Keep your garden in shape this autumn with Matt James’ selection of garden projects to tackle in October.
- Remove drip trays and raise terracotta patio pots with bricks or special pot feet (from garden centres) so they don’t sit in water over winter and crack when it freezes.
- Plant bare-root trees, shrubs and roses.
- Clear up fallen leaves into black bin bags or create a separate pile next to the compost heap to make leaf mould ready for next October’s soil conditioning.
- Cut back and compost the stems of spent summer perennials.
- Continue to create new lawns from turf until the end of the month.
- Check tree ties and climber supports are secure before winter winds hit.
- Tidy your ponds and remove the pumps for winter if you don’t need them to keep fish.
- Lift and split poor flowering or congested perennials into large fist-sized clumps. Replant to the same depth as before, at least a trowel’s length apart.
- Check greenhouse or conservatory heaters are working properly.
- Replace frosted summer bedding with winter and spring displays.
- Continue planting spring bulbs, but leave tulips until next month.
- Stop feeding all plants outside until March.
- Clear any spent vegetable crops and compost them.
Photograph: Leigh Clapp