It is blower vac time. If you have one of these handy (albeit somewhat noisy and intrusive) machines, you can easily blow all the fallen leaves off the driveway and paths and onto the garden where they can be left to rot down and suppress the weeds. Or blow the leaves onto the lawn and run a mulcher mower over them to feed the lawn. We can’t believe it took us so long to discover what a boon a blower vac is in maintaining the garden. Electric powered models are fine for small town gardens. Large gardens need petrol driven motors and we have worked out that for very large gardens, the much more expensive backpack models are greatly preferable. Such a shame we bought a cheaper hand held one.
Plant trees and shrubs and continue lifting and dividing clumping plants. While summer is all about maintenance in the garden, the cooler months are more about planting. Now is the time to reassess messy patches or to replace tatty looking plants which have not performed to expectations.
Luculias and vireyas in sheltered, frostfee positions or sasanqua camellias provide some flowering shrub interest at this time of the year. Dichroa versicolour (an evergreen type of hydrangea) is still in flower.
Clean up the asparagus bed. If you are intending to start a bed of this taste treat in early spring (the traditional time for planting asparagus), start preparing it now. Fork in as much compost and manure as you can. More is better in this case, as is a well dug, double dug or even triple dug bed. Don’t waste your time and effort if you are planning on moving house in a year or two – asparagus beds are long term commitments.
If you have fires indoors, be cautious of the ash which comes from closed wood burner units. It can be highly concentrated and needs to be spread very thinly. If you are ecologically challenged and burn plastic or polystyrene or even tanalised timber offcuts in your fire, don’t spread the ashes on your garden.
On the planting front, if you are frost free you can continue planting potatoes.