There’s plenty of jobs you can do in the garden this weekend, as autumn starts to take hold.
• This is a good time to plant new perennials, as the soil is still warm, but moisture levels are increasing.
• Continue cutting back perennials that are fading and dying down - collect and store seeds.
• Wait for the first frosts to hit Dahlias and Cannas before lifting the tubers or rhizomes.
• Plant and move shrubs and trees.
• Climbing roses can be pruned once they have finished flowering; sideshoots from the main branches can be cut back to a couple of buds. Any dead, diseased or spindly growth should be cut out and new young shoots tied in to the supports, from the base. If there is an old, thick and woody, unproductive stem, it can be removed from the base to stimulate more vigorous growth.
• Clear dead leaves promptly once they start to fall, as they can be a source of disease. They are useful on the compost heap and can be shredded with a shredder or mulching mower, to help them break down quicker. It is vital to throw out or destroy affected leaves.
• When bringing plants indoors, check carefully for any pests and diseases they may have picked up outside, in particular red spider mite, mealybug and scale insect. Inspect rootballs and compost for vine weevil larvae and treat where necessary.
• Cover the surface of ponds with netting to stop fallen leaves from entering. Accumulated debris in the pond can encourage growth of algae and weeds, which will eventually harm fish by reducing available oxygen levels. Remove dead leaves from water lilies as the foliage dies back. Divide water lilies and other pond plants to increase stocks. Overgrown marginal plants can be cut back. A maximum of 50 per cent of the water’s surface should be taken up with planting.
• Vegetables to sow now include winter radishes, lettuce and salad leaves, spinach, spring onions, and turnip for its green tops.