Published: 07 November 2014
Ed's October Checklist
Ed’s Autumn list includes some key jobs that we need to think about before the weather turns for the worst and winter arrives in earnest.

In the flower garden

Now is a good time to continue to plant out your tulips and daffodils in pots or in the borders. If like me you did manage to sow your annuals last month, now is the time to start thinning them out when they are big enough to handle. In the greenhouse or polytunnel start to sow sweet pea seeds in small pots for a good crop next year.
Plant out Sweet Williams, Canterbury bells, Wallflowers and Polyanthus if you have not already done so, these are just a few plants which will give you a very nice show of colour in the garden.


Now is also a good time to lift and store your dahlia tubers. You may have already had a frost in your area of the country which has killed off the tops. Cut off the top of the plants and stand them upside down to drain out any moisture, when this is done it is important to store them in a frost free place with plenty of air circulation around them.
 

Vegetable & fruit garden

If you have not already done so lift and store your main crop potatoes, check them over and place them into a paper sack in a dark dry place i.e. garage or shed are ideal.
If like me you did manage to sow some winter lettuces now is the time to thin and transplant them into their final growing position.
Removing any crops which have completed their growing like runner beans and start to dig over the area, this is a good time to do some trench digging.
Trench digging can be done by marking out an area of one spade width by one spade deep, remove the first trench of soil the other end of your plot. Fork over the bottom of your trench to break it up then put in a layer of well-rotted horse manure or garden compost, then dig your second trench putting this soil into the first one. Then repeat this until you get to the end of your plot and finish it off with the soil which came out of the first trench.
Place grease bands on the stems of your fruit trees to trap the female winter moths as they climb the trees, you can also place one around the stake if your trees have one.
If you are planning to plant new fruit trees or bushes now is the time to get the ground prepared and ready.
 

Continue to check over any stored fruit or vegetables and add any bad one to the compost heap.
 

Other jobs around the garden

Keep moving the hoe around the plot and borders to remove any of the weeds which are growing.
Now is a good time to sort through any old seed packets you may have, if you find you’ve got some which are more than two years old throw them away, as these seed will have lost a lot of their viability to germinate and develop
If like where I live, the days are still on the mild side and the grass is still growing, lift up the height of the cut on the mower and give the grass a cut to keep it looking tidy.
 

Rake up any fallen leaves and make up some leafmould for next year, this can be done two different ways depending on what room you have got in the garden. If like me you have got an area at the bottom of the garden, you could put in four posts and nail some chicken wire around them, this will help to keep the leaves from blowing around the garden, as you add the leaves to the heap give them a good water to help them to start breaking down. 
The other way you can do this is to fill up some old compost bags give the leaves a good watering tie the top of the bags then make sure there is a couple of holes in the bottom for drainage, put them to one side until next year. I have used both methods and have found them to both work well. 
Reported by Ed Gent  
   
 

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