There are still many things to enjoy, and plenty of jobs to do in the garden this month. Here are a few suggestions.
A fresh, cool, healthy lawn can make your garden feel like an oasis in
the heat of summer, and that living carpet of green really makes your plants
and flowers stand out. To keep yours in tip top condition it’s time to reward it
with a little late season TLC.
Begin by getting rid of moss and dead material by scarifying it (vigorously
rake it over with a spring tined rake or a scarifying machine), then improve
drainage in areas where the ground has become compacted by aerating. There are
special tools for this, but you can do it by pushing a garden fork into the
lawn as deep as you can and gently rocking it to enlarge the holes a little.
Repeat every 10cm or so over the surface of the lawn, then brush in a top
dressing (a blend of sand and loam that can be bought ready prepared or mixed
Finally apply an autumn lawn fertiliser which is high in phosphates and potash
and will help strong roots to develop.
Perhaps you would prefer to let part or all of the lawn grow a little longer and encourage some
wild flowers to grow? A good way to start is to cut it very short, until it is
almost bare in places, then rake it and sow the seed of Yellow Rattle which
weakens grass and gives other wild flowers a chance to grow.
On the Veg Patch
Many plants such as courgettes and runner beans will continue to produce
as long as there is warmth and water, and you are still picking them. If the
weather is poor and tomatoes are stubbornly refusing to ripen, cut off the
trusses and bring them indoors where they should ripen on a warm windowsill.
Keep harvesting blackberries and autumn raspberries - I've been making mine into jams and jellies.
Flowers from Seed
Hardy annuals can be sown directly into a weed free patch of soil, where
they can become established so that they will have a head start next year. Good
ones to try include Calendula, Centaurea, Cerinthe, Lunaria, Papaver somniferum
and Papaver Rhoeas, but make sure you sow them in rows so that you can easily
identify and pull out the weeds.