Things to do in the garden:
Plant all spring-flowering bulbs now.
Dig up, divide and replant those hardy perennials that have become too overgrown – those still in flower and too pretty to move in March.
Take hardwood cuttings of trees, shrubs and climbers; root them in damp soil (remember the hormone powder) and keep them in a protected place.
Sow all the different types of salad leaves in pots or in the vegetable garden – apart from being good to eat, they are almost as pretty as flowers.
Soak the seeds of sweet peas overnight in hot water and sow them in prepared trenches.
Go for lots of winter colour by filling up rows of inexpensive terracotta or plastic pots with pansies, ornamental kale, nemesias and violas.
Pot up herbs for winter use and place them in a sunny spot close to the back door.
Watch the ‘how to’ video.
Turn the compost heap over and check for larvae and pupae of fruit fly and rose beetle.
Plant out seedlings of larkspurs, delphiniums and foxgloves into well prepared beds. They enjoy deep, rich and well-drained soil in a sunny to lightly shaded spot.
As you plant and sow, cut back and clean up and divide and replant, it is also a good time to care for the soil and protect the root systems of permanent plants that have supplied you with so much gardening pleasure over the past summer. Give them a proper pre-winter goodnight kiss with lots of nutritious mulch as a soil blanket to keep the tender plants warm over the cooler months and the soil moist and friable, weed- and compaction-free.
Autumn is the perfect time to plan and execute a major gardening project like the planting of a new hedge. The weather in most areas of the country is still mild enough to spend long hours in the garden and young plants will have time to settle down in cooler soil before the season changes.
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