garage. After the remains of the basil are pulled, the frame is given a good clear-out to prevent fungal infection.
prone to drying out in winter winds. If you are prepared to water in winter, so much the better and get them in too.
DON’T PANIC If you get an early frost, cannas and dahlias will be fine in the ground for a bit, even if their tops are browned. Many people leave them in the ground and mulch heavily, and they are happy for four or five years even in cold gardens if the mulch is deep enough. Once they show signs of losing vigour, it is time to divide and repropagate, and in these years the old tubers will be lifted, stored in just-damp compost under frost-free cover, and divided or used for cuttings come next spring.
RAKE’S PROGRESS To make the most of the moment let autumn foliage lie where you can. Beware of build-up on precious lawns and rake them free to
prevent browning off of the grass. If you want to instil order without breaking your back, keep paths and terraces free for the contrast of order. An autumn feed to stimulate root growth is worth applying on lawns that get a lot of wear in the summer. SOW MUCH BETTER Sweet peas can be sown into pots to overwinter in a sheltered position or a frame, and October is still a good time to sow lawns and meadows.
HARVEST GOLD Pumpkin and gourds can be harvested now and moved into a dry position to prevent them from rotting. Pick windfall apples for cooking and twist those on the tree half a turn to see if they’re ripe. If so, they’ll come away with a satisfying snap. The unblemished can be stored in a cool shed to last into the winter months. Hoarding is a good feeling that must be locked in to our DNA, for there is nothing like providing for the future.
SPLITS AND SPLICES Geraniums, persicaria and the likes of Achillea can be cut back hard, lifted with a fork and teased apart. Reuse only the healthiest, outer growth and discard the oldest material on to the compost heap. With warmth still in the ground, the roots will take hold before winter sets in. GET GROWING October is the start of the planting season, and material planted now will benefit from the months ahead to get roots in. Be wary of planting evergreens in exposed sites, however, as they are
Orders taken for hanging baskets and window boxes. Large selection of summer bedding plants from mid April. Perennial plants, trees and shrubs for your garden. Also available fruit trees & fruit bushes.
All your garden needs catered for
Lough Key Forest Park, Boyle, Co. Roscommon • Tel: 086-8235287 • Open 7 Days • www.thegardens.ie Page 29 | Mature Living Magazine
October 2018 Edition