Flower Garden Tasks in Early Autumn
There is still time, early on this season, to potfor winter flowering, by the methods described in late summer. Also pot colvillei . For early-spring flowering, put five into a 15cm (6in) pot, and put them in the dark with the other bulbs. Cuttings of zonal pelargoniums rooted in late summer can be given individual 9cm (3-1/2in) pots. Calceolarias, cinerarias and primulas sown in early summer will need pots 10-15cm (4-5in) in diameter at some time during this season.
As early autumn is the time to move plants which have been outdoors all summer into the protection of theand as much of the summer display under glass will be nearly finished, empty the greenhouse now and give it a thorough clean. Do this while the weather is mild enough to stand any pot plants outdoors.
Move all plants, such as gloxinias, streptocarpus,and potential winter-flowerers out and remove from the inside of the greenhouse all debris such as fallen leaves and flowers and compost spilled on staging and floors. Then scrub or wash down the whole of the inside with soapy water, or water with a mild disinfectant in it.
If there was trouble with pests or fungus diseases, use a diluted solution of formalin but wear rubber gloves and a mask if possible, as the vapour is irritating to eyes, nose and throat. Wait until all the smell has dispersed before returning the plants; this may mean leaving the greenhouse empty overnight, so choose mild weather for this, so that the plants can stand out at night without harm. Clean any shading off the glazing and renew whitewash on the back wall if the greenhouse is a lean-to, so that the plants get as much reflected light as possible during winter.
In the last week of this season, the late-flowering chrysanthemums can be housed; go over them for pests and diseases first, give them a good watering, make sure the ties are secure and put on a topdressing if the compost has got a bit low. Put them in the coolest part of the greenhouse and give them as muchto start with as is consistent with the health of the other plants. Once the weather becomes changeable, ventilators need regulating from day to day.
All thecan go in; put them in a light place. Those grown from seed should be producing the first flowering stems by now. Cinerarias, calceolarias and primulas in a cold frame can be moved in as well but do make sure the cinerarias are free of greenfly and that leaf-miner is under control. Put them all in the least warm part, away from direct sunlight. If the weather is unseasonably warm, all can wait until mid-autumn before moving, as they are cool-temperature plants, and wilt quickly in warmth, especially cinerarias.
If fuchsias and pelargoniums in pots have been outdoors they can also be moved, depending on the weather. As soon as the night temperature drops appreciably, they are best given protection but this drop may not occur until mid-autumn.
Zonal pelargoniumcan still be taken, early in the season; pansies and violas can be increased from soft tip cuttings, put to root in a cold frame and left there for the winter. can also be increased in this way, if you wish to retain certain varieties.
Continue to mow the lawn, build the compost heap, water plants in the greenhouse and weed; the need for water by greenhouse plants will decrease from now on. Weeding may increase, particularly in a wet autumn. Pest and disease treatment is similar to late summer but should also become less demanding, thoughand greenfly in the greenhouse can go on being a nuisance until well into winter if not dealt with very firmly.