October 4, 2008

Things to Do This Week

If we get an autumn drought, water trees and shrubs, which are producing next year's buds.

Autumn leaves composted separately to kitchen waste produce valuable mulch.

If your soil needs improving buy a bale of hay and dig it in.

Plant out spring-bedding perennials such as wallflowers and forget-me-nots by the month's end on heavy soil.

Lift and store chrysanthemums, also dahlias, above, after cutting back to 4in.

Lift, split and replant clumps of perennials which have become congested.

Cut back the tallest stems of quick-growing shrubs such as lavatera, above right, and buddleia by a third.

Aerate your lawn with a fork to encourage air flow and drainage and deter moss.

Continue to harvest beetroot, sweetcorn and onions.

Plant broad beans directly into the soil.

Pick any unripened fruit from outdoor tomatoes, below, and compost the plants.

Take cuttings of conifers and evergreen trees and shrubs and root them in a propagator.

Protect tender plants such as gunnera with a layer of straw.

Sweep up and stack fallen leaves to rot down into leaf mould.

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