Seeds to plant now:
Indoors or in a heated greenhouse
Outside under cover
Dwarf broad bean
Shows and events:
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The UKGardening web site has been running since 1998. The idea behind the site has always been to provide what we think will be interesting and useful information for the novice gardener.
Jobs to do in the garden this week.
- Take blackcurrant cuttings. Cutting should be 10' long - the size of a pencil. Plant upright in a 'V' shaped trench with sharp sand in the bottom, then back fill with soil.
- Keep an eye on the weather forecast. Cover shrubs that are likely to be damaged by frost with garden fleece, sacking or an old light blanket.
- Cut lawns and trim edges for the last time of the growing season. Brush the lawnmower down after the final mowing, removing any grass.
- Double dig borders and vegetable plots, to encourage deep root growth next season. Don't worry about breaking up any large lumps of soil, the winter frost and rain should break them down.
- Move any planted up pots and containers closer to the house so you can enjoy the colours and textures of the plants through your windows.
- Lift cannas and lay them in trays of used compost, keeping them damp and away from frost. How to store other tender plants over winter.
- Clear shed and greenhouse gutters and put chicken wire over the top of them to stop them getting clogged with leaves.
- On a dry still day rake up fallen leaves, don't put them on the compost heap, as leaves break down in a cold process, whereas a traditional compost heap breaks organic matter down in a warm/hot process. Put them into a leaf composter, or make leaf mould. How to make leaf mould.
- If you have any autumn fruiting raspberries, after harvesting the fruit, prune out, down to the ground any canes that have carried any fruit this year also any canes that are diseased, damaged or broken and tie in any new shoots.
- Lift, divide and replant rhubarb crowns that haven't been split in the last 4-5 years
- Sweet peas sown in the autumn will flower earlier next year, they will also produce stocker plants
- Grow some herbs on the kitchen windowsill. Sow coriander, basil and parsley into 10cm (4in) pots filled with a mix of general purpose compost.Once the plants have matured, use by removing a few stems as required.
- If you have any decorative plant pots that aren't frostproof. Empty them of all soil and store them in the shed, greenhouse or garage.
- Empty hanging baskets that are past their best and replant with winter flowering pansies, primulas, cyclamen and variagated ivy, to create a winter show of flowers. Try and keep hanging basket chains as short as possible in the winter to prevent the basket being blown about too much.
- Plant apple and pear trees. Check and adjust any stakes on young trees and remove stakes on any trees that have been planted more than 3 years.
- Plant or move roses. They like plenty of sun and a clay soil. Leave 60cm (24in) between plants to allow air circulation, which will reduce the chance of infection.
- Replace summer bedding in borders with winter flowering pansies, polyanthus, wallflowers, myosotis, tulips and daffodils bulbs.
- In the veg patch: transplant out spring cabbage, thin swede seedlings to 30cm (12in) apart and cover winter lettuce with cloches, obviously this means that they will need to be watered from time to time.
- During autumn and winter, indoor plants will require less feeding and watering. However as the temperature drops outside, the central heating goes on and the temperature in the house tends to go up, so whilst it's a good idea to keep your pot plants on the dry side and not water them too often, you should check a couple of times a week to ensure they haven't totally dried out. Oh and if you have a water spray bottle, hold the plant over the sink or bath and give the foliage a quick little squirt (don't do this to hairy leaved plants like african violets).
- Don't go and buy an indoor (small) watering can, I find that the kettle does just as good a job, but obviously not after it has just boiled!! (the water should be room temperature or cooler).
- Harvest pumpkin and squash before the first frost. Leave them to dry in the shed or greenhouse for a couple of days, until the skins toughen up and they sound hollow. Then store somewhere cool and dry.
- Apply grease bands to the trunks of apple, pear, cherry and plum trees to stop wingless moths climbing into the trees to lay their eggs. Female codling moths fly, so grease bands are ineffective against them, hang pheromone traps in the trees in the spring to trap the male mothss.
- 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.
- 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.
- Plant shrubs and trees whilst the soil is still warm but plants are less likely to be dried out by the sun.
- Spring flowering bulbs should be available in your local garden centre. Plan where you are going to plant them before you go 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. If the soil in your garden is wet and sticky in winter/spring, plant the bulbs in pots and containers, otherwise they'll tend to sit and rot. Plant bulbs 2 to 3 times deeper than their size. If you are growing in large containers, plant the bulbs in layers. Put the larger bulbs like tulip and daffodil in first.
- Making leaf mould
- Creating a compost heap
- How to lay a new lawn
- Removing large branches
- Storing plants over winter
- Updated photo gallery