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This month's gardening jobs

Prepare the ground for any new planting.  Make sure new areas are free of perennial weeds even if that means waiting until next year to plant.

Order new trees and shrubs (including fruit) prior to the start of the planting season in November.

Empty out leaf mould bins and spread on borders as a mulch ready for this year's leaves.

Keep lawns, paths, driveways and low growing plants clear of leaves.  Anywhere else, leaves can be left if you wish. Net ponds before leaves start falling. Remember to leave some gaps around the edges for frogs and other wildlife to get in and out.

Don't forget to clean out bird baths, nest boxes (birds use them to roost in over the winter) and of course, bird feeders.

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Put the grass box back on and mow lawns less frequently. Raise the height of cut as the growth rate of the grass slows down.  Aimed to removed no more then a third of the height of the grass on any one cut.

Begin scarifying, aerating and top dressing.  If you have a big lawn, hire a machine or else do a section this year and another next year.

Now is also a good time to lay new turf or sow grass seed. 

Plant new herbaceous perennials, and divide any overgrown or tired looking clumps of perennials. Don't cut back perennials unless they are really messy and offend you!  Stems and seed heads provide winter interest and are important for wildlife.

Collect and sow seed from trees and hardy annuals.

Plant spring flowering bulbs (you can leave tulips until next month).

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Clean out cold frames and greenhouses and remember to clean the glass!  Check heaters are working and start bubble wrapping.

Move tender plants into the greenhouse or conservatory.  Check them for pests and disease as you do so.

Start to reduce the frequency of houseplant watering.  Growth is slowing down so they don't need as much water.

Keep harvesting fruit and vegetables as they appear. Don't store any damaged fruit or vegetables.

Cut back fruited summer raspberry canes to the base and new canes tied in.

Remove all foliage and unwanted runners, once strawberries are finished

Plant out garlic and winter onions (and spring cabbages if you haven't done so already)

As vegetable beds are cleared, give them a final weed, then cover with a thick layer of mulch for the winter, sow a green manure or cover them with a weed proof fabric.

 

Back to the Gardens in October

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