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October 2018 Newsletter
Relish this lovely time of year. John Keats waxed lyrical about autumn in his famous poem and you can see why. The quality of sunlight is unique to this time of year as is the scent of turning leaves.
The garden yearns to be titivated in autumn with all manners of gardening tasks including lawn care, planting and pruning. See our tops tips below and enjoy this awe-inspiring autumn.
The Unwins team
Our top 6 jobs for the month
In October enjoy time in the garden addressing your flower beds and putting your perennial borders to bed for the winter. Firstly with secateurs chop down plants to the ground whose stems are dying back; you’ll notice the flowers going over and some of the stems getting mushy.
Leave any stems that have gone hard and crispy and have attractive seed heads that look great rimed in frost over winter. Seed heads provide food too for finches and tits over winter too.
Plant tulip bulbs this month. You can grow them in trenches, pop them under the lawn and put them in containers. We love that tulips come in all shapes and sizes now. Take a look at our collections and colour themes that appeal to you.
We recommend that you get a good compost specially formulated to suit tulip bulbs while they settle in over the winter.
Sow sweet peas from the autumn indoors. They will germinate, settle in the soil over the winter and be ready to transplant in as strong young plants in spring. This early sowing means earlier flowering with flowers in bloom earlier than spring-sowing varieties.
Grasses look great with violas and pansies for evergreen texture neighbouring bright uplifting flowers through the winter. Choose Carex or ornamental kales as the permanent, verdant backdrops to free-flowering pansies and violas. Our collections include new exciting colours like Pansy Rhubarb and Custard.
Autumn is the perfect time for making your roses perform better next year to give you more blooms and healthier plants.
Firstly give your roses a well-balanced feed of specially formulated rose food, naturally rich and high in nutrients; perfect for hungry roses.
Tie young and flexible shoots of climbing roses as horizontally as you can. This encourages roses to produce flowering stems over lots of green leafy shoots. Snip some for little vases in your house too.
Plant new roses in the soil or in pots so they settle in over winter ready for spring.
Compost heaps are excellent natural processors of waste. They give you a convenient place to put garden waste and you can enjoy the outcome of broken down and nutritious compost down the line.
As autumn is a time for clearing stems, lawn care and pruning branches it’s the perfect time for starting a compost heap, creating your own soil conditioner and saving money and the environment as well.
Enjoy the colour of plant family Primula (including varieties primroses, cowslips and polyanthus) by getting plug plants into pots now. Some of our varieties flower from as early as Christmas and then others follow suit revealing colourful, uplifting flowers early next year.
Polyanthus with pizzazz – in bloom in January
Traditional cowslips – in bloom in late January
NEW Primrose Blue Butterfly- February flowers with impact
White rust on chrysanthemums
Yellow spots appear on the leaves of your favourite chrysanthemums especially in autumns that have suddenly become cool and are particularly wet and damp. It’s a fungus that makes an appearance in autumn so October is a likely time for infection.
White rust stunts plant growth and stops flowering plants in the tracks, reducing the vigour that encourages the masses of flowers you are expecting.
Control by treating your plants to Westland Resolva Rose 3 in 1 that has active ingredients that controls white rust.
October is a great time to initiate part of your garden to wildlife. Wildlife in the garden can help you as a gardener massively as birds and hedgehogs spend their days eating garden pests, thus saving many of your prize plants.