Jobs you need to do in the garden this autumn

mulch
mulch
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One of the most important jobs of the year in the garden is putting down a mulch – you won’t need to do the weeding and the watering is cut by half.

Before using the mulch, make sure the soil isn’t dry in which case water first. Also check for weeds and put some slug pellets down.

Les Foden.

Les Foden.

Mulching is of benefit to all gardeners ensuring the garden can take care of itself during holiday periods.

Plants will root up into the mulch and this can be beneficial when growing acid=preferring plants on neutral soil.

As we come into September we should be thinking of next spring’s bulb show.

Narcissi (including the trumpet daffodils), crocuses, snowdrops, muscaris, scillas and all lilies with the exception of lilium candidum, can be planted with fair success at any time during the autumn, but the best results are obtained by early planting. Tulips and hyacinths are better planted in October.

Grass seed will germinate well enough at any time during September and the sooner it can be sown the better to get it well established before winter.

Throughout summer take cuttings of a variety of plants, notably bedding calceolarias and penstemons, verbenas, mesembryanthemums, violas and pansies, zonal geraniums, antirrhinums and violets.

The best rooting medium is 50/50 of compost and coarse sand with a little perlite added. Use pots or trays.

Make another sowing of lettuce and endive and also radishes and mustard and cress in an unheated greenhouse. Cabbages from a July sowing will be ready for planting outside on the plot in which they will mature.

You couldn’t go any better than to plant cabbages where onions have just been lifted or on the ground that has been cleared of potatoes.

A number of hardy annuals may be sown outdoors now to stand the winter and flower in May and June next year.

Sow thinly where they are to flower and cover lightly with soil.

Thin the seedlings out to three or four inches apart as soon they can be handled, but leave any further thinning until March or April.

Among the best for sowing in this manner are annual alyssum, calendula, candytuft, clarkia, annual coreopsis, cornflower, godetia, larkspur and nigella.

Lift the main crop of carrots sown in April. If they are left in the ground any longer the roots are liable to crack. Dig up carefully with a fork, cut off the tops and store the roots in a heap in a shed, cellar or other frost proof place.