The trees are burnishing red and gold, there’s a nip in the air and the smell of bonfires on a blustery wind: autumn is here and it’s time to tuck the garden up snug before winter arrives. It’s one of the busiest times of the gardening year, so here’s a list of the jobs you can be getting on with:
- Make leafmould by stacking fallen leaves. Though it may seem a frustrating task at times, leafmould is an invaluable compost and soil conditioner!
- Raise pots on pot feet to allow surplus rain to drain out of the bottom more easily and prevent your pots becoming waterlogged.
- Group pots of evergreens together with autumn- and winter-flowering bedding in a sheltered spot for a late-season colour boost to cheer you up on a chilly day.
- Put out additional feed for the birds: At this time of year there should be plenty of nuts and berries in the garden or nearby countryside to collect, and don’t forget to keep their water topped up too.
- Prepare for early frosts: Now is the time to move your tender plants (e.g. aquatic plants) into a frost-free environment such as the Greenhouse.
- Start reducing your mowing frequency and set the blades high when you do: This month is the last chance to mow your lawns and trim your hedges in mild areas.
- Bring forced bulbs out into the light as soon as you start to see green shoots emerging: they’ll be flowering within 8-10 weeks, just in time for Christmas.
- Sow sweet peas under cover in tall modules on a sunny windowsill: once germinated, move into a cold frame outside where they’ll spend winter as seedlings before bursting into flower a month earlier next year.
- Plant roses in a sunny, sheltered location. There’s a rose for every spot, whether you’re training them up a wall or growing in containers: pop into the garden centre and we’ll help you choose.
- Plant spring-flowering bulbs from the eyecatching range on offer in the garden centre right now including daffodils, crocus, hyacinths, snowdrops and lots more.
- Plant lettuces in the greenhouse borders as soon as you clear away the tomato plants for a delicious crop of fresh-picked salads through winter. You’ll find ready-to-plant plugs here in the garden centre.
- Pick the last autumn raspberries to turn into jam or freeze, then cut fruited canes down to ground level before mulching with garden compost to see them through winter.
- Cut down yellowing asparagus stems and then weed through the beds, topping off with a generous mulch of well-rotted manure or garden compost.
- Sow winter lettuce seeds in your Greenhouse: Ensure the Greenhouse is well-ventilated to relieve dampness throughout the upcoming soggy months.
- Apply grease bands to apple and pear tree trunks to prevent winter moth climbing up in to the trees to lay their eggs and you’ll stop their apple-munching larvae damaging your fruit next year.