October Gardener's Diary
Summer has officially ended and autumn begins. The evenings are now becoming cooler but, with luck, the ‘Indian Summer’ experienced for a while in September could still give us some glorious daytime weather well into the month. We will however still need rain in the long term.
Summer bedding is now looking tired and it’s time to strip out and replace with autumn/winter bedding plants to give some new lasting colour well into winter. The main activity in the flower garden now is planning and planting spring flowering bulbs. A little thought and forward planning will really pay dividends here and the selection of bulbs on sale at Farnborough Garden Centre will provide a full range of shapes, sizes and colours to bring early interest to your garden.
Fruit and Vegetables - Many of the fruits remaining on Apple and Pear trees should be gathered now before early frosts can cause damage, but always check to ensure fruits are ripe before picking. Lift potatoes and store in dry frost free conditions.
Flower Garden - This is a good time to plant new herbaceous plants and to divide congested plants where necessary. Lift and store dahlias now before frosts cause any damage. Start cleaning leaves from amongst flower beds to allow air around plants and discourage pests. Half-hardy fuchsias should be potted-on and left to rest over winter in a cool, frost-free place. They should be kept moist but not overwatered. Why not try some wallflowers to provide not only colour but also scent.
Bulbs - Lift Canna lilies this month before frosts occur and store in peat-free compost. Carry on planting spring-flowering bulbs as required.
Containers - Clear your containers and pots of any tired summer bedding and replace with autumn/winter bedding. Try under-planting this with bulbs for additional colour well into early spring.
Garden birds - Keep feeding to encourage wild birds into the garden and don’t forget to keep bird baths and water feeders topped-up in dry spells. There are now many new types of feeders available at Farnborough Garden Centre to help attract many different varieties of birds to your garden.
Plants looking good now: Japanese Acers, Rhus Typhina, Sorbus Varieties, Fothergilla, Conifers, Herbaceous Anemone, Autumn Crocus, Virginia Creeper, Boston Ivy.
Work at Farnborough Garden Centre is now changing with less need for watering, which, in the main season, takes up much of our time and attention. We can now devote more time to final weed clearance and to top-dressing our container plants. Leaf clearance will soon start in earnest and winter planting and containerisation will commence shortly on the Nursery.
We are continuously increasing the range of plants on offer as well as our selection of pottery, stoneware and garden sundries and hope you will find something new on your visits to us.
Finally, don’t forget to visit our “Treasured Teddies” shop where you will find a large range of limited edition collectors bears along with lots of everyday cuddly companions.
Happy autumn gardening to all from everyone here at Farnborough Garden Centre.
Written by Pete Toms
Farnborough Garden Centre
On A423 Southam Road, Nr Farnborough, Banbury,
OX17 1EL 01295 690479
Pete’s Top Tips
1- If you intend to plant a completely new border or “Island” style bed, then take care to plan this out in advance to enable you to have plants to hand when you start work.
2- Perennials lend themselves to both borders & “Island” beds and look best when planted in groups of three or more plants of each variety.
3- Choose varieties carefully to ensure that the taller growing plants are placed at the rear of borders or centre of “Island” beds with progressively shorter plants towards the front.
4- Add plenty of Organic matter to new beds and dig over before planting. If the soil is dry when planting then remember to water planting holes well before placing plants in position.
5- Don’t be too worried about making a mistake or two with your planting since these can be easily put right next autumn when you have seen your results and annual maintenance is due.
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