Autumn Gardening Classes recommence on September 10 and 12th. 10 - 1 pm .

What to do Now in September mid Autumn

 

  1. Choose the flowers you would like to collect seed from .Take a photo to remind yourself of what it looked like and where it was in the garden. Seeds only germinate when harvested ripe. 
  2. Harvest the last of your rhubarb. If you don’t have time to use it simply wash it, chop and freeze for a later date.Very handy for a quick crumble and also when you are ready to make jam — don’t forget the ginger.Tomatoes also freeze really well for sauce making later.
  3. Tip prune fruit trees for shape, fruit is usually borne on older growth. 
  4. Repair damaged lawns, also prepare ground for both new lawn sowing and wild flower meadows.
  5. Start dividing clumps of perennials, if they need division. Soil nice and warm to allow for root growth helping divisions get going again.Could be a bit on the late side for grasses.Grasses are best divided in late spring, when the soil is warming up.Also cuttings, now for overwintering.
  6. Start planting you're early spring bulbs, it is much easier now as the garden is warm, you can see the gaps for planting among the perennials. Summer  / autumn bulbs, which have flowered, or still flowering, if you are not happy where they are, move them and remember to allow the foliage to die naturally feeding the bulbs, tubers for next year. Plant tulip bulbs in colder weather. 
  7. Autumn containers  — be adventurous, bulbs, annuals perennials small shrubs , etc. Happily it is still nice and warm, wind is drying plants  in containers cut down on feeding, or simple plant up for winter.Summer containers are wonderful, and we also need winter interest. Think of a mini garden and what plants would give colour and texture. During the short days we often spend a great deal of time looking out through our windows, activity in the garden, birds even foxes playing(not with or chickens) can be joyful and really beneficial to our environment.
  8. Turn your compost, make room for all the new clippings you will have in the next couple of months. Think about how to store your leafs so as to have the use of such a valuable soil additive. Leafs breaks down quicker when  shredded, this applies to all composted material.
  9. Cleared vegetable beds, which you are not going to use until spring, either cover or grow a green manure.
  10. Take notes of your favourite autumn colour, the plants, the shrubs and the trees and see if you can imitate in your space.

Lots to do.Get as much done now as the evenings are drawing in quickly and it is still warm. Don't strip everything backs as it provides cover for not only the soil but the creatures that live there.Water, drinking water also crucial for visiting creatures. Focus on tidying your edging, preparing your compost heaps if you need help having your hedges cut book your help now.As autumn continues into winter, we will be coming into bare root planting  season.Lots of opportunities.

In our Autumn classes we will be covering all of this and more.

 

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Osslating Hoe

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Ants in the Garden

Are ants in the garden bad? The good and bad news about ants and plants. Just as a weed is a plant growing in the wrong place, insects in the wrong place are pests. Ants play a very important role in the ecology of your garden for good and for not so good. ... Ants are predator and prey since they eat the eggs of many insects and serve as food for birds, lizards, and other beneficials. Their tunnels aerate the soil and allow water and nutrients to flow directly to the plant roots. They also distribute seeds by storing them in their tunnels. The caterpillars of some butter­fly groups - read more on Blog page

Mornington May 17 2018

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Ants in the Garden

Are Ants Bad for the Garden ?

Are ants in the garden bad?

The good and bad news about ants and plants. Just as a weed is a plant growing in the wrong place, insects in the wrong place are pests.

Ants play a very important role in the ecology of your garden for good and for not so good. …

Ants are predator and prey since they eat the eggs of many insects and serve as food for birds, lizards, and other beneficial. Their tunnels aerate the soil and allow water and nutrients to flow directly to the plant roots. They also distribute seeds by storing them in their tunnels.

The caterpillars of some butter­fly groups produce a sweet substance known as honey­dew to attract protectors. The ants “farm” the caterpillars, sometimes even carrying them into the ant nests to complete development. This interaction can add more butterflies and birds to your garden as they become attracted to the greater insect activity.

The bad news is that ants can protect honeydew-producing, sucking insects that do a great deal of damage, such as aphids — white, green and black fly also scale and mealybug, populations in the garden.

They actually will drag their eggs into their nests and protect them.

Wasps eat aphids. Aphids produce honeydew which ants love.

Controls of ants in your garden

Planting aromatic herbs around the perimeter of your home can also discourage ants. The added benefit is that other insects and vermin are also put off by the aroma. Any mint plant – mint needs to be planted in a container as it will become too common in your garden, also Tansy and Sage can also be effective repellents.

You can reduce their numbers by pouring boiling hot water on their nests. This technique will help you control population numbers at source.

Ants don’t like citrus. Squeeze a citrus fruit in the direction of your plant so that the juice spritzes out. This should help to repel the ants.

  • To make a more heavy-duty citrus repellent, boil the rinds of half a dozen oranges in water for fifteen minutes. Also, you could use citrus drops.
  • Blend the rinds and water in a food processor and pour the mixture around your plants.
  • Make your own soap solution with 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap in 1 pint of warm water  or you could use washing up liquid diluted
  • Spray it on and around your plant. Soaps containing peppermint oil are particularly effective.

Spices such as cinnamon, cloves, chilli powder, coffee grounds, or dried mint tea leaves can be scattered around the base of the plant to deter ants too.

Spray the flying ants ( which are mature mating creatures) with dishwashing soap 

Diluted dishwashing soap is an effective agent against flying ants as it attaches to their bodies and dehydrates them.

Get yourself a spray bottle to catch the little creatures in flight and mix two generous squirts of dishwashing liquid with water. This is also effective on aphids on your plants. My mother would have used the water from the basin of washing up water to do this.

Using pesticides can damage beneficial insects and also the balance in your garden is really important to allow nature to do its job.