Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland




Prepare your plants for the cooler weather

SEPTEMBER and the year is on the turn. It is traditionally a month when fruit and vegetables such as onions, beetroot, carrots, apples and pears will be ready to harvest.

As crops are lifted and picked there will be areas of vacant ground. Make the most of these areas and sow late sowings of lettuce then cover them with cloches towards the end of the month.

Sow swedes and turnips now to provide young edible roots early next year. Plant spring cabbage plants now in the open ground or raise them from seed in a cold frame for planting out in late October.

During the next few weeks examine your house plants and look for signs of over-watering. The signs will be apparent - yellowing or dropping of leaves is a sure sign of over-watering.

If so allow the plant to dry out naturally and reduce water and feeding slowly as growth begins to slow down for the winter.

House plants that have been placed outside during the summer months can be brought back inside to acclimatise in their positions before the weather temperature drops.

Earwigs can be a menace in the garden especially to dahlia and chrysanthemum flowers. Catch them by placing inverted flower pots stuffed with hay, straw or shedded newspaper at the top of sticks or canes pushed into the ground among the plants.

The earwigs will hide in the traps during the day when they can be removed and destroyed. One of the treats of late summer that produce a host of blooms at the end of August must be the Japenese anemones. They will add a touch of grace and charm to an otherwise dull border.

Anemone September charm, Honorine jobert and the semi double Margarete are a few of the favourites on offer. Grow them in any good garden soil. Try them among silver foliaged plants such as santolinas, lavender and arterrisias