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Autumn is coming

All Areas > Homes & Gardens > In the Garden

Author: Julia Smith, Posted: Wednesday, 24th August 2022, 09:00

What a lovely month September is with all the conkers ripening and the rosy apples and pears fattening in the trees. The berries start to come into their own on the Rowan trees as the transition from summer to autumn speeds up.

If your garden is looking tired, pop to the garden centre and pick up some pots of cosmos, cleome or nicotiana to insert into the borders. Order your sweet pea seeds if you have space to sow under glass to get them to flower early next year. There are huge selections of extra fragrant ones in all different colours – just like a sweetie shop!

Clematis are invaluable at this time of year

The herbaceous clematis are invaluable at this time of the year. They are not self-clinging and only grow to about 1m in height, but they look lovely scrambling through the border and can be used to give earlier flowering shrubs a new lease of life for the late summer.

Try clematis ‘Gazelle’, which is white with small scented flowers, or ‘Chinook’ which has lavender/blue coloured flowers. They need hard pruning in February or March as they flower on the current season’s growth.

Prune out old raspberry canes by cutting them back to ground level. Don’t shred and compost the cuttings, as they can be a source of disease. You can put them in the council’s green waste removal bins, as they compost to a much hotter temperature than our garden compost bins.

Sow lettuce crops for autumn and winter use. They can be sown in open ground but will do better with some protection like a cold frame. They can also be sown into modules and transplanted when big enough to handle.

Land cress can withstand the cold

Lamb’s lettuce needs sowing after midsummer as it tends to bolt if sown earlier. It has a mild, slightly earthy flavour. Land cress looks a bit like watercress and has a similar peppery taste. It can withstand the cold. Pick off the best leaves and let it regrow up from the bottom. Winter purslane likes poor soils and dry conditions and self-seeds. It is half-hardy so will need frost protection, either a cold frame or fleece.

Bring your houseplants back inside – some might need repotting into fresh compost. Examine for any little critters that may be hitching a ride inside!

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