In the autumn garden

CLEAN-UP: Summer’s over but the garden work begins. Photo credit: Flickr

AS summer days in garden draw to a close, use this checklist to make sure you do not overlook any important jobs that need doing in late September and October:

  1. Start removing dead plant remains from borders and vegetable beds, and clear weeds for composting.
  2. Rake up leaves and stack up for leaf-mould.
  3. Put nets on ponds to prevent any fallen leaves from fouling the water.
  4. Give hedges a final trim.
  5. Finish harvesting fruit, and check supplies in store.
  6. Gather vegetables and store any excess.
  7. Start planting new roses, hardy climbers, shrubs, trees and perennials while the ground is still warm.
  8. Finish cleaning the greenhouse. Wash and dry pots and trays, and store neatly.
  9. Move outdoor containers under cover before hard weather, or insulate them where they stand.
  10. Drain and roll up hosepipes and clean out water butts, and drain and insulate taps if you’re in an area that suffers from frost in the winter.
  11. Gather fallen fruits and put them out for the birds in a corner, well away from plants.
  12. Pick rotten or mummified fruits and remove or burn.

If you’re thinking of having a bonfire, firstly ask yourself if you really need one.

You can compost most soft plant remains, stack leaves to make leaf mould, and often shred woody material. If you do have a bonfire:

  1. Keep it small or use an incinerator to confine it.
  2. Have a hosepipe or buckets of water handy in case you need to douse the flames.
  3. Use a fork to add material to the fire.
  4. Keep children at a safe distance and shut any pets indoors.