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Seasonal jobs in the Garden - Early Autumn

Garden jobs during September and October

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Early autumn
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.

TREES AND SHRUBS
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.

CLIMBERS
Gather ripe seeds from clematis species for sowing in a cold frame over the next few weeks.

ROSES
Deadhead repeat-flowering shrub, bush and climbing roses.
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.

HERBACEOUS PERENNIALS
Continue deadheading and cutting back; tidy borders, and mark the healthiest plants for later propagation by division.

ALPINES
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 available.
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 petiolare, Impatiens 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.

LAWNS
Sow seed on sites prepared earlier. Sow when ground is moist, but on a dry day.
Lay turf from mid-month onwards.

GENERAL MAINTENANCE
Tidy up beds – cut back dead stems and dead flower heads of perennials, and remove annuals that have finished flowering.

Next:
Mid Autumn - October

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