Gardening with Pete this month


It’s September – if your garden has survived the summer, there’s still watering needed, planting to begin, and maybe no deadheading this year

As mentioned last month, watering is something everyone is going to need to pay close attention to, particularly if there are lots of potted plants around the garden. See last month’s article for more info and handy tips on this.
As September quietens down, it’s a good month to look at ways we can help the wildlife in our gardens.

The log stack
Why not try adding a log stack in a sheltered corner. Logs can usually be sourced from tree surgeons, landscapers or firewood dealers. Native tree logs are best, but any will do. They can be piled up any way you wish, but a more concentrated stack has more opportunities for wildlife. Log piles can also benefit from having an old carpet on top of the pile. This will help create warmth and a drier place for insects, frogs, hedgehogs and even birds to live.
There are numerous hedgehog ‘hotels’ available to purchase – or you can make your own. Position one under the log pile to provide a safe place for them to hibernate. here are many online videos showing how to do this.

Leave those heads alone
The seedheads of teasels, lavender, verbena and rose hips are all particularly good for wildlife. If you can, stop deadheading roses to allow the hips to form, providing food for birds in the winter months. Rosa vanina, moyesii, rugosa, spinosissima, and Madame Gregoire Staechelin (to name a few) all produce very attractive rose hips.

Go wild
Leave patches of grass in corners of your garden to ‘go wild’. Try to refrain from using pesticides and wherever possible, control slugs and snails organically,

Bat boxes
Bats are in significant decline and they need all the help they can get. There are lots of things a gardener can do to encourage them – planting night-scented flowers and building a pond will encourage the insects they feed on, as will letting your garden go a little wild. Having linear features like hedgerows and tree lines help them too. Domestic cats are the main bat predator in the UK – keeping cats indoors at night, particularly around dawn and dusk when bats are emerging and returning to roost, will help protect them.
If you erect a bat box, ensure it is high enough (at least four metres, if you can do so safely). The bat box should be away from artificial lights.
See for lots of advice on supporting bats in your garden.

  • September jobs
  • Continue to feed and deadhead hanging baskets if they have survived all that heat!
  • Prune climbing and rambling roses.
  • When we get some decent rain and the soil becomes workable, spring bulbs – daffodils, crocus and hyacinths can all be planted now.

    Sponsored by Thorngrove Garden Centre


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