Paraic and Ireland AM’s Mark Cagney talk about what we should be doing now to autumn proof our gardens.
October is a great time to plant dwarf apple trees which are ideal for planting in pots, containers, on balconies & patios. It is also the time to prune back apple and fruit trees to give them a nice shape.
It has been a good year for growth and this is the perfect time to harvest apples. Paraic’s top tip is clasp the apple in your hand and then twist. If the apple is ripe it should come away in your hand. Then wrap it in newspaper and store in a cool dark area.
Now is the perfect time to revamp your window boxes to keep them blooming into the spring. First add some slow release fertiliser to your compost as this will feed your plants over the winter.
Paraic recommends plants like chinese lantern, winter heather, winter pansies, ornamental chillies (which are editble) and cyclamen which are in flower now and will keep their colour until spring. He suggests planting them close together as they will only grow a little over the months.
For the symmetrical effect, plant from the centre outwards and use the same plants either side which will balance the colour of your window box. You should add some spring flowering bulbs, such as tulips, by pushing the bulb into the compost in-between plants. As you have added the slow release fertiliser all you need to do is water your window box for great colour.
Autumn lawn care is also important and Paraic’s recommends using Zero Moss Remover now to kill moss in your lawn before it becomes a problem in spring. Lastly he advises us to feed our lawns to keep it in top condition over the winter.