Early September, What Does It Mean For You?

Early September, What Does It Mean For You?

So today most schools went back after the summer holidays. In fact, mine went back yesterday. When I say, ‘went back’ what I mean is ‘started’. All went without hitch, no tears from either party and was greeted with a flying hug at 3.15. I thought this morning may be the sticking point, what, I must do this again? But all is good there.

So, what have I done with my new-found freedom? Dusted the office, cleaned the window and started to plan… September really does mark the beginning of an exciting time of the year for me. The nights start drawing in, which I enjoy, if there is a warm fire to sit beside and some cosy blankets. Call me Miss Hygge (not to be confused with any other similar sounding name…) Also, it is a time for harvesting some of the autumn fruits from the garden and preserving some for presents and Christmas feasts. I also start seeing some Christmas Fayre dates creeping up on me so I get to start looking for the new gift ranges. There is a great trade show at the NEC next week that I love, called GLEE, so I’m off there on Monday…

Any of you with potatoes in the garden, we need to be lifting them now and prepare them for storage. Carefully lift from the ground, avoiding damage is a priority, as any tear in the flesh will result in rot getting in and spoiling the whole crop. Leave on the surface for a few hours to allow the skin to dry and store only the most perfect ones. Take the damaged ones inside the house to use straight away and the rest can be stored in hessian sacks in a dark, cool place like a garage or shed. You may like the Burgon & Ball Spud Storage Sacks, £5 for 2 available here.

I am already seeing some great offers on Spring bulbs in Homebase, Tesco and Aldi and now is a great time to start planting! There’s nothing like seeing Snowdrops arriving in the early Spring, closely followed by Crocus, Narcissi then Tulips. Planting them can be a pain though, I know some people like using a special Bulb planting device which takes out a clump of earth so you can deposit the bulbs under the surface then replace the top. This works well if you have the right type of soil (not too sandy, or wet clay) otherwise it’s a waste of time. I know of some who use an old spade handle, which is a great use for a broken item. It is a decent length and has a handle already built in. With this you can stab the soil, wiggle it about and drop your bulb in the ground, covering it up afterwards with the same soil or a handful of good bulb planting compost. If you do not have an old spade handle in the shed, why not treat yourself to a t-handled, hand turned oak dibber? These are lovely heirloom tools, built to last, and have calibrated ends so you get the planting depth just right. There’s probably a friend or member of your family on your Christmas present list who would love one of these. At £10 it fits perfectly in the present budget too.

If (like us) you love your lawn and want it to look its best, now is the time to aerate it, scarify and over seed if required. So, in this order, I would; aerate using a sharp tined fork. Go down about 10cm, give it a wiggle if you wish, and repeat every few cm across your lawn, at very least in shady areas, compacted areas and areas that get wet quickest. If you have a large lawn consider hiring a machine, or buying your own. Done once or twice a year, this really is a job worth doing. The roots will benefit from the extra room available to them and will make your grass stronger, less susceptible to disease, pests and wear and tear. After aeration, I would scarify with a spring tined rake. Aggressively rake at areas of the lawn that are filling up with dead grass or moss (you could use a moss killer first to make this easier. Iron works well) to remove the thatch. Thatch encourages disease and weakness in the grass. By removing it, aerating the area and over seeding you will have a healthier lawn in the future. To overseed, simply scatter lawn seed over the areas you wish to treat. Typically, back gardens need a tough grass like Rye to cope with pets, kids, grandchildren and everything else it has to deal with. Your garden centre will sell this under several different labels, titles and promises. Don’t fall for ‘quick growing’ ‘greener’ ‘fast germinating’ and the like, if you have a good seed bed (a fairly established lawn and have done the prep as mentioned above) then a ryegrass mix seed will suit your needs. You could also consider putting a winter feed down to help things along.

Personally, my task this month is to get some areas marked out for some raised beds in the front garden. We have decided to turn the small 5 x 5meter patch at the front into a productive vegetable growing area. It gets a lot of sun and more importantly, is away from chickens, dogs and footballs, so will make an ideal spot. Will have to protect from wild rabbits and most likely pigeons, so this will be a challenge as I want it as decorative as possible too. Will no doubt keep you up to date with progress.

