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Tasks in Your Garden

As the days shorten and the temperature drops, thoughts of the cooler months fill the mind. As we move towards autumn there is plenty to do in the flower and vegetable garden.

Begin the end of season clean-up as plants begin to look tatty and die down. It's much easier to do what you can now than face a huge job later.

The extent of the clean up depends on your climate. In wet and muggy climates as much vegetative material as possible should be removed to reduce the risk of disease. In cooler, drier climates, leaving dead stems creates an attractive winter silhouette and provides protection from severe frosts. If you live in a climate between these then it depends on the plants, your gardening style and personal taste!

If the garden is wet, try to stay off the soil as this causes compacting, damaging soil structure and reducing the ability to drain, making your garden even soggier! A long plank spreads your weight, raised beds and containers are invaluable in the wet.

Autumn mulching can follow any cleanup - but make sure the soil is moist before mulching.

For more late summer tasks, see our seasonal Late Summer Garden Diary.

Collecting Seeds
Collecting SeedsDivision, cuttings, 'slips'. There are many ways to increase your plants and to carry annuals from season to season. Collecting seed is one method often overlooked.

Garden Tasks by Season

Late Summer Garden Tips
Planting Bulbs
Planting bulbs When planting Spring bulbs, always mix bulb food or bonemeal thoroughly into the soil prior to planting and don't plant too closely - bulbs need nutrients and space!. As a general rule, plant bulbs so their tops are as far below the soil as the diameter of the bulb.

Trenching a Shrub March-April is a good time to wrench (or trench) plants in preparation for shifting in Winter. Make sure that plants are well watered around wrenching time.

Trenching encourages new feeder roots, reducing replant shock for the plant.

More Garden How To

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Last revised 20 Mar '05