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Welcome to Autumn! It has been a bit of a shock to the system having a chill in the air after we have been used to almost tropical temperatures. Still, there's days where we are not sure if we should be putting away the summer wardrobe just yet. This time before the cold really starts to hit is quite pleasant. Fresh and cool first thing then warming up late morning, perfect for a stroll. We are making the most of being able to get the washing out on the line still!
You will have noticed that the leaves are starting to turn already and falling, so now starts the garden tidying!
Leaves will need raking often and if you have an area to be able to let them rot down, they make fantastic mulch, once rotted down it is called leaf mold, it resembles compost. It will take around a year to decompose enough. It improves the soil fertility and as any mulch does, it will suppress weeds, keep in moisture, and keep the soil warm. When applying the leaf mold, it should be about 5cm to 10cm thick. Allow a little space between the mold and plant stems. There are other methods to make leaf mold, but I like the old-fashioned way.
Most other pruning can be left until spring unless there is a chance of wind rock, you could reduce the height for now.
The ideal time is during the dormant season between October and April.
Make sure you chose carefully to ensure you have the right plant for the place, think about overall width and height. There are lots of things to consider when choosing your shrub such as, is it for a particular purpose for example to attract wildlife, for formality, privacy or just for ornamental purposes.
As I have mentioned in an earlier blog, you will need to balance planting with at least half or more with evergreen shrubs to make sure there is some colour in the winter garden. Include winter flowering shrubs and colourful stems. The garden in winter and early spring can look beautiful if carefully planned.
Next month we will be talking about looking after our wildlife over winter pruning apple and pear trees and what can be planted. Until next time, happy gardening!