 


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Early September, What Does It Mean For You?

Early September, What Does It Mean For You?

So today most schools went back after the summer holidays. In fact, mine went back yesterday. When I say, ‘went back’ what I mean is ‘started’. All went without hitch, no tears from either party and was greeted with a flying hug at 3.15. I thought this morning may be the sticking point, what, I must do this again? But all is good there.

So, what have I done with my new-found freedom? Dusted the office, cleaned the window and started to plan… September really does mark the beginning of an exciting time of the year for me. The nights start drawing in, which I enjoy, if there is a warm fire to sit beside and some cosy blankets. Call me Miss Hygge (not to be confused with any other similar sounding name…) Also, it is a time for harvesting some of the autumn fruits from the garden and preserving some for presents and Christmas feasts. I also start seeing some Christmas Fayre dates creeping up on me so I get to start looking for the new gift ranges. There is a great trade show at the NEC next week that I love, called GLEE, so I’m off there on Monday…

Any of you with potatoes in the garden, we need to be lifting them now and prepare them for storage. Carefully lift from the ground, avoiding damage is a priority, as any tear in the flesh will result in rot getting in and spoiling the whole crop. Leave on the surface for a few hours to allow the skin to dry and store only the most perfect ones. Take the damaged ones inside the house to use straight away and the rest can be stored in hessian sacks in a dark, cool place like a garage or shed. You may like the Burgon & Ball Spud Storage Sacks, £5 for 2 available here.

I am already seeing some great offers on Spring bulbs in Homebase, Tesco and Aldi and now is a great time to start planting! There’s nothing like seeing Snowdrops arriving in the early Spring, closely followed by Crocus, Narcissi then Tulips. Planting them can be a pain though, I know some people like using a special Bulb planting device which takes out a clump of earth so you can deposit the bulbs under the surface then replace the top. This works well if you have the right type of soil (not too sandy, or wet clay) otherwise it’s a waste of time. I know of some who use an old spade handle, which is a great use for a broken item. It is a decent length and has a handle already built in. With this you can stab the soil, wiggle it about and drop your bulb in the ground, covering it up afterwards with the same soil or a handful of good bulb planting compost. If you do not have an old spade handle in the shed, why not treat yourself to a t-handled, hand turned oak dibber? These are lovely heirloom tools, built to last, and have calibrated ends so you get the planting depth just right. There’s probably a friend or member of your family on your Christmas present list who would love one of these. At £10 it fits perfectly in the present budget too.

If (like us) you love your lawn and want it to look its best, now is the time to aerate it, scarify and over seed if required. So, in this order, I would; aerate using a sharp tined fork. Go down about 10cm, give it a wiggle if you wish, and repeat every few cm across your lawn, at very least in shady areas, compacted areas and areas that get wet quickest. If you have a large lawn consider hiring a machine, or buying your own. Done once or twice a year, this really is a job worth doing. The roots will benefit from the extra room available to them and will make your grass stronger, less susceptible to disease, pests and wear and tear. After aeration, I would scarify with a spring tined rake. Aggressively rake at areas of the lawn that are filling up with dead grass or moss (you could use a moss killer first to make this easier. Iron works well) to remove the thatch. Thatch encourages disease and weakness in the grass. By removing it, aerating the area and over seeding you will have a healthier lawn in the future. To overseed, simply scatter lawn seed over the areas you wish to treat. Typically, back gardens need a tough grass like Rye to cope with pets, kids, grandchildren and everything else it has to deal with. Your garden centre will sell this under several different labels, titles and promises. Don’t fall for ‘quick growing’ ‘greener’ ‘fast germinating’ and the like, if you have a good seed bed (a fairly established lawn and have done the prep as mentioned above) then a ryegrass mix seed will suit your needs. You could also consider putting a winter feed down to help things along.

Personally, my task this month is to get some areas marked out for some raised beds in the front garden. We have decided to turn the small 5 x 5meter patch at the front into a productive vegetable growing area. It gets a lot of sun and more importantly, is away from chickens, dogs and footballs, so will make an ideal spot. Will have to protect from wild rabbits and most likely pigeons, so this will be a challenge as I want it as decorative as possible too. Will no doubt keep you up to date with progress.

 


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