Autumn has arrived in all its glory. This brings to an end another challenging year with huge rainstorms and very dry weather, the garden hasn’t known whether it’s coming or going. This month it’s time to start thinking of planting bulbs, those little tubers will bring so much color in spring and beyond.
Before the end of this month, it is very likely that there will be a frost, This is the time of year where the leaves turn golden and the season changes. However, there is still plenty of time to enjoy the garden. This is the month you should start preparing your allotment in preparation for winter, getting it dug or weeded ready for next spring.
15 Jobs you can do this month
- It’s bulb planting time
- Plant tulips in pots
- Nip diseases in the bud by removing decaying leaves
- Tidy border perennials
- Plant spring wallflowers
- Look out for rust on leaves
- Keep dahlias for next year
- Divide congested perennials
- Bring tender plants inside
- Collect seed from annuals
- Grow bare root plants now
- Stop watering begonias
- Remove all shading and netting
- Collect leaves to make leafmould
It’s bulb planting time
If you didn’t manage to get the bulbs in the ground last month, then this month is the last opportunity you may have to do it before the ground freezes. You should have purchased your spring-flowering bulbs by now, so go get them into the ground. Remember, as a rule, plant them twice the depth of the bulb.
Nip diseases in the bud by removing decaying leaves
As part of the winter, cleanup removes decaying leaves from plants and the ground beneath, this will prevent bacteria and diseases from affecting other plants in their location. removing the leaves from the ground also helps reduce slug numbers.
Tidy border perennials
Borders are starting to look tired. They have been bashed by winds and rain over the past couple of months, and are starting to wind down. You can cut back dying foliage and remove dead plants, this will greatly tidy the border for you to enjoy a little longer.
Plant spring wallflowers
This biannual flower provides beautiful color and scent in spring. Being biannual they grow their roots and foliage in the first year, then flower and seed in their second. Now is the time to start off new wallflowers ready for their first year of growth.
Look out for rust on leaves
Typically found on garlic, leeks, hollyhock, snapdragons, daylilies, and beans rust can be unsightly and cause the plants to stop growing. this is a fungal disease leaving red to orange splodges on the leaves. It affects the lower leaves mostly and these should be removed and burned.
Keep dahlias for next year
It is now time you should be lifting your Dahlias, remove them from the ground, and placed them on a bench upside down for a few weeks until the stem has dried out completely. These can then be trimmed and stored dry in a box or dry compost in a dark frost-free area until February when you may want to wake them up to take cuttings.
Divide congested perennials
Last month we spoke about this task. This month is the last opportunity to do it if you haven’t done so already. Simply lift the plant onto some plastic sheeting and use two spades. Split it down the middle. You could even divide large clumps into multiple sections to replant. This will rejuvenate the plant and it will grow very quickly next year.
Bring tender plants inside
There are so many tender plants that we grow in our gardens. With frost on the horizon, we need to take these into the greenhouse, conservatory, or even the home itself. Things like Cana, bananas, tree ferns, and Agave all need to be protected.
Collect seed from annuals
There is nothing more satisfying than collecting your own seed, this not only saves you money and allows you to grow more plants. But it also means those seeds have acclimatized to your growing conditions. They will outperform any plants you can buy as there is no adjustment required.
Grow bare root plants now
One of the cheapest ways to get good-sized plants but keep costs down is to purchase bare-root plants. These can all start to be planted now. With mail-order companies expanding their collections the choice is ever-growing. SO check out the catalogs now and see if you can save some money. Strawberries are a favorite bare root for me.
Stop watering begonias
Begonias should be lifted before the first frost and allowed to dry out. Stop watering beforehand to help speed this up. They should then be stored in slightly damp soil or sand and kept in a frost-free location until spring. occasionally give a very light watering to prevent them from shriveling.
Collect leaves to make leafmould
Leafmould, otherwise known as gardeners gold and for good reason. This is one of the best harvests of the year for the gardener. It can be added to compost to make your own potting soil, used as a mulch, or even seed starting mix. It is quite simply one of the best organic ingredients you could possibly use.
Unfortunately, you cannot buy this in the stores. You have to collect the leaves and make them yourself. To learn more about this process watch the video below where I take you through the entire process.
Some other jobs you can do now
- Look out for pests coming inside on pots
- Bring tender herbs undercover
- Plant winter salad
- Check heaters and heated benches
- Insulate your greenhouse
- Pick chillies to dry and store
- Pot up amaryllis
- Plant hardy cyclamen
- Bring peaches indoors
- Bring Citris indoors
- Clean pots and trays
- Protect your old tools
Lots to keep you busy this month, Stick with it. Keep ticking off one task after another and before you know it you will be ready and everything will be in its place for winter.
If you have enjoyed this article, check out some of my other articles and come back each month for the jobs for that month. If you got value please consider subscribing to my blog to be notified each time I release new content like this. You can do that easily and free by completing the blog signup form in the right-hand sidebar