Gardening is entering a quiet period as the days get shorter. Weather is unpredictable and we should be ready for heavy rain, high winds and, yes, snow.
Here are some of the jobs I have tackled in the last few days, writes the anonymous gardener.
Winter pansies have been planted and look good. They will get battered by the weather.
Keep an eye on them through winter, dead head as needed and wait for spring to give them a boost.
Wallflowers are now planted with their backs to walls and fences and in pots. Put some near the front door, the fragrance is wonderful in the spring when the flowers come out.
Roses are still flowering but the frosts will soon kill off the blooms.
Bushes that are tall and in exposed windy places need chopping back. Yes – chopping. The pruning will come late February or March.
Chop much of the growth away now to prevent windrock.
Roses are prone to the black spot disease and one way of controlling is to pick up all the rose leaves as they fall. Burn them, if you can. Do not compost.
It’s laborious work but it does help with control next summer. I’m afraid the chemical treatments for blackspot are not what they once were.
Sweep up the leaves. Make sure you get them away from drainage channels. They can soon form a dam and that can lead to flooding.
The final cut of the lawn should have been completed; if not do it on a dry day.
Apply an autumn lawn feed to strengthen the roots and help the grass survive the worst of the winter weather.
Pay attention to lawns
There is still time to apply a moss killer. Rake out the moss after it turns black.
By hand, it is hard work but good exercise. Machines are available.
Bring in patio furniture or secure against the gales. If you can, cover wooden outdoor seating to prevent them become soaked during a bad winter.
If there is a good coat of paint or preserver, it will survive but if repainting has been neglected, wood can soon become rotten.
Prepare for the gales
Generally clear up in the garden and pick up anything likely to blow around in a gale.
When stormy weather is forecast, go round the garden and “batten down the hatches”.
If you have a vegetable garden, it is now time to lift parsnips, leeks and pick that winter favourite Brussels sprouts.
Dig vacant land and leave rough for the frost – we hope – to break down. Don’t leave the digging for too long. Wealden clay in these parts becomes very sticky, to say the least.
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