This time of the year brings a number of important gardening jobs to be completed before the weather gets colder.
October and November see the leaves beginning to turn and fall, summer displays going over, and the first frost of the season!
While it’s perfectly fine to leave the leaves on grassy areas, they can become slippery on hard surfaces, especially during wet weather.
The easiest way to clear leaves off of garden lawns and large grassy areas is to run them over with a lawn mower. The cutting action of the mower blades helps to shred the leaves, making them rot down quicker.
For patios, paths and other hard surfaces, a leaf blower works better! Blow the leaves onto your lawn for the mower to pick up, or blast them onto a tarpaulin and drag them to your compost heap.
You can even use the collected leaves to make leafmould, an incredible soil conditioner.
Plant Winter Vegetables
Cover outdoor plants with netting or insect-proof mesh to protect them against pigeons and rabbits, or use fleece to keep them warm enough to grow.
Garlic, carrots and cabbage should be planted around this time to be harvested in spring.
Similarly, summer greenhouse crops, such as tomatoes, will be past their best by now, so remove the old plants and put them in a compost bin.
Remove Summer Flowers
Summer bedding plants will be past their best by autumn, so it’s time to pull them up. You can mulch the bare soil using compost to improve it over the winter, ready for you to start again in spring.
If you have any tender plants that won’t survive the winter frost, now is the time to bring them inside.
Choose a light, frost-free place, such as a greenhouse, to keep them warm and dry. Avoid over-watering so that they don’t grow too much over winter.
Plant Spring Bulbs
Plant bedding plants, such as violas and wallflowers, as well as spring-flowering bulbs, before the first frost of the season.
Keep plant pots in a sheltered spot, such as under a porch, to encourage them through the winter and avoid plants rotting during the wet winter weather. Cyclamen and ornamental cabbage are particularly vulnerable to rotting in damp conditions.