Planning For Next Year
1 October 2008
The bad news is that it will soon be winter and the good news is that before you know it spring will be here again with all the usual rush of essential gardening jobs.
It makes sense to try to get ahead with some routine gardening work that can be undertaken before the weather turns bad. It is so much easier to dig ground that isn’t sticking to your boots with the rain running down your back and you hands wet and slippery.
Areas of the vegetable garden that have been cleared of crops may be tidied up and the ground dug over and left rough for the wind, rain and frost to break down before spring.
Fruit trees will have lost their leaves and by the end of the month will be dormant and ready for pruning. Remove the three d’s first. Diseased, dead and damaged. Then you can do the fussy pruning to ensure lots of suitable growth for next year.
Shorten tall growing bush roses before they are blown about in the late autumn and winter gales.
Make a sowing of a suitable variety of broad beans to over winter outside ready for early growth and a crop in early summer.
Weeding can be a constant battle but if they are removed before they seed in autumn there will be less trouble next spring. Dig out or spray perennial weeds with glyphosate based weed killer before they die down for the winter. Make sure to remove all of the roots of docks, thistle and nettle.
If the weather is fine and the soil doesn’t become waterlogged then most herbaceous perennials may be divided in the autumn. Retain the outside younger pieces of the clump discarding the older centre of the plant. Where there is a risk of frost those that are tender may be mulched with composted bark. Applying bark mulches to dry soil is a waste of time. Wait until the ground is moist and the mulch will prevent essential water evaporating.
Tidy up the strawberry and raspberry beds and mulch with old, well rotted, farmyard manure.
Now you can take the rest of the day off!!
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