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In Your Garden

1st of September 2013

Back in 1988 when Chipperfield News first appeared, gardening was very different to that of today. The Simmonds family still ran their nursery in Chapel Croft which they had done for over eighty years. Wards Nurseries were still in Sarratt and Wyevale were yet to come. The Chelsea Flower Show was in its 75th year and there were no flower shows at Hampton Court or Tatton Park.

Twenty five years ago we would spray fruit trees with tar oil winter wash, kill weeds with sodium chlorate, treat our sheds and fences with creosote and use vast amounts of sedge peat in the garden. Today we have ‘safer’ substitutes for some of these. We now have many new plants to use in our gardens, such as Sambucus Black Lace, Photinia Pink Marble, Geranium Rozanne, Rose Rhapsody in Blue, New Guinea Busy Lizzies, bedding Cyclamen and, of course, plug plants. Due to disease we have had to say goodbye to Robinia Frisia and some of the Impatiens. In 1988 an aluminium glasshouse would cost just £200 while a stainless steel garden spade would cost £80! Today a greenhouse will cost thousands but stainless steel garden tools cost less than they did twenty five years ago. Lawn mowers have not changed a lot but we now have special mulching machines. Today gardeners have a vast choice especially in seeds, many of which have been chosen to help bees and encourage wildlife. But now, let us have a look at what to do in your garden this September…..

Fruit and vegetables
Start to harvest apples, pears, autumn fruiting raspberries and blackberries. Prune cane fruit after harvesting. Potatoes should be dug and put away in sacks after drying off. Root crops once dug can be stored in clamps. Onions will need to be hung up to dry. Now is the time to plant the early onion sets and plants of spring cabbage can be put in. There is still time to make late sowings of herbs and winter salads but protect with fleece in cold weather. Marrows and courgettes will need to be harvested before the frosts arrive.

The greenhouse
As soon as the greenhouse crops are harvested the house will need to be emptied. Clean the glass and scrub the benches using Jeyes Fluid. Then well fumigate using a sulphur candle. Check that the heater is in good running order because sadly the colder weather will be only too soon with us. Once the greenhouse is ready we can start to take cuttings of geraniums.

The lawn
The lawn will soon green up after it gets rain but will need to be well raked, scarified and aerated. Bare patches will need to be seeded. Keep cutting the grass well into the autumn. Later in the month apply a low nitrogen autumn fertilizer. New grass areas can be seeded this month.

The garden
Choose bulbs now while there is a big selection and start to plant the more dwarf growing varieties but daffodils, hyacinths and tulips should not be planted until well into October. However, prepared hyacinths for Christmas flowering indoors must be planted without delay. In the perennial border asters, chrysanthemums, dahlias, heleniums, rudbeckias and sedums should be in full flower this month. Keep up with dead heading especially on roses. Dig up annuals after flowering and plant pansies, violas and cyclamen. Winter hanging baskets, window boxes and containers will need to be planted soon. Trim shrubs and hedges and make compost with the clippings. Clean out the pond and generally tidy the garden. Plant container grown perennials, roses, conifers, shrubs and climbing plants.

Garden events
The Chipperfield Autumn Flower Show is on 21 September while Sarratt have theirs on 7 September. The Malvern Autumn Show is on 28 and 29 September. Tickets from or tel 01684 584924.
Gardens open to view this month include Huntsmoor, Stoney Lane (Bushfield Road), Bovingdon on 15 September. Terry Simmonds

This page is edited by Tony

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