EARLY IN THE MONTH
- Keep dead-heading flowering plants and picking beans to maintain production
- .Liquid feed bedding plants in tubs and baskets but switch to high Nitrogen feed which stimulates new growth for flowering later.
- If carrot fly bothers you, grow the crop under garden fleece or insect barrier mesh for excellent control.
- Thin out overcrowded water lily foliage on ponds.
- Start preparing the soil for laying new lawns next month.
- Vine Weevils will be laying eggs in tubs and containers now. One sure remedy is to water the compost with Bio Provado Vine Weevil Killer 2 â€“ one application lasts 4 months.
- Take cuttings from Geraniums, Fuchsias, Penstemons and other semi-hardy plants.
- Keep Camellias, Magnolias, Pieris, Rhododendrons and Azaleas well watered to prevent bud drop later.
- Semi-ripe cuttings can be taken from a wide range of shrubs.
- Pot some strawberry runners into 18cm (7in) pots. Leave them outside until January then put them in the greenhouse for an early crop.
- Trim over lavender, Santolina (cotton lavender), Helichrysum (curry plant) lightly after flowering.
- Sow last outdoor carrots, lettuce, radish and spinach beet in the vegetable garden.
- Sow Japanese onion seeds soon or buy autumn planting onion sets next month.
- Summer prune Wisteria â€“ cut back all new growth to five leaves up from where it arises from main branch, unless it is required to extend the plant.
- Sow Browallia, Schizanthus and Calceolaria in the greenhouse for winter pot plants.
- Plant young strawberry runners for cropping next year.
- Take Hydrangea cuttings â€“ they could make a flowering pot plant for next year.
- Try collecting some seed from your own garden plants â€“ you could get a new variety.
- Take cuttings from heathers. Use 2.5 cm (1in) long shoot tips. Root in gritty compost.
LATER THIS MONTH
- Spring flowering bulbs will be around now. Buy Colchicums, Madonna lilies and Autumn flowering crocus soon.
- Gather up and dispose of diseased rose leaves as they fall. Prune rambler roses.
- Summer prune trained forms of fruit trees.
- Clean and check over greenhouse heaters.
- Pot up some herbs dug from the garden ready to bring indoors in October for winter use.
- Sow a final batch of parsley seed outdoors and some spring cabbage.
- Check over any bulbs e.g. tulips that you have in store to ensure that they are fit to re-plant.
Yes its true, vegetable gardeners will soon be looking for good ways to store their freshly harvested onions and old tights can provide a superb storage system. Just get the tights and push an onion right down into the toe, then tie a knot and put in another onion and make another knot above it. Keep on going like this until the tights are full, then hang them up in the shed. This provides neat, accessible storage with all round ventilation for the crop. And if you think thatâ€™s strange, I knew a gardener once who kept stuffing a banana down his trousers â€“ but thatâ€™s another story!