September 12, 2008 Weekly Garden Guide

While the rain has returned, last week was a good reminder of how fast we can dry out. If you still have plans to relocate trees and shrubs in your garden, don’t delay any longer. Move the largest ones first because they are likely to suffer the most stress.

  • If you have deciduous perennial material (in other words it hides underground in winter – plants such as hostas) be careful where you walk on the garden or you may find you have just snapped off all the new shoots.
  • You are running out of time to sort out your lawns. Oversow bare patches if you haven’t done so already. Don’t delay on getting new lawns sown. The false bed approach to laying a new lawn is to cultivate the ground to its final tilth, let the first crop of weed seeds germinate, then recultivate (to kill the weeds) and sow the grass seed. This technique works well in the vegetable garden too. If you feel you must fertilise your lawn, use a natural product such as Bioboost.
  • Camellias can be shaped and pruned as flowering finishes and do not delay any work you want to do with shaping conifers as they will making their spring flush shortly.
  • If you have mixed or herbaceous borders which are relatively self maintaining, it still pays to fork over the soil between the plants to stop compaction and to lay mulch. Fertilise with blood and bone.
  • It is more of the same as last week in the vegetable garden. This is the most important time of the year to start your early crops and to prepare the beds for the planting of main crops in a month’s time. Keep on top of the weeds, cultivate the soil, add compost as a mulch. Research has shown that compost does not have to be dug in but does the double job of suppressing weeds as well when laid on top. There is now enough heat in the sun to hoe weeds and leave them to dry on top.

While on the topic of hoeing, we have a quote from American humorist Henry Beard this week (this one is for you to quote, Valmai).

Hoeing: a manual method of severing roots from stems of newly planted flowers and vegetables.