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Don’t hang up your secateurs just yet!

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Author: Julia Smith, Posted: Tuesday, 25th September 2018, 09:00

Spring bulbs Spring bulbs

It seems no time at all since we were complaining about the heat and worrying about how to water our gardens in the long, dry spell! Well October sees autumn well and truly here, and thoughts turn to winding down the gardening and spending more time looking at it from the inside. However, don’t hang up your secateurs just yet, as there is still plenty to do if you are of a mind to keep busy!

Sow ‘Aquadulce Claudia’ broad beans now for an early crop next year. Plant seeds 20cm apart and 5cm deep. This variety comes to no harm even in a very hard winter and will romp away in the spring.

Finish planting your spring bulbs this month

You should finish planting your spring bulbs this month, with the exception of Tulips which fare better if planted in late October or even November to limit their exposure to soil-borne diseases. If you plant Amaryllis bulbs at intervals between October and January, it is possible to get them blooming from January to May.

Pot newly bought bulbs in 10-15cm pots depending on the bulb size, making sure that two-thirds of the bulb is poking out above the surface of the compost. Water well and leave. Check the compost does not dry out completely before growth appears, but don’t water too much or they will rot. Start to water regularly when the leaves start to grow. Put the plants in a sunny position at a temperature of 15-18°C and the flowering stems should appear in a few weeks.

Why not plant some Cyclamen hederifolium, which should be in flower now. Plant somewhere with shelter from the sun and wind, digging in some leaf-mould if you have some – under the shelter of trees is ideal. By planting now when they are living plants you can see what you are buying and they will establish quickly. The dainty wired stems with lovely pink flowers really brighten up a shady spot, and the leaves form a silver and green carpet later on.

Fruit trees are susceptible to damage from moths

Fruit trees including cherries, plums, apples and pears are susceptible to damage from different types of moths that lay their eggs between November and April. The wingless females emerge from their pupae in the soil and climb up the trunks to mate and lay their eggs. Grease bands applied to the trunks trap them and stop the caterpillars eating leaves and young fruit. Leave the bands in place until about mid-April. You can buy them from garden centres.

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Cyclamen hederifolium

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