Gardening tips


IN THE FLOWER GARDEN

• Lift Dahlia and Begonia tubers to store dry them over the winter months. Be sure to remove any dead foliage before storing them.

• Prune climbing and rambling roses once they’ve finished flowering before autumn winds cause any damage.

• Cut back perennial plants that have died down or leave dead foliage in place to shelter wildlife.

• Apply a layer of mulch or chipped bark after tidying borders to insulate plant roots for the winter and keep weeds down.

• This month is ideal for planting hedges, trees and shrubs.

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 or fencing.

• Move citrus trees indoors to a bright, frost free position away from cold draughts and radiators. Reduce watering in winter but don’t let the plant dry out completely.

• Wrap grease 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 they’ve finished cropping 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 soil by digging trenches and filling them with manure or kitchen waste.

• Harvest pumpkins and squashes before the first frosts, they will quickly turn mushy if not.

• Hang any tomato or pepper plants with green fruits upside down indoors to ripen.

• Protect any autumn cauliflower heads from frost by wrapping the outer leaves around them and securing with string. Alternatively use a cloche or fleece.

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 if needed.

• Aerate your lawn with a garden fork to avoid waterlogging and compaction over winter.

• Rake any thatch from the surface and repair dead patches. There is still time to lay turf if needed.