What to do now

Timing is everything in gardening — for best results. But there is some leeway. In this section, Garden.ie offers accurate horticultural advice reminders on the main groups of plants under Irish conditions, week after week.

  • Trees, Shrubs and Roses
  • Flowers
  • Lawn
  • Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs
  • Greenhouse and House Plants

Trees, Shrubs and Roses

  • Roses that were pruned after flowering and were given some rose fertilizer will be showing a new crop of late buds and flowers – these can even flower into early winter if there is no frost.
  • Evergreens can be lifted from late September and re-planted.
  • Control grass and weeds on areas that are marked down for planting in autumn.
  • Check that young trees are securely tied to stakes, goin ginto autumn gales and winter weather.
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Flowers

  • Hanging baskets can be kept going a little longer with some liquid feeding.
  • Conditions are ideal for sowing hardy annual flower seeds to flower in late spring and early summer. Be sure to keep these free of weeds by pulling weed?seedlings when they appear.
  • Buy and plant spring bulbs as soon as possible. Conditions are usually ideal with heat in the soil and adequate moisture to encourage rooting immediately. Bulbs that get well established early are likely to grow on better for future years.
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Lawn

  • Keep on mowing as necessary – there is a second peak of grass growth at this time of year in most years and it is invaluable for thickening up the grass sward before winter.
  • Apply autumn lawn fertilizer to strengthen grass before winter and increase soil fertility for the following year.
  • Any repairs to worn or damaged areas can be carried out now, lifting sods or sowing seeds on bare areas, having loosened the surface.
  • New lawn areas can be sown very successfully about now?… grass seeds germinate readily because of warmth in the soil and moisture and a lawn will be well established in as little as six weeks.
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Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs

  • If vegetables have gone over, pull them up and compost them, if they not diseased. Most vegetables pull out easily when the soil is soft.
  • Take the opportunity to clear out weeds. Later the soil will grow colder and wetter and these removal jobs will be more difficult.
  • Conditions are ideal for planting spring cabbage which benefits from making root growth while there is still a little heat in the ground.
  • Lift potatoes before the small underground slugs become active, and the soil becomes sticky.
  • Place pumpkins on a flat stone or piece of slate or wood if the ground is heavy and wet.
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Greenhouse and House Plants

  • Greenhouse tomatoes. melons, chillies and peppers continue to ripen although growth is winding down.
  • Be careful not to over-water in the greenhouse from now on. Water should be given only on the basis of need and soil and compost should be just moist, not wet.
  • Ventilate on dry, breezy days to air the greenhouse.
  • Take in tender plants such as fuchsia and angels trumpet in the colder parts of the country.
  • Pot up some hyacinths and other bulbs for indoor display at the end of the year. These are buried outdoor in a cool place and brought into the greenhouse in November.
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