Peter’s Autumn Gardening tips
Another record breaking autumn. Fabulous Indian summer, highest temperatures recorded of the year in September! So dry and warm.
As I write in the middle of October the trees are beginning to colour up. This is going to be a spectacular autumn show on trees and shrubs caused by the near drought in England.
The harvest has been in some areas fantastic, others not so good. The sun has made apples, pears, plums, nectarines and autumn raspberries very tasty. Pick and store apples and pears – only unblemished ones. Turn into cider or perry damaged ones and leave some for the wildlife – birds, butterflies – Red Admirals, foxes, badgers, voles and mice …..
The smell of ripe apples and pears is intoxicating – that cidery smell yum yum, I might have to go and sample a pint!
The last couple of months have been incredibly busy, working at RHS Wisley Autumn Flower show and visiting RHS Members gardens wanting gardening advice. With this in mind I thought I would give you a flavour of the queries and questions asked of me and the Gardening Advice Team at RHS Wisley.
Orange raised blotches on virtually every leaf, seems to have been an epidemic, weather conditions have helped spread this fungal disease – a wet June, it makes the trees look unsightly. Sadly little can be done to control it. Collect up leaves if possible and burn. Keep trees fed and watered. Hope for better weather conditions next year or its going to be a disease we will have to live with. It doesn’t appear to weaken the pear tree too much.
Not flowering well in pots. The underlying problem appears to be a lack of feeding. Agapanthus need building up the autumn before the production of flowers the following summer. Wet conditions during last winter and cool conditions in spring also didn’t help! Water in a high potash liquid fertiliser – tomato feed, phostrogen, miracle gro – weekly until we get the first frosts and the foliage goes yellow. Protect from frost too.
Mildew on many plants
Powdery mildew on many plants – Phlox, Roses, Courgettes, Honeysuckles ….. Weather conditions the main cause again – so dry here in the south. Wet June followed by very dry July through to October. Stressed plants are prone to fungal and disease attacks. If we get run down we too are more prone to colds and flu !! Plants are the same so keep them happy – fed and watered around the roots. Liquid seaweed fertiliser Vitax or Maxicrop works well on stressed plants. Read the label for application rates.
Maggots in Apples and Plums
Sadly there has been a lot of damaged fruit this season, caused by several species of moth caterpillar – Apple/Winter and Plum Moth.
Pheromone traps combined with fruit tree grease applied to the trunk of the trees to control Winter Moth will help. Look at the Agralan website for non-chemical control.
Jobs to do
- Make room in the compost bins for all the leaves to come! This is free garden compost – I know it’s a pain but it really does help your plants. Use a rotary mower to hoover up and n
- Dig over vegetable beds or rotorvate before heavy rain comes.
- Buy garlic, autumn onion/shallots for planting.
- Buy Spring flowering bulbs – Daffodils, Crocus, Tulips etc.
- Plant Winter flowering plants such as Winter flowering Heathers, foliage plants for containers with Pansies, Violas, Primroses and polyanthus and bulbs underneath.
- Cut hedges.
- Treat lawns – scarify and aerate. Treat for moss.
- Bring in tender plants into conservatory or house – lemons, bananas, orchids, non-hardy plants such as geraniums, fuchsias, lantanas, cannas ……
- Finish pruning trained fruit trees and wisteria.
- Repairs to shed roof.
- Pressure wash patio/decking and treat with an algicide.
- Make a list of the successes and failures in the veg patch and garden!
Go for a walk around parks and gardens and enjoy the autumn colours!!
RHS Wisley Taste of Autumn 19-23rd of October. I’ll be answering questions on the Sunday at Gardening Advice. Pop in and ask me your most difficult question!
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LEAVE ANY GARDENERS QUESTIONS UNDERNEATH THIS FEATURE AND I WILL DO MY BEST TO ANSWER YOU PERSONALLY … ALSO IF YOU WOULD LIKE A GARDENING TOPIC COVERED JUST LET ME KNOW
Enjoy the weather while it lasts and Happy Gardening!
Regards Peter Mills
Latest posts by Peter Mills (see all)
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!