Rosie shares her gardening tips and know-how.
Lawns. Now we’re having a little more rain, our lawns should be looking healthier. You can now start raking or scarifying again to remove moss and thatch. Raking out moss is very hard work but it’s certainly a cheaper way of working up a sweat than going to the gym!
There is, however, a special scarifier tool so if you can borrow one from a friend or can afford to buy one, it will make the job much easier.
If we have a lot of rain and the ground becomes soft enough, it’s a good time to start aerating. Aerating is necessary because the ground where our lawn grows becomes impacted over time. I’d always advise you to get some air into the soil in the spring and then again in the autumn, you can do this by pushing a large fork into the ground every few feet. Obviously, the softer the ground, the easier it will be but be warned that it is hard work. My husband, who loves his lawn, bought some aerators that he straps to the bottom of his shoes or boots. He then walks up and down the lawn with his earphones in listening to his music and as he does, the little spikes in the aerators are making holes in the lawn. Do be careful to strap them onto your shoes tightly so they don’t slip.
Keep mowing on a regular basis and sprinkle on some autumn lawn feed.
Pruning and cutting. You can cut hedges now without disturbing the birds because they’ve finished nesting. Continue to deadhead roses and cut down spent flowers as necessary. Most can be cut right down to the ground. However, with day lilies and montbretia, only cut the spent flower stalks. Don’t cut the leaves until they die and become dry because the goodness from the leaves goes back into the plant to produce more flowers next season.
Cut right to the ground the canes on raspberries and loganberries that have fruited this year and also any weak ones too. Also remove the old blackberry stems that have finished fruiting. Snip the old ones right out, down to the ground and tie back the new stems that will produce the fruit next season.
Planting. While the soil is still warm it’s a good time to plant new shrubs and perennials or to split clumps that have become rather too large. You can either give some to a friend or put the part of the clump you’ve removed somewhere else in your garden. You have a new plant for free!
Feeding. Continue to feed and deadhead summer bedding plants. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to feed plants from April to September but then to stop in October until April again next year.
Weeding. If you’re tackling an area of your garden that has a lot of bindweed you may be feeling overwhelmed because it may have gone completely wild again. Try to keep calm and cut it down again to one or two leaves near the ground and continue spraying, weekly, with biodegradable weedkiller, being careful not to spray other plants. You can get it under control! It does just take time and perseverance.