Autumn gardening tips

Ornamental garden
Once the last leaves have fallen from the shrubs and trees, you should clear and mow the lawn one final time before the winter sets in. The cutting height should be 4 cm.

Leaves can be disposed of under the shrubs, on the compost heap and in small quantities in the organic waste bin. Plants that grow naturally at the edge of the forest and in the forest like leaves. However, a corner in the garden with leaves is also good for wildlife in the garden such as hedgehogs and lizards, for example. Larger quantities of leaves from walnut, oak and chestnut trees are generally disposed of in the municipal compost. In most cases, the quantity of fallen leaves cannot be used for mulching planted areas. They also decompose more slowly than other types of leaves.
Oak leaves in particular, but also walnut and chestnut leaves, produce an acidic humus that is especially well suited to rhododendron, azaleas and other ericaceous plants. Those wishing to compost their own oak, walnut and chestnut leaves should allow up to a year for the leaves to decompose fully. The humus produced can then be used for plant types that do not require a high pH value.

Pruning roses
Now is the time for restoration pruning of roses if you have not already done so. The leader shoots should be shortened by a maximum of one third. This prevents damage due to the pressure of snow. The actual pruning back takes place from mid to the end of March shortly before budding. You should ridge new plants in particular and protect the green shoots with fir or spruce brushwood.

Do not forget the water outlets
The water outlets must be turned off and bled before temperatures drop below zero.

Water supply during winter
Evergreen plants in soil without permanent green cover also require water in winter. Also, do not forget container plants and balcony flowers that are brought indoors for winter.

Cutting Saint Barbara branches
You should cut branches from the cherry tree on 4 December, the feast day of Saint Barbara. The blossoming shoots provide decoration in the run-up to Christmas. Once cut, store the freshly cut branches in a frost-free room and, after a few days, in a warm room. Placing the shoots in an overheated room immediately will not speed up blossoming, but rather dry out the branches. It is a good idea to place the branches in warm water for a few hours after cutting. The branches should first have been exposed to some frost. You can also cut the branches later if you want them to blossom later.
Indeed you don't just have to use traditional cherry branches: the cornel cherry, flowering cherry, Japanese quince, blackthorn, forsythia, willow or dwarf almond are also suitable for early blossoming.

VIKING garden expert
Manfred Putz


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