This is the period for tidying up, for putting
things to rights and preparing for the coming
winter. The gardener would also be wise to devote
some consideration to the requirements of the
coming spring and, towards the end of the period,
clear the ground of summer bedding plants, and
fork it over.
Feed half-hardy shrubs with sulphate of potash
to help ripen the wood and make the plants less
susceptible to disease and frost damage.
Plant conifers and other evergreens while ground
is moist and still warm.
Take hardwood cuttings of conifers.
Layer pliable stems of any deciduous shrubs.
Gather ripe seeds from clematis
species for sowing in a cold frame over the next
Deadhead repeat-flowering shrub, bush and climbing
Apply feed of sulphate of potash in the next few
weeks to help ripen the wood and make the plants
less susceptible to disease and frost damage.
Continue deadheading and cutting back; tidy borders,
and mark the healthiest plants for later propagation
Do any redesigning of the rock garden, or any
necessary replanting and repositioning of plants.
WATER AND BOG PLANTS
Divide marginal and bog plants to prevent overcrowding
around the pond.
BULBS, CORMS AND TUBERS
Plant bulbs during dry spells, starting with narcissi.
Plant bulbous irises for late winter and early
spring flowering, and lily
bulbs for next summer, as soon as they become
Check supports on dahlias;
remove small buds below terminal bud if you want
to encourage long-stemmed and larger blooms.
ANNUALS AND BIENNIALS
At the end of the month, lift any tender perennials
that are treated as annuals because of their vulnerability
to frost, such as Helichrysum
walleriana, gazanias and heliptropes.
Store in a frost-free place.
In warmer parts of the country, or in sheltered,
sunny corners, sow hardy annuals outdoors for
early flowers next year.
Fill gaps in borders with winter-flowering pansy
plants as soon as they become available.
Start removing fading annuals to make way for
spring bedding plants.
Sow seed on sites prepared earlier. Sow when ground
is moist, but on a dry day.
Lay turf from mid-month onwards.
Tidy up beds – cut back dead stems and dead
flower heads of perennials, and remove annuals
that have finished flowering.
Mid Autumn - October