Greenhouse and House Plants
- Keep picking greenhouse tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers as soon as they are ready, otherwise cropping tails off quickly.
- Stop feeding most greenhouse plants now because they will have enough in the pot to keep them going and they are better going into winter a little ‘harder’.
- Stop feeding house plants except those that flower in winter.
- Take cuttings of evergreen shrubs and trees and insert them in pots of two parts peat/one part sand in the greenhouse, covering them in white polythene.
- Pot up some freesia corms when available for wonderful scent in spring.
Trees, Shrubs and Roses
- Trimming of all evergreen hedges – cypress, thuya, holly and laurel – can be carried out about now. As growth is nearly over for the year, there will be very little new growth and the hedges will stay neat until about May.
- Even this late in the growing year, young trees can benefit from watering if they appear to be struggling – they can still make some growth in the remaining couple of months.
- Preparations for autumn and winter planting can be made now, clearing grass and weeds.
Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs
- The vegetable garden has gone past its summer peak.
- Watch sweet corn as it is becoming ready, also parsnips, potatoes and swede turnips.
- Get rid of all old crops when they are finished and make sure not to let weeds get away and go to seed.
- When lifting potatoes, make sure to get out all small potatoes because these will become ‘ground-keepers’, and can carry blight and blackleg disease.
- If there are some warm days, it keeps soil temperatures high and good growth of grass results.
- Little needs to be done except to keep the grass mown.
- Autumn lawn fertilizer could be applied if the grass is a bit sluggish through lack of nutrients.
- Moss control using sulphate of iron could be carried out where there is a problem.
- Spring bulbs are appearing in the shops and it is a good time to make an assessment of new locations for bulbs.
- Tidy up messy perennial flowers, but be sure to leave good stems and seedheads, such as agapanthus, fennel, lysimachia, dierama, phlomis and monarda, for autumn and winter display.
- Bedding and container annuals will last longer if given some liquid feeding now – they still have two months in them but will fade long before that without feeding and regular watering.