Your Garden in Autumn
The traditional harvesting time of the year, Autumn is great for gardeners anticipating a bumper haul of fruits and veggie to be plucked from the ground, bushes and branches. Here’s a quick guide to making the most of your garden during this beautiful season – ensuring your hard work this year has not gone to waste.
Continue Watering Outdoor Plants – September
Just because the summer sun seems to have completely disappeared, it is important to continue watering all the plant life. Where possible, use recycled and grey water which has been saved up over the summer.
Continue the Deadheading – September
It is important to continue your deadheading tasks this month to promote healthy growth and regrowth. Deadheading perennials can extend their lives significantly.
Intensify the Weed-Killing – September
September is the month when many perennial weeds are most susceptible to Weedkiller. Take advantage of this fact by going on a full assault on your unwanted garden intruders.
Plant for Spring – September
Now is the right time to get the spring-flowering bulbs planted. Giving them chance to get rooted before the winter frost takes hold – and helping ensure you have a stunning garden when spring has sprung.
Trim the Perennials – October
If your perennials are starting to show signs of age, October is always a good month for a little deadheading and trimming. This could encourage a little extra growth before the cold snap really kicks in, or strengthen the plants for the next year.
Move Half-Hardy Plants Indoors – October
Make sure you act before the cold snap really takes hold and move any half-hardy plants inside your house or greenhouse. Leaving this too late can be terminal, undoing all your good work.
Prune Climbing Roses – October
Before the autumn winds start causing damage and chaos, be sure to trim any dead flowers and tie down the loose stems. Additionally, make sure you clear up any fallen rose leaves – leaving these could lead to diseases such as black spot.
Sow Wildflowers – October
Sowing hardy wildflowers, ready to bloom in the New Year, can help you attract the first wave of bees and butterflies next year. This can give your garden an even better chance of blooming with stunning plants and flowers next spring and summer.
Raise the Plant Pots – November
Residual water and waterlogging becomes a much more real threat during this month, making it important to raise any plant pots and containers above anticipated water levels. Failure to do so could drown plants as the water levels increase above the pots and containers. Just giving your plants a few inches extra breathing space could make a huge difference in their bid for survival.
Start Insulating – November
If you’re planning on keeping flowers outside throughout the winter, but aren’t 100% convinced by their hardiness and ability to survive the colder climes – now’s the time to insulate their containers. Even if you don’t have any covers for the containers, simply wrapping them in bubblewrap should provide an extra layer of protection during the upcoming winter.
Harvest Remaining Potatoes – September
September is the last chance you’ll have to dig up any remaining potatoes in your garden. Failure to do so could see the potatoes spoiled by slug damage. These potatoes can be used for the winter’s hearty stews and warming meals.
Net the Plants – September
Additionally, it is the right time to cover any leafy vegetables with bird-proof netting. This can help ensure that Autumn-flowering plants are not attacked by flying predators.
Pick Sweetcorn – September
Pinch a kernel of corn, and if it releases a milky sap, it is ripe and ready for the picking. Delicious corn on the cob complements a great selection of different dishes.
Plant More Onions and Garlic – October
If you want a mega crop of onions and garlics for next summer, October is the perfect time to start planting. Make sure you plant species of onions and garlic which are especially suited to growing during the autumn months.
Protect Cauliflower – October
Before the onset of frosts and cold weathers, now is the time to protect cauliflower heads by getting them wrapped up. This can be done by wrapping the leaves over the head and tying these down with string. Alternatively, wrap a fleece around the cauliflower heads you want to protect.
Lift the Parsnips – November
After the first frost of the winter, it is now the perfect time to lift those parsnips. Their flavour will have sweetened nicely, and they will be primed for pride of place in a hearty winter stew or Sunday roast.
Cover the Veggie Beds in Manure – November
After harvesting all the veg for the year, cover the vegetable bed in fresh manure. This will rot down over the winter – perfect for planting a whole host of delicious veg in the New Year.
Pick Autumnal Fruit – September
Raspberries and other berries start to ripen in September so this is the perfect time to begin picking the fruit. This is a great gardening job to get the kids involved with, as many of the fruits can be eaten directly from the bush (after a quick wash) or used in pies and other sweet treats.
Pick Plums – September
Sweet little treats for the whole family, plums can be picked throughout September. If you’ve got surplus plums, keep them frozen for winter pies.
Remove Rotten Fruit – September
Any rotting or rotten fruit on or around pear, apple and plum trees should be removed. If they are left to rot and decompose, they will risk the spread of potentially devastating diseases.
Harvest Fruit and Nuts – October
If you’ve planted apples, pears, grapes and any nuts; October is perhaps the last chance you’ll get to harvest and enjoy them this year. The fruit, in particular, are great for autumnal dishes – pies and cakes aplenty.
Move Citrus Trees Indoors – October
These precious trees struggle with the colder climes, so October is high time to move them indoors and keep them protected from frost. However, make sure you don’t position them too close to radiators – drying out can be devastating for the plant.
Tidy Up Strawberry Plants – November
Now that strawberry season is well and truly over, it’s time to prep the plants for next year’s growth. Cutting off dead leaves and removing runners will help the plants stay healthy and bear fruit again next year.
Plant Currant Bushes – November
Any currant bushes should be planted during this dormant season. This will increase the likelihood of a bumper crop growing next year.
Essential Lawn Maintenance – September
To help avoid waterlogging and compaction over the coming months, it is important to complete essential lawn maintenance jobs. Aerate the turf with a fork and remove thatch the surface with a rake. Apply lawn top-dressing after carrying out this maintenance work.
Apply Autumn Fertiliser – September
Rich in potassium and low in nitrogen, Autumn fertiliser can help strengthen your turf ahead of the colder months.
Clear the Fallen Leaves – October
Not only does clearing the fallen leaves make your garden appear neater and cleaner, but it can also protect the health of your plant life. Getting the leaves off the garden in a timely fashion is important as the dead debris can cause mould – potentially ruining the lawn and other plants.
Trim Lawns and Hedges – October
Make the most of the year’s last opportunities to mow the lawn and trim the hedges – so you don’t develop a back garden jungle over the winter. This is definitely a job for the mildest Saturday afternoon of the month.
Encourage the Winter Birds – November
It is important to continue filling the garden’s bird feeders – encouraging visits from the UK’s wonderful winter bird populations. The like of the robin, the UK’s national bird, help create the quintessential winter backdrop, so every effort should be made to welcome them into our back gardens.
Around the House
Reduce Indoor Plant Watering – September
However, as the temperature starts to drop – it is advisable to reduce the amount of water your indoor plants receive. As less moisture will evaporate from the soil – the indoor plants require a smaller volume. So reduce the amount of water your indoor plants receive to stop them being drowned in excessive moisture.
Pickle, Freeze and Store Crops – September
If you’ve got more veggies and fruit than you can physically eat, don’t let it go to waste. Pickling or freezing the crops means you can enjoy them through the year.
Keep an Eye on Weather Reports – October
Not technically a garden job, but October is perhaps the riskiest month of the year for quick-turning weather, so be sure to keep an eye on the weather reports. This ensures that you’ll be well aware of any impending frosts and can act accordingly to protect your garden and all its inhabitants.
Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries – September
These are all best planted during their dormant season, so order now to get them in the ground ready to grow next year.
Mushroom Kits – November
Now’s the perfect time to invest in a mushroom kit – and it’s surprisingly easy to start growing your own delicious mushrooms.
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