Autumn Tips From Our ‘Garden Man’

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Hi, my name is Vincent. I am a Horticulturist and this is my profession as well as landscaping. I have been doing this type of work for many years now and can honestly say I never get bored of my job; there are different aspects to gardening so everyday there is always something new to look forward too and do. I do all types of landscaping works from the design of the garden to the physical completion of the design, there is a great sense of satisfaction when you have a design in your head and then apply it to the land. If you have any queries on the services I provide as in garden maintenance, or landscape design/works, you can contact me by email gardener@live.ie or you can find me on Facebook ‘Garden man‘.

Each month I will be writing an article on gardening, and hopefully you will pick up some tips along the way, if you have a question please send me an email and I will answer as many questions as possible by email as well as publishing some of the questions with an answer and hopefully this will benefit other readers too!!

I will try and give you a few ideas on what might needs to be done in your garden, not everything in this article will apply to everyone garden, but hopefully you will pick up a few tips, if not in this article maybe next month. I came across an interesting web site called ‘Irish Weather Online’ also on Facebook, very handy with a long range weather forecast posted daily by a Canadian forecaster, Peter O Donnell. A fantastic site to browse through and very accurate too!!

Lawns & Hedges
Now that the Autumn is in full swing the weather is still mild so the grass is still growing as will need to be cut. Rake up leaves from lawns or use a rotary lawnmower to collect the leaves. Apply an Autumn feed, there is still time for sowing grass seed in new lawns or if your just repairing patches. Give hedges there final trimming. Do not trim hedges to tightly if we get another severe winter it could kill the hedge, so if possible leave hedge until the spring. Autumn is an ideal time to plant a hedge because this is the season when plants establish themselves best. In late winter you can buy bare-rooted deciduous plants – (plants with no leaves or flower) which are cheaper than potted plants.

Flower Garden
Most herbaceous plants are finished flowering now so these can be cut to the ground & clippings can be used for composting, some may need to be dug up and divided if they are more than 3 years old, this will help keep the plant healthy, & also a great way of saving money if you want to use the plant else where in the garden or maybe exchange with friends.. Keep dead heading floral carpet roses to promote longer flowering, take hardwood cuttings of roses, and root in a sheltered bed. Mulch all borders if weather allows. Move container plants into a sheltered spot before the winter comes. Buy wall flowers and plant immediately for spring bedding & get going on planting your spring bulbs now for a brilliant display in the spring, finish planting bulbs by November but later will do if needs be!!! And don’t forget the weeds still need tending too.

Water Garden
Net ponds to keep out fallen leaves, if the leaves blow into the pond they will rot and pollute the water. Protect fish if any from predators insuring the netting is secured and buried all around the pond. Reduce the food quantity for fish as the temperatures drop, they’ll live on there reserves. Transplant tender aquatic plants to a frost free place for the winter, water pumps can be taken out of the ponds now cleaned and put into a dry place for the winter. Thin oxygenating plants, to do this cut out surplus growth leave the cuttings by the water so the water creatures can go back into the water.

Vegetable/Fruit Garden
Start planning on next years crop rotation, create a seed bed early in the winter and use a plastic sheeting to cover the area this in turn will warm the soil for early crops, keep weed seedlings at bay, if you have goose berries or Autumn – fruiting berries the canes can be pruned to 2-3in. winter pruning can start now, cut back any dead, damaged, diseased wood to healthy live wood, for those of you who have apple trees wait till later in the winter for pruning when they are completely dormant.

Plants Looking Good At The Moment
Acers or maples – outstanding for there autumn colour,

Rhus typhina- (Stag’s horn) suckering shrub/small tree

Sorbus commixta-, (tree) great for berries, and colour

Fatsia japonica or caster oil plant,- large glossy green leaves, flowers in mid autumn (white)

Fushia- great for flowering.

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (virginia creeper) this climber is magnificent for autumn colour, self clinging climber.

In next months article I will be talking about winter pruning, preparing a vegetable plot & what vegetables to start planting, ideas for hanging baskets/ pots/containers for winter colour, transplanting, and more….

Until then…………

Quote Of The Month..
Every garden is unique with a multitude of choices in soil,plants & themes. Finding your garden theme is as easy as seeing what brings a smile to your face.