two days.
Chrysanthemums have to be one of the best plants to fill the dull borders of late summer. I just love the bright varieties, especially the white and yellow types. A trip to the garden centre is the best way to buy them.
Once purchased, get the plants home and give them a good watering. Then leave them standing overnight, before planting them into the open ground or in tubs the following day.
Once planted, give the them a good liquid feed and watch as they fill the garden with glorious colours, throughout autumn and early winter.
Get hold of some lawn top dressing autumn granular feed and wait a few weeks. Then spread a fifty fifty mixture of peat and sharp sand and brush lightly over the lawn. This needs to be carried out when the lawn is dry to ensure even coverage.
The worms and other insects will take the mixture down below the soil surface. This will feed the roots, ensuring a good dense lawn next year.
Give conifer hedges a last light trim and add a slow release granular fertilizer at the base of the hedge. This will give a good boost of energy for a thicker hedge next year.
Conifer hedges will dry out very quickly in the warm days, so make sure the ground is kept moist near the root area.
Now is the time to buy spring flowering bulbs. The garden centres are full of them and they're currently at their best.
The suppliers have only just released the new stock. Dig over the border area to be planted and place the bulbs at least three times their own depth into the ground.
This also applies to the bulbs, which are planted in pots or troughs. Firm in the bulbs and cover with a light layer of compost or leaf mould to keep the moisture in.
Don't forget The Royal County of Berkshire Show at Newbury on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 September 2008.
I'll be at the BBC Radio Berkshire stand on both days and will be broadcasting my gardening phone in live from there on Sunday 21 September.
I'll be delighted to meet you and sort out your gardening problems in person.
see you there
last updated: 02/09/2008 at 21:43
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