We still have such warm sunny daylight hours, but the nights are getting cooler and there are a few jobs we can tackle in the garden before the nights start to draw in. Keeping your garden in good condition now will save you some time in the spring, and you might even want to think about any new plants or veggies to grow over the winter months.
If you have any wisteria growing in the garden, you will maybe have noticed that they are starting to lose their leaves already, and now is the time to prune that whippy new green growth back to 5 or 6 leaves to control the size of your plant.
Continue dead-heading summer flowers, and give them a bit of a feed to replace exhausted nutrients, it will stop them from seeding and this may encourage a bit more blooming time before the winter. I find now is a good time to get rid of any geraniums that have gone a bit ‘wild and woody’, dig them up completely and add some new potting soil to the hole they came out of, snip off two or three of this year’s healthier looking growth, and plant them in the space you have just created. Give them a good watering and treat them kindly for a few weeks, and it should take root for a nice show next year.
If you have any lavender, ideally, this should be pruned twice a year – once in the spring just as the fresh growth starts coming in, and once in the summer right after it’s finished blooming. Cut off the heads to just below the flower stalks if they are starting to look past their best, and the new growth will look good through the winter. Spring pruning is very important to get rid of any winter damage and encourage fresh lavender growth.
If you have tomatoes still fruiting, now is the time to cut off any new growth above the last truss of fruit, which will divert all the plant’s nutrients to the fruit, rather than to encourage more upwards growth.
If you have grass that might be looking a bit sad after the heat of the summer, now is the time to aerate it – poke some holes in it – in preparation for the rains (if they haven’t arrived already), and even if they have, it will do no harm.
Potted plants can be revived by taking the whole plant out of the pot, teasing out maybe a quarter of the roots from the rootball, and re-pot the plant with some premium potting soil, then water well. If it could do with a bigger pot, now is a good time to change it.
Dead leaves can be cleared out of flower beds, and even more importantly, out of any drainage so you avoid any flooding during the winter. Palm trees will probably need the lower leaves removed with a saw if you can do this without climbing up too high, otherwise get the professionals in!
And finally – weeds! I noticed today when patrolling my own garden that there are some tall dried grasses hiding in the undergrowth that need digging out before they drop their seeds to ruin my beds next spring.