Gardening: Keeping busy as garden winds downBy Linda Fort
October 01, 2010
Autumn is a time for making lists of jobs to do before the winter sets in.
I started on my list at the weekend and made a stab at some of the tasks.
It is a good time of year to sow a new lawn or repair an old one.
After scratching away at a few bare patches, I sowed some grass seed in the hope some will germinate while the ground is still warm.
I made the mistake of not throwing away old seed and couldn’t remember which was this year’s and which last.
I must remember to chuck the lot away and buy some new in the spring. (I’ll put it on the list).
Next on the list is a branch I bang my head on every time I mow. There are still plenty more mows to come this year so I must chop it back at the weekend.
The big job will be to clear the vegetable patch and empty the compost bin into it in readiness for next year.
But I can’t do that until the beans stop producing which may be another week or so.
Another important item on the list is to investigate nematodes and their suppliers.
My plan is to try them in the vegetable patch after the horrible damage caused by slugs this year. I had to resow runner and French beans and courgettes after the slugs got the first seedlings.
I don’t use slug pellets for both organic and aesthetic reasons and all my other slug deterrent measures – sharp grit mainly – have proved pretty useless.
So next year it is nematode warfare, if I remember to find out where to get them and order them in time to apply them in April.
The saddest job of all on the list will be to grub out my autumn fruiting raspberries which have proved to be a disaster.
They have grown beautifully and cropped heavily, but they taste of nothing – nothing at all.
Worse still, when you pick the berries they disintegrate into little fruit ball bearings.
My disappointment is incalculable but I cannot waste all that space for another season.
The only useful thing I have learned is that the row of 12 canes is enough to produce a reasonable crop – if only I had planted another variety.
My final job is to remove 22 figs, the size of Gardener’s Delight tomatoes, from my Brown Turkey fig tree.
As this time of year you should remove all fruits except those the size of your little finger nail to develop into next year’s crop.
I seem to have had a bumper harvest of inedible fruit this year.