Lots to do in gar­den as au­tumn be­gins

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - GREEN SPACES -

SUM­MER might be fin­ish­ing but in the gar­den, Septem­ber can be a time for new begin­nings. Kathy Vi­vian sug­gests some ways to spruce-up your gar­den.

This is a good time to make changes to your gar­den, so think about how it has per­formed dur­ing the year.

If an area is look­ing bare, or the gar­den looks dull at cer­tain times of year, now is the time to in­tro­duce some new plants.

Con­tainer-grown shrubs and trees can be planted from now un­til the end of au­tumn.

The air is cool­ing but the soil is still warm and moist, al­low­ing plant roots to be­come well es­tab­lished be­fore leaves start to grow in spring.

Al­ter­na­tively, you could or­der bare-root roses, shrubs and trees for plant­ing from Novem­ber to March.

If you have a large area to fill, bare-root plants are cheaper and es­tab­lish well if planted when dor­mant.

New con­tainer-grown peren­ni­als can also be planted now.

If you have es­tab­lished peren­ni­als that have be­come over­grown and con­gested, Septem­ber is a good time to cut them down and lift and di­vide the plants.

This is also the month for plant­ing most spring-flow­er­ing bulbs, apart from tulips, which are planted in Novem­ber. Early daf­fodils and cro­cuses can be planted now to bring welcome colour dur­ing dark win­ter days.

Sum­mer bed­ding is past its best now and can be re­placed with win­ter bed­ding.

If you grow shrubs and trees per­ma­nently in con­tain­ers, stop feed­ing them now to pre­vent any more soft growth be­ing pro­duced, as this can make them vul­ner­a­ble to frost dam­age.

Lawns can be scar­i­fied with a spring-tined rake now to re­move dead grass and moss.

If your lawn has been tram­pled all sum­mer, it may also ben­e­fit from aer­a­tion by in­sert­ing a gar­den fork 15cm (6in) into the turf at roughly 15cm in­ter­vals. Al­ter­na­tively, if you have a large lawn, it is pos­si­ble to buy or hire ma­chines to do these jobs.

Kathy Vi­vian is a lo­cal gar­den de­signer with an in­ter­est in gar­den­ing to at­tract ben­e­fi­cial wildlife. Read her blog on www. kathy­vi­vian­gar­den­de­sign.com or search for KathyViv­gar­den on Face­book, Twit­ter and Pin­ter­est.

A Guelder rose (Vibur­num op­u­lus) has shiny red berries in Septem­ber that birsd love to eat

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