TIME TO LOOK AF­TER PEREN­NI­ALS

Cut back, pot-up and oc­ca­sion­ally be ruth­less!

Amateur Gardening - - This Week In Gardening -

PEREN­NI­ALS are the back­bone of bor­ders. To keep them, per­form­ing well year in, year out, they need look­ing af­ter. Grow­ing, flow­er­ing and pro­duc­ing seed heads takes a lot out of plants, so take time now to go round and re­move bedrag­gled fo­liage, dead flow­ers and most of their ripe seed heads.

I like to leave a few in situ be­cause they pro­vide food for wildlife and many also look at­trac­tive and add in­ter­est to the gar­den in win­ter when there isn’t much else around to look at.

Check for pests and dis­ease too. Slugs and snails tuck them­selves away among dense fo­liage and au­tumn’s warm, damp days cre­ate ideal con­di­tions for fun­gal prob­lems. Leaves af­fected by rust, black spot, mildew and other fun­gal dis­eases should be re­moved and ei­ther burned or binned. Don’t com­post them as the spores will con­tam­i­nate the gar­den when you next spread your com­post.

Af­ter re­mov­ing dis­eased plant ma­te­rial al­ways clean your cut­ting equip­ment. Keep it sharp too, as blunt edges tear and dam­age stems, cre­at­ing an en­try point for prob­lems.

Cut back roses by one-third to help pro­tect them from root rock in storm weather Dis­pose of or burn rose leaves with black spot

Seed heads have an ar­chi­tec­tural beauty

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