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 in bins made of chicken wire stapled to upright posts. It takes about a year for them to rot into a wonderful soil improver.
- Raise pots on pot feet to allow surplus rain to drain out of the bottom more easily and prevent your pots becoming waterlogged.
- 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 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 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.