As we enter the autumnal season I look forward to the change in the colours in my garden.
The change in the leaves brings a fierce, fiery perspective to the mellow greens of the last summer foliage. There is still much to enjoy in the autumn and lots of end of season harvesting to be done. I’m sure I will manage to coax a last fruit from my tomato plants in the greenhouse before they are replaced with winter storage space!
Autumn jobs include planting spring bulbs such as daffodils ready for the new season and some spring bedding such as wallflowers. Keep an eye out for the first frosts and protect tender plants, moving them under cover. In mid-autumn perennials can be tidied and cut back and late autumn is when we can take hardwood cuttings. Clear away fallen leaves for composting.
Whilst I was dead-heading the roses the other day my inbox pinged and Mrs P from Felmersham had sent me an Email. She asks: ‘I have noticed a white bloom on some of the leaves on my roses which seems to be spreading. Some of the badly affected leaves are falling off. What is it?’
This sounds like a form of mildew Mrs P. Mildew is most commonly found as Powdery Mildew and is a type of fungus. It can be seen on the surface of the leaf, starting on the top and if left to spread will affect the whole leaf and even other parts of the plant. The mildew can stunt growth and affect flowering, especially on roses. A severe problem can eventually kill the plant.
It is best to use good methods to tidy up the plant and spray with a fungicide, available from Garden Centres. Removing the affected leaves promptly will stop the mildew from spreading and prune any touching, distorted or dead stems to increase the flow of air through the plant. Water from below and avoid watering the leaves of the plant.
I hope this helps Mrs P and that you can enjoy many blooms on your roses in future years. Next time we can look forward to the winter season in the garden.
Image: © age uk, 2009