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:
- Start removing dead plant remains from borders and vegetable beds, and clear weeds for composting.
- Rake up leaves and stack up for leaf-mould.
- Put nets on ponds to prevent any fallen leaves from fouling the water.
- Give hedges a final trim.
- Finish harvesting fruit, and check supplies in store.
- Gather vegetables and store any excess.
- Start planting new roses, hardy climbers, shrubs, trees and perennials while the ground is still warm.
- Finish cleaning the greenhouse. Wash and dry pots and trays, and store neatly.
- Move outdoor containers under cover before hard weather, or insulate them where they stand.
- 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.
- Gather fallen fruits and put them out for the birds in a corner, well away from plants.
- 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:
- Keep it small or use an incinerator to confine it.
- Have a hosepipe or buckets of water handy in case you need to douse the flames.
- Use a fork to add material to the fire.
- Keep children at a safe distance and shut any pets indoors.