On this page we hope to keep you up to date with what to do in the garden throughout the year.
Start tidying up for the winter. Enjoy the autumn colours as they appear. Do not forget the birds, leave the seeds and gain the added bonus of autumn texture and colour. Unwanted debris should be put on the compost heap or burnt, but when burning take note of neighbours hanging washing out or sitting in their garden. Seeds may be collected and labelled for sowing next year. Digging and rotovating should be started whilst the soil is dry and manure dug in - the frost and rain will do the rest. Lawns may need attention by removing unwanted weeds and sowing grass seed where needed.
Start collecting leaf-mould and mole hills for use round plants and potting plants. Support tall plants against the wind and snow to come. Those energetic enough should hoe their way round the garden. Weeds need removing to the compost heap. Climbing plants will need cutting back and securing. Dahlias need staking and tying, remove those buds not required for blooms. Protect blooms from earwigs and the sun. Hollyhocks need staking to prevent wind damage. Rock plants may trimmed back and propagated by division or cuttings. Roses may still be budded, but most of the work will be the start of cutting back for the winter.
SEEDS TO SOW
Next year's Spring flowering seeds need to be sown now starting with the Hardy Annuals.
Most plants can be struck so why not try your hand at some unusual specimens. Take the cuttings from the side of the plant that is not open to view so that the plants appearance is not spoilt. Pulling off side shoots with heels and planting with the lower leaves removed should work well.
It's bulb time again so start planting crocuses, narcissi, snowdrops in odd number groups. Move misplaced iris and lilies to new positions. Evergreen shrubs and herbaceous plants can now be moved. Now is a good time to plant Box hedging. Rotted cuttings such as layered carnations can be planted out. Unwanted plants, layering and seedlings should be transplanted to the reserve plot.
Start to ease off on the watering in the greenhouse or you may start rot that you cannot stop. Check the heating system and get ready for a trial run when the temperature starts to drop. The shading can be removed when the sun is not so intense. Automatic ventilators should be installed to prevent being caught by an early frost. Achimenes and gloxinias should be watered until they start to fade. Gloxinias can be removed from the pot and stored. Begonia tubers need frost proofing when left in the soil. Trim climbers after flowering. Sub tropical plants and Chrysanthemums that have been outside need bringing into the greenhouse. Watch out for mildew. A spray mist may still be needed until all is quiet in the house.
Buddleias and Ceanothus cuttings may be struck in the greenhouse and then transferred to a cold frame to harden off with other cuttings.
Cut suckers from Calceolarias and Cinerarias and pot up for next year. Get house plants ready for transfer to the house.
Onions that are ripe should be harvested and those remaining should have their necks bent down to prevent seeding. Potatoes should be continued to be dug for the kitchen. Outdoor tomatoes should have their fruit exposed to the sun by removing the covering leaves. Fruit should be picked when green for chutney, or, when it ripens, for salads.
SEEDS TO SOW
Broccoli, cauliflowers, onions, radishes and landcress should be sown for spring use.
Cabbages and lettuces can be planted out for Autumn and Spring use.
Celery needs your attention and onions may need a little soil round them.
Cucumbers and Melons should now be cut as they ripen. Tomatoes will need picking as they ripen.
SEEDS TO SOW Still time to sow cauliflower and lettuce. For the daring try tomatoes for early spring.
Wall fruit that has ripened will need protecting. Fruit trees may be budded and light pruning continued. Cut away cross shoots to keep the tree open. Trees that are growing too quickly should be root pruned. Starting buying new stock for planting in cleared areas. Early varieties of apples and pears that do not keep well should be gathered - a chance to become friends with your neighbour by giving them fruit. Currants and gooseberries may need some pruning to keep them in shape. Raspberry canes that have fruited should be removed to make room for the new growth. Strawberries should have unwanted runners removed to give space to the main plants - remember strawberry plants need renewing every three years., so keep the bed rotating.
Grapes will need a dry atmosphere until the fruit is picked. Peaches will need plenty of ventilation.
TREES AND SHRUBS
It's tidy time again, get into the shrub border and get the weeds out. Whilst you are loosening the soil between the plants remove self sets or wrongly placed plants. As has been said elsewhere now is the time to take cuttings so take stock and start to replace shrubs that are nearing the end of their lifespan. Now is the time to plant conifers and evergreens.