Autumnal Tree colour

Garden Jobs in November

Cool, misty mornings and the last leaves clinging to the trees make this a beautiful and melancholy time of year. Ensure that you take some time in between carrying out the tasks below to make the most of this month.

Flowers

  • Plant the last of your autumn bulbs. Tulip bulbs can be planted in pots and borders. Ensure they are covered with at least twice their depth of soil or compost
  • Lift dahlias tubers after the first frost, clean them off and store in dry compost in a cool, frost-proof place
  • Plant bare-root hedging, roses, trees and shrubs, before the weather turns too cold

Fruit and veg

  • Prune autumn-fruiting raspberries to the ground after they have been harvested
  • Plant garlic, shallots and onions, then cover with fleece

Greenhouse

  • Insulate the greenhouse with bubble wrap
  • Check greenhouse plants regularly for any overwintering pests
  • Thoroughly clean greenhouse staging and glazing with disinfectant
  • Ventilate the greenhouse when the weather allows, particularly after watering and when paraffin heaters are used at night

Garden maintenance

  • Check bonfires carefully before lighting to make sure there isn’t any wildlife sheltering inside
  • Continue to mow the lawn if the grass is still growing and the weather is mild but raise the height of the blades
  • Collect any fallen leaves, especially from lawns and ponds, and place in bin bags. Add some water if the leaves are dry and then puncture the bag with a fork. Leave them to decompose into leaf mould
  • Raise outside containers onto pot feet to prevent waterlogging and wrap bubble wrap or hessian around pots outside to protect from frost damage
pumpkins ready for Halloween

Garden Jobs in October

The nights are drawing in and there is now less time to spend in the garden. However there are still plenty of jobs to do in the garden. Main activities will revolve around clearing up after summer and preparing for the winter and spring ahead.

Here are a list of important jobs to do this month to keep your garden looking good:

Flowers

  • Plant drifts of spring bulbs informally in a lawn, such as crocuses and daffodils
  • Lift tender Cannas and Dahlias to avoid frost damage, dry off the tubers and store in cool dark conditions until spring
  • Plant up pots with winter colour, such as Cyclamen, Winter Pansies and Skimmia
  • Lift and pot up tender perennials to protect them over winter
  • Plant evergreen shrubs and conifer hedges while the soil is still warm
  • Collect seeds from hardy perennials and sow straight away
  • Take hardwood cuttings from ornamental trees and shrubs
  • Reduce the height of shrub roses to avoid wind-rock damage over winter

Fruit and veg

  • Take cuttings of shrubby herbs, such as Rosemary, Lemon Verbena and Thyme
  • Cover salad plants with cloches to prolong cropping
  • Plant garlic cloves in a sunny well-drained spot, 15cm apart, with their tip 5cm below the surface
  • Wrap grease bands around the trunks of apple, pear, cherry and plum trees to trap the crawling female winter moth
  • Cut autumn-fruiting raspberries down to the ground after harvesting
  • Order bare-root fruit trees and bushes for planting from late autumn to early spring

Greenhouse

  • Clean out the greenhouse to get rid of debris that can harbour overwintering pests and diseases
  • Wash greenhouse glazing to let in as much of the weaker autumn daylight as possible
  • Sow quick-growing micro-greens, such as kale and mustard, for nutrient-rich pickings in just a few weeks
  • Line greenhouse glazing with bubble insulation, as night-time temperatures start to drop
  • Water plants more sparingly as conditions turn cooler and the days get shorter
  • Sow sweet peas in deep pots for early flowers next summer
  • Inspect plants you bring into the greenhouse over winter for any pests and diseases

Garden maintenance

  • Rake up fallen leaves from lawns, borders, driveways and paths, and store in bin bags to rot down into leaf mould
  • Spike compacted lawns and brush either sharp sand or horticultural grit into the holes to help improve drainage
  • Apply an autumn lawn feed to revive the grass after the rigours of summer
  • Empty any pots that aren’t frost proof and store in a garage or shed over winter
July Flower border

Garden Jobs in July

At this time of year the garden should be looking great, with plenty of seasonal colour and interest. Hopefully with more warm sunny evenings on their way, it will allow plenty of time in which to relax and enjoy the garden.

Although there are plenty of jobs to do this month, these can be undertaken at a more leisurely pace.

Flowers

  • Stake taller perennials;
  • Feed, water and deadhead bedding plants and repeat-flowering perennials, to ensure continuous flowering;
  • Cut back early summer perennials, such as hardy geraniums and delphiniums, after flowering for a second flush;
  • Deadhead roses regularly and feed to keep them flowering strongly;
  • Give dahlias a liquid feed and keep them well watered;
  • Water and feed sweet peas regularly, pick the flowers every few days, and remove seed pods to prolong flowering;
  • Look out for pests such as lily beetles, snails, aphids and vine weevils, and remove them before they do much harm;
  • Sow biennials, such as foxgloves, honesty, forget-me-nots and wallflowers for colour next year;
  • Plant autumn bulbs such as nerines and colchicums in pots and borders;

Fruit and Veg

  • Water fruit trees and bushes, then lay a thick mulch of garden compost around their base to hold in moisture;
  • Check crops such as runner beans regularly for aphids, and rub or wash them off straight away, before they multiply;
  • Cover brassicas with fine netting to prevent cabbage white butterflies laying their eggs on the leaves;
  • Peg down strawberry runners into pots of compost to root new plants;
  • Pick courgettes regularly so they don’t turn into marrows;
  • Sow small batches of fast-maturing salad leaves, rocket and radishes every few weeks for continuous pickings;
  • Cut down broad beans after harvesting, but leave the roots in the soil to release nitrogen as they decompose;

Greenhouse

  • Keep well ventilated – open doors and roof windows and apply shading if necessary;
  • Continue pinching out any side-shoots growing from the leaf joints of cordon tomatoes;
  • Water tomatoes daily to prevent drying out, which can lead to split fruits and blossom end rot;
  • Feed tomatoes, chillies and cucumbers with high-potash tomato fertiliser every week to encourage fruiting;
  • Train the main stem of cucumbers up supports and pinch out side-shoots two leaves after a flower or fruit;

Garden maintenance

    • Hoe and hand-weed borders often, in order that weeds won’t have time to set seed;
    • Top up bird baths, ponds and water features during hot weather;
    • Water new trees, shrubs and perennials planted in spring, to help them through dry spells;
    • Keep mowing lawns regularly, but raise the cutting height to leave the grass longer during dry weather;
    • Water hanging baskets and patio containers daily, in the morning or evening is preferable;
    • Deadhead bedding plants, sweet peas and annuals every few days to encourage more flowers;
    • Trim lavender after flowering to keep plants compact and bushy, but avoid cutting into old wood;

There are also some lovely inspiring gardens to visit at this time of year:

Wakehurst Place, West Sussex
Nymans, West Sussex
RHS Wisley, Woking, Surrey
Kew Gardens, Richmond, Surrey

…and don’t forget that The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is on from 2nd to 7th July this month!