Gardener's calendar

Autumn in the garden: what work to do?

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Rob Sheahan/unsplash.com

Autumn is a busy time in the garden – there is harvesting and preparing the garden for winter. What work needs to be done in autumn?

Autumn: Harvest and cleaning time

Apples, plums, pears, and other fruits ripen in September. Some types of raspberries and strawberries can be harvested until the first frosts. Autumn is also the right time to harvest herbs. Walnuts ripen in October. If autumn is dry and sunny, you can also collect seeds from annual plants.

If pests or diseases have appeared on the plants, they should be eradicated immediately, using appropriate sprays. This can be done until the first frosts

Lawn care

In September, you should fertilize the lawn for the last time before winter. It is advisable to use a fertilizer containing phosphorus and potassium. These will strengthen the lawn and reduce the incidence of fungal diseases.

Remove fallen leaves from the lawn regularly as they can lead to fungal diseases. Collected leaves can be put into a compost pile.

As long as the grass is growing, it should be mowed regularly. The grass should be cut to a height of 5 cm before winter. Shorter grass will be less resistant to cold. You should also aerate the lawn in autumn.

Flowerbed work

Autumn is the right time to plant spring bulbs such as crocuses, tulips and hyacinths. Plant only healthy and undamaged bulbs, preferably in baskets. This way they will not be eaten by voles. In September, you can put into the ground perennial flowers that bloom in spring and summer.

In the autumn, remove potted houseplants from the garden and perennial plants which need to overwinter indoors. Evergreen plants can be safely left outside. Make new plantings in beds in early fall. Plants planted in the fall will root faster because they are not exposed to drought. In September, you can plant balled plants, heathers, and heathers into the ground.

Do not forget to water the lawn and evergreens and conifers in autumn. This allows them to store a supply of water. If autumn is dry, water the plants until the soil freezes. The soil in the flowerbeds should be loosened and weeds removed.

Pruning shrubs and trees

If autumn pruning is necessary, it should be done in September while the leaves are still on. This way, only the branches that need to be cut will be removed. It is best to shred the cut branches and put them in the compost heap.

Plant protection

If you want your plants to overwinter safely in your garden, it is a good idea to protect them from excessive water loss. Mulching should be done on evergreen shrubs, thuyas and around perennials.

Around shrubs and climbers you should make a mound 30-40 cm high. Small shrubs can be covered with airy material, e.g. fleece. Do not do this with evergreens. To prevent bark cracking on trees, bleach them. If you have ornamental grasses in your garden, tie them up and wrap them in airy material. It is also a good idea to bed them in.

If you have plants that overwinter in containers, protect the pots by covering them with, for example: Styrofoam. The layer must be quite thick. Throw overripe annuals into a compost heap and pour the soil from the pots into the flowerbeds. The pots should be washed, dried and stored until next season

Pond work

If you have frost-sensitive plants in your pond, it is advisable to move them to an aquarium at home as early as September. These include: Water hyacinth, Carolinian azolla, crested water lily, and salvinia. The water temperature in the aquarium should be between 15 and 18 degrees.

If the pond has become excessively overgrown with plants, then they should be removed. Leaving 80-90% of the clean sheet. If the pond is less than 120 cm (20 in.) deep, the fish must be removed from it and transferred to an aquarium placed in a bright and cool room. Install a pump in the aquarium and keep the temperature at 5- 8 degrees. This way you won’t have to feed the fish; at temperatures below 10 degrees they fall into a state of numbness.

If the water tank is more than 120 cm deep, then exotic fish should be caught from it. It is worth removing dry leaves to leave only stringy threads, which will provide shelter for animals. Before winter, you need to install an artificial ice hole, e.g.: from Styrofoam. This way the fish will have access to fresh air. Remove water installations that may freeze. Clean them and store them in a dry room.

Protecting gardening equipment

In late fall, it is a good idea to clean all digging and cutting tools and preserve them with the right product. You need to store them in a dry room. Turn off the water valve to the garden system and hide the garden hose. You need to clean the body and the blades on your lawn mower before winter. If you use a trimmer or a petrol scythe, do the same.

mAIN PHOTO: Rob Sheahan/unsplash.com

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