So, September moves out and the Autumn settles in, the colour coming quickly to the leaves and fallen heads bow to spill tomorrows new beginnings. There is just so much hope in the closing of a season and celebration too. The chance to reflect once more on the cleverness, to ponder over the successes and failures. To throw down the gauntlet, challenging nature to ‘bring it on’. It has been a great summer and one of huge relief for those reliant on their crops. A bumper harvest with just a few casualties. The spuds are a bit unstable and the beans had mixed fortunes, but overall there was plenty. We now move into the time for repair and replacement of patching and of planning. There is a last chance to spill a little grass seed, soft fruit bushes are available, there is still time to drop in some over wintering onion sets and garlic. The Broad bean seeds are available too, though I still think late October sowing is soon enough. There are still a few bits of over wintering vegetable plants around, like winter lettuce and chicory and if you have a cold frame or greenhouse, you will still find it worth sprinkling in a late bit of Spinach to stand protected through the winter. Drop a bit of polythene over the seed for two or three days to spur the germination.
Of course it is all change in the flower beds too. Winter Pansies are still in plentiful supply everywhere (but do get cracking) and there are some good Wallflowers about. The bulbs need to go in and again there are plenty about. I have spotted some very fair prices this year and suppliers are offering some pretty colour themed mixes. The big interest is in shorter subjects these days, with smaller gardens and much destined for container growing, so do check packets for heights. (It sounds obvious but people don’t). As the month draws on check around the garden for soft and vulnerable plants that may need winter protection. The cold will come in swiftly and it is worth reminding yourself of the things that need help and those that need lifting. Many subjects will just benefit from a generous mulch, last years Dahlias and Fuchsias all came through untroubled in the ground.
And finally, there is a good deal of rodent activity. Shut up your seeds in a tin, clear up rubbish and the clutter that will offer a hideaway and move things from harms way. Rodents don’t enjoy open space.