Gardening tips


In the flower garden…

• Now that the colder weather is approaching, protect half-hardy plants with fleece or bring them into a frost free greenhouse/porch.

• Lift Dahlia tubers, Begonia tubers and Gladiolus corms to store dry over the winter months. Remove any dead foliage before storing them.

• Plant spring flowering bulbs now for a glorious, colourful spring display.

• Plant out any perennials or biennials grown from seed.

• Plant winter and spring bedding such as Violas, Cyclamen, Pansies, Wallflowers, Bellis and Primulas out now.

• If your summer pots and baskets are looking past their best, re-plant them now with fresh bedding for winter and spring.

• Autumn is a good time to plant Clematis plants.

• This month is the ideal time to move any 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 if you are not going to leave them in place for over-wintering wildlife.

• Lift and divide any overcrowded herbaceous perennials whilst the soil is still warm.

• After tidying borders, mulch with chipped bark, leaf mould, well rotted manure or spent compost to insulate plant roots for the winter and keep weed growth in check.

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. Tie next year’s canes to support wires or fencing.

• Now is the perfect time to plant up next year’s strawberry patch. Clear the straw away from this year’s plants to increase ventilation. Shear back old foliage to encourage fresh new growth.

• Divide congested clumps of rhubarb and re-plant the healthiest looking pieces.

• Autumn is the ideal time to plant many varieties of fruit trees. New stock will become available to buy this month.

• Wrap glue bands around the trunks of apple trees to trap winter moth females whose caterpillars shred spring flowers.

In the vegetable garden…

• Finish harvesting beans and peas. When the plants have finished cropping simply cut the plant off 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 site 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 horticultural fleece.

• Continue to plant autumn garlic bulbs and onion sets for a bumper crop next year.

Looking after your lawn…

• Clear up fallen leaves regularly to allow light to the grass.

• A last mowing can be made this month before leaving your lawn for the winter.

• Re-cut any lawn edges as needed.

• To avoid waterlogging and compaction over winter, try aerating your lawn with a garden fork, raking thatch from the surface and repairing dead patches.

• This month may be the last chance to lay turf before the frost arrive.