Bob’s Blog: Falling into Fall

As summer slowly fades, there is consolation to be found in those lovely inbound fall colors. For many of you, this will be your favorite time of year. There’s plenty to do during September and October as you prepare for falling leaves and colder temperatures. It’s time to start planning and planting for next year, too. Among the items on old Bob Allium’s task list are the following:

Spring-flowering Bulbs

September is the time to plant spring-flowering bulbs like crocuses, daffodils, snowdrops and tulips. Snowdrops are a good choice if you want to see Spring arrive early in your garden. You could plant a few hardy summer-flowering bulbs, too, including lilies. Before planting bulbs, think about improving the soil by mixing in some compost and other organic matter.

Look After Your Lawn

This time of year, you’ll want to spend some time on lawn maintenance. Clear away fallen leaves as fall breaks and mow the lawn if the grass is not wet or frosty. Scarify and aerate the lawn using a rake and garden fork, respectively, and then apply a top dressing. Feed the lawn with fertilizer

Fall Harvest

October is the time to harvest apples and pears, many of which can be stored for several weeks afterwards. “Bramley’s Seeding” cooking apples last well, for instance, or “Conference” dessert pears. Pears can be stored in the salad crisping drawer of a fridge. Apples can, too, though they prefer slightly warmer conditions. Wrap apples up in plastic bags before refrigerating and put holes in the bags to get air to them. Autumn raspberries are ready for picking around now.

Other Chores

Other things you can be doing through this quieter time of year include netting garden ponds to protect them from falling leaves, digging up any remaining potatoes, sowing winter lettuce and spring cabbages and pruning climbing roses. Any tender plants that are imperiled by the cold can be moved into a greenhouse or conservatory.

It’ll soon be time to wrap up warm, faithful readers, as the gardening year marches on.

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