What to do now

Timing is everything in gardening — for best results. But there is some leeway. In this section, Garden.ie offers accurate horticultural advice reminders on the main groups of plants under Irish conditions, week after week.

  • Trees, Shrubs and Roses
  • Flowers
  • Lawn
  • Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs
  • Greenhouse and House Plants

Greenhouse and House Plants

  • The last greenhouse tomatoes struggle to ripen as the season slips away but it can be surprising how well they still change colour if the weather offers some sunshine.
  • Otherwise pick the last of them and ripen them indoors.
  • Stop feeding and water only plants that are still in active growth, such as cyclamen, and even then be careful not to over-water.
  • Tidy the greenhouse and ventilate on sunny, breezy days.

Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs

  • Remove old vegetables as soon as they as finished and do not allow weeds to build up.
  • Lift and store potatoes and carrots now for winter use.
  • Parsnips generally keep better when left in the ground.
  • Prune raspberries, blackcurrants and gooseberries.
  • Spring cabbage plants can still be planted and early cauliflower plants can be over-wintered in a cold-frame, if available.
  • Cut back asparagus fern and remove weeds if the fern has turned yellow.

Lawn

  • If there is a lot of  moss in the lawn, use sulphate of iron mosskiller now if necessary.
  • Mow as necessary as long as the soil is not soggy.
  • Use an autumn lawn fertilizer soon before it gets too wet.
  • Sow a new lawn, or over-sow bare or worn patches in an existing lawn. Use sods from an out-of-the-way corner to patch worn areas and re-seed the area where the sods were lifted.

Flowers

  • Spring bulbs should be planted as soon as possible.
  • Cease liquid feeding of pots or hanging baskets as it is now too late to be worthwhile.
  • Remove summer bedding plants that have gone over.
  • Divide perennial border flowers, or plant new ones, choosing varieties that are easy to look after and need no staking.
  • Seeds of annual flowers can still be sown this week into fine soil where they are to flower next summer – an easy and cheap way to have lots of colour, especially in a new garden.

Trees, Shrubs and Roses

  • This is the traditional planting season for evergreens of all kinds, just a little ahead of the main season for planting deciduous trees.
  • Plant now either from pots or as soon as root-balled plants are available, and, of course, pot-grown deciduous trees and shrubs can be planted too.
  • Young trees should be checked for staking if they need it.
  • Prune rambler roses.
  • Control weeds in rose beds and shrub borders, if necessary.