This week’s jobs around the garden

* Scarify the lawn — it burns calories and makes the lawn fit too.

* Take hardwood cuttings — the salicylic acid in an aspirin or cooled willow bark tea will help them make roots faster.

* If planting bare roots — roses or hedging — soak them for an hour in a bucket of water with a tablespoon of Epson salts and a crushed up b-vitamin complex tablet — it negates the worst of any potential transplant shock.

* Prepare sites for planting hardwood plants next month.

* Planting out over-wintering onion family sets now will provide you with a crop about a month earlier than those spring-planted. Beans can be started to overwinter too.

* Harvesting pumpkins and squashes this month entails a spell in a sunny but dry location to let their skins cure, (thus harden for storage and any Halloween carving).

* Traditionally root crops such as carrots are taken up in October to be stored in sand through the winter. I suggest you leave parsnips in, as they become sweeter after a frost.

* Harvest the last of the tomatoes even green ones — because early frost will ruin them and they can always ripen further on a window sill with a banana or you can make green chutney of them with a spare apple, onion and some sugar.

* Get some calendula seeds now and sow some joy.


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