Seeds to plant now:
Indoors or in a heated greenhouse
Outside under cover
Shows and events:
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Jobs to do in the garden this week.
- Harvest pumpkin and squash before the first frost.
- Put cloches over late autumn lettuce seedlings.
- Once herbaceous perennials have finished flowering and die back, remove and clean plant supports.
- Apply manure and dig over heavy soil in the autumn. Don't worry about breaking down large lumps of soil as the winter frost should break these down.
- Replant bulbs that were lifted in the spring. Dispose of soft or shrivelled bulbs.
- Reduce the frequency of grass cutting and increase the height of the cut.
- Hydrangea, poppy and nigela have beautiful seed heads, these should be cut and hung upside down in a shed or garage to dry, for use in dried flower arrangements.
- Cover ponds with netting to prevent leaves dropping or blowing into the water. Remove dead leaves from waterlilies and cut back dying marginals.
- Prune blackcurrants, cutting stems that have fruited down to strong new shoots. Reduce number of stems in the centre of the bush.
- Take hardwood cuttings of shrubs.
- Now is a good time to move herbaceous plants (like hosta) as they aren't growing at the moment. Add organic material to the planting hole.
- Keep picking dahlia flowers, don't dig up the tuber until we get the first frost and the leaves turn black.
- After flowering, dead-head gladioli.
- Airate, scarify and top dress lawns, to remove moss, dead grass and encourage healthy grass next season. Now is an ideal time to sow or lay a new lawn, while the soil is still warm. Repair worn patches in the lawn with an equal mix of grass seed and compost. Cover with light netting or twigs to keep of animals and remind you where you've sown. When weeding the grass out of my path, I've often transplanted the little clumps to bare patches in the lawn.
- Plant shrubs and trees whilst the soil is still warm but plants are less likely to be dried out by the sun.
- Continue to water and dead-head hanging baskets, pots and planters, but reduce feeding.
- Prune shrubs cutting out dead, diseased, dying or crossing branches.
- Clip hedges, including box, yew, laurel and beech. Note. If your trees or shrubs carry berries, like verbena, holly or firethorn, leave the pruning of these until the spring, so garden birds have a food source over the winter.
- Check the readiness of fruit and vegetables. Apples and pears should be gently lifted with the hand, if the stalk remains on the fruit but parts easily from the tree, it is ready to be picked.
- Gather seeds of alliums, poppies, aquilegias and salvias. Label and lay out to dry before storing.
- Take cuttings of tender perennials and shrubs. Including salvias, penstemon, lavender and rosemary.
- Spring flowering bulbs should be available in your local garden centre. Plan where you are going to plant them and buy accordingly, it's great fun filling up those brown bags with bulbs, but can be expensive. If you have a small garden, or are planting bulbs in pots, think about using smaller varieties of bulbs. Miniature daffodils ('Tete-a-tete' or 'Topolino' ), dwarf tulips and crocuses. Plant bulbs of one variety together for effect.
- Wild flowers only need to be cut down once a year. Wait until they have finished flowering and the seed heads have ripened, adjust the lawnmower wheels onto their highest setting, remove the grass collection box and run the mover over them, or if you fancy a lot of exercise, try a scythe. Leave the cuttings on the ground for a few days to allow any seed heads to dry and for the seeds to fall. Collect up the remaining stems and put them in the compost heap.
- Lift marrows, pumpkins and squashes off the ground with straw or upturned plastic flower pots, in order to keep them clean and reduce slug damage.
- If your tomato plants have been affected by blight, clear the plants and burn them, adding them to the compost heap will not kill the spores.
- Continue to collect and store seeds from plants, for sowing next year. Store any collected seed in paper envelopes or bags, then put them in an air-tight container.
- Collect and dispose of wind-fall fruit. Leaving them on the ground encourages pests and can damage your lawn.
- Sowing seeds
- How to lay a new lawn
- Creating a hanging basket
- Removing large branches
- Updated photo gallery