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It is still clear-up time, when you can pop out on a lovely sunny autumn day and mosey around in the garden doing little bits of clearing and tidying in a relaxed fashion, listening to the radio and occasionally stopping for a cup of tea. I love it! When it’s wet, you can still rummage around in the greenhouse or shed sorting out all the paraphernalia that you have pulled out over the summer. Or you can just have another cup of tea. I find that there are a few weeks of sublime limbo when you are just enjoying the last of the fading summer garden before you finally start pulling out spent annuals and tidying up perennials. I may be a bit lazy I guess – but I am never quite ready to be radical! You should, of course, intersperse some of these cups of tea with the occasional autumn task. Hey Ho.

Sowing and Planting


It is generally a good time for planting as it allows plants to establish before and during the winter, creating great plants for the next season.


Seasonal bedding planted out now will refresh your garden as other plants fade.


This is also a good time for sowing hardy annuals for earlier and better displays next year.


This month you can plant your tulip bulbs but make sure that you plant them quite deep if you want them to naturalise.


Pruning and Plant Management


Don’t forget to pot up your herbs as well and keep them indoors or in the greenhouse for use in the winter months.


Aerate your lawn, raking out any moss, and give it lawn an autumn feed! Keep on top of lawn weeds.


Maintenance and Planning


As soon as the leaves start to fall, rake them up and keep them either in black plastic bags (with air holes punched in) or in wire baskets to make lovely rich organic leaf mold for mulching your plants and enriching your soil in a couple of years time.


Save seed from your favourite plants and vegetables for either growing again next year, or for handing on to others. Dry the seed heads, scarify them and keep the seeds in envelopes in a cool, dry place – and remember to label them.


Clean up your greenhouse and line it with bubble-wrap to insulate it throughout the winter.


Wash out your pots as well – you will appreciate it when you come to use them next year. Wash and store any canes you have removed from the garden as well.