These are the three garden jobs you must do now (before autumn hits us hard)

Few of us love gardening in driving rain but what garden jobs should you do now to have a good looking plot in spring? These ones, that's what...

Garden jobs for autumn: Sorbus commixta
(Image credit: Waitrose Garden)

Autumn is definitely here: slight chill when you get out of bed, the need for a jumper, the weather... But before we shut the doors and batten down the hatches, there are still some essential Autumn garden jobs we need to do so that the garden can take care of itself over winter and emerge (like us) looking its best for spring.  

So, with the temperature slowly dropping and winds slowly rising, we've gathered the most important garden jobs you should be doing right now, even if you do nothing else. You're welcome. 

And if you want to discover three essential ways to transform your garden from a bare empty space to a usable and beautiful additional room where you'll want to be, even if it's not 28ºC, don't miss the latest episode of the Real Homes Show (below), where we reveal all...

1. Harvest fruit – and even fallen leaves – now

  • Pick your fruit and veg now, and dig up any remaining potatoes before they get eaten by slugs.
  • If you’ve got an apple or pear tree, pick the fruit in October for the most delicious results.
  • Don’t forget about fallen leaves! Gather them up and use them as compost next year. They’re a great natural resource that shouldn’t be wasted.

2. Protect as the temperature dips

  • Move less hardy plants under a cover, or even better, into a greenhouse.
  • If you’re lucky enough to have a water feature, cover it with netting to prevent fallen leaves causing a water log.
  • Cover tender plants, such as salad leaves with a netting.
  • As for your pots, remove drip trays and replace them with special pot feet (or just bricks). This prevents them from sitting in water over winter and can prevent your pots from cracking when it freezes. You could even wrap bubble wrap around your pots to protect them from the elements.
  • If you have any trees over 1m, they will need staking for support, especially if they are exposed to winds.
  • Cover wooden furniture or put them in your shed.
  • If you’ve got a vegetable patch, dig over your soil and leave the soil in large clumps. The weather will break it down into a nice crumbly texture, which is just what you need. 

3. Plant ahead for spring

  • While the soil is still fairly warm, plant conifer or evergreen trees.
  • Plant spring bulbs such as daffodils.
  • Plant spring bedding, such as polyanthus and wallflowers.
  • Later in the season, plant deciduous trees, shrubs and climbers, and then finally roses.
  • Keep hold of your tulip bulbs until November, as that’s when they’ll grow best.

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