One of the interesting things about looking at my old gardening book written just before the war but updated for the edition I have, is how weather patterns have changed. Everything has been either shifted forward by a month or so, or delayed; for example we would generally not expect frosts in September unless we lived on higher ground, but in Practical Gardening, a frost warning is the first sentence of Richard Sudell’s monthly advice:
First frosts probable. With luck, and perhaps a little extra care, summer flowers may be kept unharmed through the first night frosts, and if so, there is a probability that they will continue to produce blossoms for several extra weeks. Keep your weather eye open!
I’m not much of a gardener, but I would begin to think about gardening in the spring, maybe planning to try to grow a few vegetables, to cut back or dig out tired old plants and get something new… but I would be wrong – according to Mr Sudell!
The gardener’s year begins this month. Plan autumn alterations to the garden. Fresh from your holidays you will be full of ideas. By planning to carry these out while your ideas are fresh you will get better results.
Every month there is the same list of headings of tasks to be done – maybe if I followed his advice, the garden would be in better order, in fact, I’m sure it would. But if I followed his advice I wouldn’t get much else done, let alone writing!
- September work
- food plots
- fruit garden
- flower patch
- general maintenance
- under glass
The main work on the food plots is harvesting, storing, preserving/pickling, clearing, sowing, planting, and being on the ‘watch for caterpillars on cabbages, and for their eggs which are laid on the underside of the leaves’.
I think I might just concentrate on weeding, pruning and tidying… I think I can manage that!