Gardening tips

In the flower garden…

  • Now that colder weather is approaching, protect half-hardy plants with fleece or bring into a frost-free greenhouse.
  • Plant spring flowering bulbs such as daffodils, tulips, crocus and alliums for a glorious spring display.
  • Plant out any perennials or biennials you’ve grown from seed this year.
  • Plant spring bedding such as wallflowers, bellis, primulas and winter pansies for a fantastic spring display.
  • Autumn is the ideal time to plant Clematis plants.
  • This month is the ideal time to move trees and shrubs and plant hedges.
  • Prune climbing and rambling roses once they’ve finished flowering and tie in the stems before autumn winds cause damage.
  • Cut back perennial plants that have died down unless you want to leave the dead foliage for over-wintering wildlife.
  • Lift and divide any overcrowded herbaceous perennials whilst the soil is still warm.
  • After tidying borders, mulch with bark chips to insulate plant roots for the winter and keep weed growth in check.

In the vegetable garden…

  • Finish harvesting beans and peas. When finished, simply cut the plant away at ground level, leaving the roots in the soil. These crops fix nitrogen which is slowly released into the soil as the roots break down.
  • If you plan to grow beans next year, start preparing the ground now by digging trenches and filling with manure or kitchen waste.
  • Harvest squashes and pumpkins before the first frosts. They will quickly turn mushy if left outside!
  • Protect autumn cauliflower heads from frost by wrapping the outer leaves around them and securing with string. Alternatively use a cloche or fleece.
  • Continue to plant autumn garlic bulbs now for a bumper crop next summer.
  • Plant autumn onion sets for cropping next summer.

In the fruit garden…

  • If you haven’t already done so, cut back the fruited canes of your summer fruiting raspberries, leaving the new green canes for next year’s crop. Tie in next year’s raspberry canes to support wires.
  • Move citrus trees indoors to a bright, frost free position. Reduce watering in winter but do not allow the plant to dry out completely.
  • Clear the straw from around the base of strawberry plants to increase ventilation. Shear back old foliage to encourage fresh new growth.
  • When planting blueberry plants make sure you have an acid soil or alternatively grow them in pots of ericaceous compost.
  • Autumn is an ideal time to plant many varieties of fruit trees.
  • Wrap grease bands around the trunks of apple trees to trap winter moth females whose caterpillars shred spring flowers.
  • Remove the netting from around fruit cages to allow birds to catch and eat any pests that are still lurking.
  • Apply a winter wash to the trunks and branches of fruit trees to kill off overwintering pests.

Looking after your lawn…

  • Clear up fallen leaves regularly to allow light to the grass.
  • Final mowings can be made this month before leaving the lawn for the winter.
  • Recut any lawn edgings if needed. Try installing lawn edging to make future maintenance easier.
  • Fresh turf can still be laid before winter frost begin. Autumn rain should ensure the turf settles successfully.