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Horticultural Society

2nd of October 2001

I always try to spike my lawn in the autumn and for years have made do with an ordinary garden fork. However, these are not ideal and really one should use a purpose made hollow-tined fork to do the job properly. I spotted one in a local garden centre recently and decided to treat myself. Anxious to try it out I couldnt find a single spot on the lawn where I could get the thing to penetrate my heavy clay but hopefully after a few days of autumn rain the ground will soften up enough to allow me to get stuck in with it. Then I will brush in some sand to try to help lighten the soil a bit to help improve the conditions for next year.
So although the nights are drawing in that doesnt mean that its the end of the gardening year – far from it – now is the time to be preparing for next season, and apart from the lawn I shall be looking at ideas for the rest of the garden too. Ill be digging in some manure soon on the vegetable patch and leaving the ground rough so that the frosts can break it down although Im trying some green manure as well this year. I sowed grazing rye on one section of the plot a few weeks ago and this will hopefully keep the weeds at bay over the winter before being dug in during the spring.
Meanwhile my dahlias continue to flourish and hopefully will continue to do so until the first hard frosts. In fact I cant remember a season when they have done so well with some of the plants being well above head height, and, as Im over six feet tall, that is
pretty high! John Hopkins

 
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