Right it is Autumn and that means… lots of superb colour, long walks, wet grass and knowing that as nature starts to shut up shop for the year, there are still so many joys to find and that the wonders of winter are just around the corner before that new year starts again.
Things to do:
- Now is the time to be planting those daffodil bulbs. Tulips should be left until November as they like it a bit cooler but now is the time to get those daffs in. The old tip of just chucking the daff bulbs in the general area and then putting them in as they land is a good one.
- Give your lawn a makeover voucher with some scarifying (removing old growth), aerating (getting oxygen and nutrients down in the roots), feeding (put on some bulk for winter) and also sort out those bare patches so they can be ready for spring.
- If you have some spare vegetable plots, why not put in some onion sets (small onions ready to grow), garlic (I would leave these until early November) and even some hardy broad beans.
- Get visiting your local gardens and garden centres. Not only can you find end of season plants (you get a bargain and they can settle in before the Winter) but you can get a reminder that there are so many great looking plants at this time of year.
- Sweep up the leaves – yes it is a real chore (so a great one for the kids or a neighbour’s children). For leaves that are generally spotted (infected) probably best to stick them in the garden waste bin, for others, make a heap so they can decompose and be ready for use next year. Those fallen leaves may carry spores onto the next season so should be disposed of and if not they provide a great place for slugs and snails to camp out.
- Cut back (down to an inch or so above the ground) perennial plants unless of course they still provide some interest in which case, hang on to them as long as possible.
- Still got a few tomatoes hanging on and feeling tempted to just give up on them? Don’t! Hang them up. MrsB has tried this and can confirm it works well. Just cut off the vine and tie it up so it hangs down, ideally in a cool (not cold) light place and they will ripen up within a few days.
- Now is a good time to just have a quick check on any potatoes dug up earlier in the season and stored. Any that are rotting should be obviously given the heave-ho and any looking a bit suspect, should be “edited” and promoted to Sunday lunch.
- If you are really keen on getting ahead of the curve, then October is a good time to sow sweet peas. Myself, I will leave them until mid-January but it is always good to hedge your bets.
- If you have any tender plants that are not hardy (frost tolerant) better to get them protected now then before the first frosts arrive.
What others suggest
There are plenty of other things you can be doing this month and below are links to a few of those with suggestions: