Although we had some unusually balmy Summer-like temperatures during September, the Autumn is now starting to make itself felt, with a much sharper nip in the air.
The trees might be making a lovely show as they change colour, but of course that means lots of work for gardeners, when the leaves start littering up the lawn! It might seem pointless to do all that raking, with the wind constantly blowing more dead foliage about, but just think of all the lovely leafmould you can make.
It’s also time to start preparing for those early frosts, which means cutting back perennial plants that have died down, and moving tender plants, including any aquatic ones, into a greenhouse or conservatory. It’s also the perfect time to divide any herbaceous perennials that have got a bit bushy, and this will give you a stock of new plants to either re-position, donate to friends or swap with other gardeners. You can also divide any established rhubarb crowns to create new plants.
Other good jobs to get done in October include collecting seed from your garden plants to sow next year, and of course, pruning your climbing roses.
If you have fruit trees, of course, it’s prime harvesting time for apples, pears and nuts. Depending on the size of your crop, you may need to wrap carefully and store in a cool dry place.
October is probably the last chance to give the lawn a good mowing, and once that’s done it’s worth examining the grass for any bald or tatty looking areas that might need renovating with turf or seed.
By November, with leaves falling rapidly, it’s garden bonfire season, and that distinctive smoky haze will be pervading the air around us.
Bonfires are a tried and tested way of disposing of all that excess garden debris that might not be suitable for composing – but do check any local restrictions and be considerate of neighbours when it comes to your timing and siting of bonfires or incinerators.
It’s a good idea this month to raise up any container plants onto pot feet or wooden blocks, to prevent waterlogging.
Empty containers can be planted up with bulbs such as tulips for some Springtime colour next year, perhaps with Winter bedding plants on top if you’re desperate for some instant colour to cheer the next few months.