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October 2020

Posted on 21st September, 2020

Where has the rain gone? Once the rain returns, we are hoping it will soften up the ground enough for the lawn care maintenance program to be done whilst there is still some heat in the ground before the temperatures drop. Grass seed requires at least 5C to germinate so it needs to be done September / October, at this time the combined temperatures and rain give the grass everything it needs without having to give any additional help. The maintenance program will consist of weeding the lawn, scarification, seeding, top dressing the worst areas and low patches. Plus depending on the weather will try and get a slow release granular feed on once the grass has fully germinated, as this will help develop strong roots over autumn and quicker growth in spring.

It’s that time of year for dahlias again, it would be interesting to know how many people in the area lift their dahlias or leave them in, as the end result generally all depends on how bad the winter is and your soil type. If lifting Dahlias - cut down to around 3-4 inches and it is important to remove all the soil in order to check the tuber for signs of damage or disease which could cause issues with your other dahlias if not detected. After lifting the dahlias ensure that they are left to dry for a few days before placing them in pots with bark or woodchip and stored somewhere frost free over the winter generally in a heated glasshouse that stays just above freezing.

Once the frosts have begun to ease and the spring arrives you can give your dahlias a small amount of water and bring them somewhere light and wait for the new growth to appear. Continue to keep them stored and watered until the frosts have past and the new shoots appear then they can be replanted.

If your soil is very free draining and does not sit wet over the winter, you may be able to mulch your dahlias and avoid the need to lift and store them. Results vary with this method depending on soil conditions, weather and thickness of mulch applied.

It has been an odd year so far and it looks to be continuing. Flash floods to start with and now draught. The draught this year has been hard on a lot of plants, but it has also been great for others.  The fig pictured above has fruited a lot this year and the Perovskia blue spire below has flowered great. It has certainly highlighted the need for a more diverse planting and the need for more dry garden plants. So, it gives us food for thought going forward when re-designing gardens within the area for longevity and no reliance on irrigation systems.

 

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Great advice about grass...just need the rain.