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September in Your Garden

1 CommentFriday, 14 September 2018  |  Alison

September in Your Garden

I love being out in the garden during September, don’t you?

With Twenty Eighteen’s bumper high temperatures and hot sunny days seemingly now over and the much needed rain has fallen, there is a new-ness to the overall look of the garden.

It has once again become our ‘green and pleasant land’. The desert has re-bloomed, life has returned. The parched brown lawn has been painted green almost overnight, roses are having a second/third flush of flowers, crops are cropping and hurrah, the weeds are growing furiously again.

Late summer, as I prefer to call September, or early autumn, is definitely here once school term begins, the rush hour gets more rushed and the days suddenly appear a tad cooler and noticeably shorter.  But there is great richness in the colours of autumn and if you have done your garden flower planning correctly, your perennial borders are probably full of lush colours - magnificent magentas, fiery reds, burnt oranges and glorious golds and yellows of verbenas, salvias, echinaceas, dahlias, rudbeckias and helianthus. Grasses this year are looking at their best too and interspersed amongst flowers in the garden borders can bring a wonderful contrast to the hot colour spectrum.

September is known as Organic September as groups of like-minded folk promote the benefits of being mindful of the products we use in our gardens, as well as on allotments, in towns and cities, farmers’ fields and countryside in the way of insecticides, fungicides and pesticides. They all sound rather toxic but there are some great choices available to all of us. I have not used a single slug pellet this year and have, I must admit, had to watch one or two tender plants get eaten, overnight sometimes. But I persevered and the slug population seemed to move on and if the plants survived, they then thrived!  When growing crops I have planted complementary plants to act as either deterrents or as sacrificial plants.  Slugs love French marigolds I have found.

So, here are my Brookside Nursery Top Ten Tips for your garden in September:-

Give borders a general tidy up, clearing old leaves etc, cutting back perennial geraniums (Cranesbill), deadheading summer flowering annuals in pots and tubs and pruning back lavenders to a tidy shape   

 
Buy a dahlia or three either now in flower. You can leave them in the pots and place them in border gaps or plant them into the ground.  Either way, they will continue to be in flower until the first frosts giving a good two to three months of colour ahead. Water them in, give them a feed and deadhead the dahlias regularly to encourage more flowers. Once the frost has blackened the leaves, they can be lifted and stored in a cool, dry spot until you pot them up next spring.  
 

Clean your greenhouse inside and out whilst the weather is still warm. It’s a much more pleasant      task to do now rather than leaving it until a dark cold November day. I have just done mine and thrown away lots of ‘stuff’ that was old, out of date, nibbled at or broken. I cleaned the glass with an anti-bacterial spray, a soft brush and hosed the lot down thoroughly. I then buffed the glass with kitchen roll. Brilliant for leaving the windows smear-free.  ​  

Tomatoes have ripened well this summer, even those that I put outside that were meant to be grown under glass. As they come to their end it may be worth taking the remaining tomatoes off, placing the disused plant onto the compost, and making green tomato chutney with the remaining fruits. You will be able to enjoy this at Christmas, whilst you decide which tomatoes to grow next year!

Whilst the soil is still warm and if you have a gap in the veg patch then sow some vitamin packed leaves - Leaf Beet Perpetual Spinach, Chinese Mustard Green in Snow, Mustard Spinach Komatsuna and Salad Leaf Mizuna.  You should be picking them within a few weeks. Sow a few in deep seed trays in the greenhouse or in pots on your windowsill. You will then have a good supply of fresh young leaves to use straight from the garden in salads, lightly sautéed in stir-fry’s or blended in vegetable smoothies.   

It’s time to plant garlic and onion bulbs. - We have Garlic Cassablanca, Japanese Onion ‘Senshyu Yellow’ and White Onion ‘Snowball’ – all available to order now and ideal to grow in UK winters. Crops will be ready to harvest next summer. Plant the bulbs anytime from now in containers as well as in rows in the vegetable patch. Take a look on our website - www.brooksidenursery.co.uk

Fruit trees appear to have done extra well this year, with Apples and Pears aplenty in my garden. If you have a variety that can be stored, it is worth choosing the best ones without bruising or marks, place them on a rack so that they are not touching and keep them in a cool but well-ventilated spot, checking on them regularly and removing any that become discoloured or mouldy. Plums and Damsons have been prolific too this season and make wonderful jams and who can resist making their own Damson Gin. I have noticed lots of sloes too in the hedgerows so I think there may be a bottle or two of Sloe Gin to be made too!  

Planning ahead is always a good idea, especially in the gardening world so choose and order spring bulbs that can be planted over the next few weeks that will give a boost of colour in the early days of next spring. It is always a joy to see the first green tips of daffodils and tulips coming through heralding the arrival of a new season in the garden and the promise of a long summer ahead.

We have a tantalising selection of new spring bulbs, autumn/winter pansies, violas, primroses and Bellis daisies this year to tempt you so either look on our website or order your copy of our first ever autumn catalogue. We have grouped some tulips together so that you can see which colours work well together.  

Consider planting a tree in your garden. There are so many to choose from and there will be a tree to suit every garden, so visit other gardens open to the public this autumn and keep your eyes open – you may find just the tree that is right for your garden.

 

Have fun and enjoy your garden!

 

Alison

 

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Friday, 10 August 2018  |  Alison
August in the garden

As this wonderfully hot summer continues into August I find that I am waking extra early and leaping, ok crawling, out of bed just to check whether it has rained during the night.

Alas no, is generally the answer, but the good thing is I am getting into the garden much earlier in the day to do all those jobs that still need doing, whether its sunny or not, before I retreat under the brolly and sip chilled elderflower cordial.

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Friday, 20 July 2018  |  Alison
The Hot Dry Summer of Twenty Eighteen’

I remember the last drought in ‘the summer of ‘76’. That is 1976. Do you?

But way back then, just around the corner, I was a petulant, grumpy teenager and had not a thought about the lack of water around and the impact it had on mum’s considerable vegetable and flower garden. 

 I do, however, always remember the joy of podding peas, eating runner beans every night for weeks on end, picking tomatoes and eating handfuls of cherries from our enormous tree which I seem to recall climbing. But mainly, I just enjoyed the sunshine.

Oh, and that uncomfortable feel of the spikey short tufts of brown that passed for green grass, whilst I sat with friends on the school playing field at lunch time, listening to the latest music charts on my precious (sneaked in) transistor radio, tuned in to Radio 1. 

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Thursday, 24 May 2018  |  Alison
Brookside Nursery Top Ten Gardening Jobs in May

With two Bank Holidays in May, many of us have an extra day or two free to spend pottering in the garden. May brings the beauty of Bluebells, buttercups, bleeding hearts (Dicentra) and plenty of pink and white blossoms; These days though, the humble buttercup is generally classed as a weed, but how many of us remember picking one and announcing that we liked butter whilst holding one under our chin…. Memories of sunny childhood days playing with pals for hours in the meadows, climbing old willow trees and paddling in the brook and all without a parent in sight!

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