10th June 2011
Chris Beardshaw’s - my autumn garden tips
1. Reduce the chance of lawn damage by briskly raking the surface of the lawn in consecutive lines and then repeating the process in the opposite direction. This process, called scarifying, removes compostable material and can encourage a finer grass to grow as stems of coarse grass are broken as they appear.
2. Scatter seeds of hardy annuals such as Calendula, Nigella and Centaurea in an area of warmth and good light. Seeds will germinate before winter frosts and flower early in spring giving you a head start on your spring sown plants.
3. Harvesting apples - select fruit that is undamaged and showing no sign of rot or blemish and harvest. The apple should fall easily from the bough with the stalk intact, indicating it is ripe and ready for harvest. Inspect to ensure no damage then wipe with a cotton cloth to remove moisture and store. This is best done by lining a draw with newspaper then folding a sheet into 10cm strips, wrapping each fruit individually and positioning, stalk up. Alternatively use a specifically designed rack. Inspect the fruit weekly removing those fruits that show signs of decay.