This month is all about the three Ps; pruning, planting and planning!
Top 10 jobs this month (as suggested by the RHS)
- Divide herbaceous perennials
- Pick autumn raspberries
- Collect and sow seed from perennials and hardy annuals
- Dig up remaining potatoes before slug damage spoils them
- Net ponds before leaf fall gets underway
- Keep up with watering of new plants, using rain or grey water if possible
- Start to reduce the frequency of houseplant watering
- Clean out cold frames and greenhouses so that they are ready for use in the autumn
- Cover leafy vegetable crops with bird-proof netting
- Plant spring flowering bulbs
Planning and planting
Some preparation now can ensure your garden or patio is colourful through to next year. Some of your summer bedding like the geraniums will still be looking good but at some point you have to be bold and rip it out to give your autumn/winter bedding a chance to get established. There are a whole host of options for autumn and winter colour, including pansies, primulas, herbs like thyme and sage, cyclamen, heathers, wallflowers, chrysanthemums, conifers, ivy and many more. The list goes on!
In the vegetable garden you can take action to keep crops going even once your summer crops have been harvested and stored. You can sow vegetables for overwintering, to mature next spring, including turnip, spinach, winter lettuce, Oriental vegetables and plant overwintering onion sets.
If you’re itching to use the shears it’s your last chance to clip leylandii, thuja, hornbeam, beech, privet and honeysuckle hedges. You can also prune late-summer-flowering shrubs to keep them vigorous and flowering well, including abelia, carpinus, Jasminum officinale, lonicera and passiflora. It’s also not too late to complete the pruning jobs for August if you haven’t got round to them yet. Stone fruit – such as nectarines, apricots, peaches, plums, gages and damsons – should be pruned immediately after harvest.