- Continue to make sure that pests such as slugs, snails and diseases such as mildew are dealt with as soon as seen.
- It is a good time of year to apply a glyphosate based weedkiller as this will be absorbed by the leaves and move to the roots, killing the entire plant. It is non-selective so any plants you wish to keep should be protected from the spray but it does not damage the soil, so areas that have been sprayed can be re-planted as soon as the weeds have died.
Grow Your Own
- Dig up any Potatoes that are still in the ground to prevent rotting or slug damage.
- Fruits and vegetables can continue to be harvested according to ripeness – judging ripeness comes with practise. A good technique with top fruit such as Apples is to take the fruit in your hand and lift it from the vertical to the horizontal and give it a slight twist and pull, if the fruit is ripe it should come away in your hand.
- Tidy up your herb garden now by dead heading and trimming back perennials and discarding annuals. Tough perennials herb likes Mint can be divided now.
- Plant overwintering onion sets and garlic towards the end of the month.
- Prune Blackcurrants when the leaves have dropped, removing the oldest fruiting stems and leaving the youngest ones.
- Fruit trees can be planted now – benefitting from the warm soil and the cool air.
- Pot up some spring bulbs for indoor colour during the winter. Keep them in a cool dark place until new growth shows and then move them to cool bright position. Use bulb fibre when potting up bulbs for inside especially if there are no drainage holes.
- Reduce watering and feeding in preparation for the winter period when most plants go dormant and need keeping just moist.
- Spring flowering plants such as Schizanthus can be sown now to be overwintered at a steady temperature.
- The birds will be migrating soon so now is a good time to start feeding them up ready for their long journeys – nobody likes to travel on an empty stomach and some may even be persuaded to stay if they know they have a reliable source of food.
- Clear the pool of decaying vegetation and fix a net over the pond to stop the falling leaves getting in.
- Lawns should be raked to remove excess moss and thatch and mower blades should be raised slightly.
- When the autumn rains arrive fertilise your lawn with a slow release autumn feed which will encourage good root activity and make the lawn more resistant to the winter.
Tree, Shrubs & Hedges
- Many shrubs and trees will be displaying their autumn glory now and it is a good time to get any woody plants planted as the soil is warm and damp allowing the roots to get established ready for the spring.
- Stop feeding your trees and shrubs, if you are still doing this, to allow them to harden up for the winter.
- Give evergreen hedges a final trim to ensure that they present a sharp profile for the winter months.
- Continue deadheading herbaceous perennials like Penstemon and Dahlias to prolong flowering and cut back any plants that have finished flowering.
- When planting Daffodils in containers and pots try planting 2 layers slightly off set one on top of the other to ensure a denser longer lasting display. Plant the bulbs deep enough to allow you to plant winter and spring bedding such as pansies, violas, primrose and wallflowers on top of them.
- Continue planting spring flowering bulbs outside for a stunning display.