Weekend work: Time to cut back herbaceous perennials
What to do
Cut back the dying stems of herbaceous perennials and compost them. Do not cut back penstemons. These should be left until March. Cutting back now will encourage fresh young growth which will most likely be clobbered by frost.
Now is an ideal time to shift plants about in the garden. It is easier to move herbaceous plants if you reduce some of their top hamper first. Dig them a comfortable hole and fork up the bottom of it so that the roots do not have a battle to get started. I always put bonemeal in the hole as a bribe. I have been shifting self-seeded plants of foxglove, verbascum and Verbena bonariensis to more suitable homes and none show signs yet of flagging.
Pick late-keeping apples for eating over Christmas and the New Year. Store them separately from early and mid-season apples. The ethylene gas given off by ripe earlier fruit will hurry the late ones on too much and they will deteriorate.
Stop watering tuberous begonias and gloxinias in pots so that they die down naturally. Store the tubers for the winter in a cool, dry place. Flowers of sulphur dusted over them will help prevent mould.
What to see
Plan a quick trip over the Channel to visit the Courson autumn show (and weep that here in Britain, we can't put on anything half as stylish). With 250 exhibitors of plants, books and sundries, it runs from 18-20 October at the Domaine de Courson, 91680 Courson-Monteloup (Essonne), admission €17. The theme this year is 'Blowing in the Wind'.
Life & Style blogs
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The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
- 1 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 2 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 3 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
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