GARDENA tips for your garden
Box tree moths: Moths can breed several times a year, which means that box trees can continue to be infested with their larvae even in September. One important indication of a box tree moth infestation is bald patches on the plant, where the only indicators of previously lush box tree greenery are the dried up remains of leaf veins. If this is the case, your only options are collecting the affected foliage and pests or fighting the infestation using an environmentally friendly compound.
Fallen fruit: Pip or stone fruits that have fallen from the tree should be gathered promptly and regularly to prevent spoiling, decaying, the development of mould and the proliferation of insects. If you find ripe or nearly ripe fruit among these windfalls, you do not necessarily have to throw them away. Inspect the fruit you have collected closely, cut off any damaged areas, wash the fruit and use to make compotes, jellies and jams, or in smoothies or juices.
Lamb's lettuce: Winter salad leaves are easier to harvest later if they are sowed properly now: Use a rake to pile up the soil in the seeding row by approx. three to four centimetres. Gently push it down. Sow the lamb's lettuce on this raised mound. The raised earth prevents most of the grit in the soil from entering the rosette of lettuce leaves.
Pets: While they are out in the garden, a shady area should be provided for rabbits and guinea pigs as an effective prevention against too much sun. This can be achieved by providing a small shelter, but you must ensure that it is positioned in a way so that heat cannot build up inside. The shelter itself should be positioned in the shade and within an enclosure. If your animals were previously kept indoors, do not rush them out into the full summer sun straight away. Give your rabbits and guinea pigs time to adjust to the outdoor climate for a few days in a sheltered spot first. Do not forget that the temperature outside fluctuates much more between day and night than it does indoors! For example, rabbits feel most comfortable in temperatures between +5 and +15 degrees Celsius.
Compost: A lot of waste can be generated while processing ripe fruit. If you just pile this up on the compost heap in thick layers, methane gas can develop, causing bad odours. You can avoid these odours by spreading the waste evenly across the compost heap in layers that are no thicker than five to ten centimetres. If possible, mix in dry waste products too, for example fine chaff materials from branches and shrubs.
Conifers: Conifers stop growing relatively early. This means that you can re-plant them equally as early, even at the beginning of September. The advantage of doing this is that they can still grow new roots relatively intensively in autumn, meaning that they will grow even more robustly in spring. To re-plant a conifer successfully, it needs to be watered heavily both a few days before and for a few weeks after the relocation.
Peppermint: Shoots from peppermint and other mint plants become a little unsightly at this time of year and are quite often infested with mint rust. Now is the time to cut them back, and, if necessary, take them up, divide them and re-plant them.
Surfaces that retain water: Adding greenery to rooftops in the correct manner contributes to the effective retention of rainwater. Flat roofs with an incline of up to 5° are an excellent basis for planting a bit of simple greenery — provided that the structure is suitable. Roof surfaces with an incline of 5° to 10° are also well suited to this purpose, while those with incline of 10° to 15° can also be used in principle. Roofs with an incline of more than 15 degrees require restraints to be installed, which will allow you to add some greenery to roofs with an incline of up to 35°. Planting your roof greenery in September allows plants such as those in the sedum genus to sufficiently take root before the frost sets in.
Sunflowers: Seed-eating birds are never too far away from where sunflower stalks are growing, just waiting to loot the flower head. Protect the sunflower seeds as they grow by covering them with a tightly woven mesh bag.
Stick-in labels: Whether a strawberry patch or herbaceous border — anyone who has stuck in labels that specify the type and species of their plants should check whether they are still legible now during late summer. Factors such as UV light all too often cause the writing to fade prematurely, even if the pen is promisingly labelled as "permanent".