Your top jobs checklist
It’s important to keep the garden healthy now, says Ruth
IDON’T know about you, but at this time of year all I want to do is snuggle down in the warmth with a good book or decent TV series and ignore the deepening cold and wet outside. I don’t have that luxury, however, because the garden is calling and there are still jobs to be done.
Many autumn tasks are to do with tidying and pruning. One of my main annual ones is cutting back a mature weeping pear (Pyrus salicifolia ‘Pendula’) that turns into a beautiful, silver-green fountain of foliage in summer.
Pruning keeps it shapely and robust and also allows more light through to the little cyclamen now flowering underneath.
If you compost your tree cuttings, break them up into small pieces and turn your compost regularly to accelerate the breaking-down process.
Trees and shrubs feature heavily at this time of year. Pruning, moving and planting can all be done now.
One of the most important jobs if you have fruit trees is to place sticky bands or barrier grease around their trunks. This should be done by the end of this month, before adult moths start to emerge in November.
The insects you are guarding against are winter moths, including the mottled umber and March moth, whose caterpillars can cause immense damage to leaf shoots, blossom and fruitlets. Grease bands and sticky traps attached to tree trunks stop adult female moths, which are wingless, from climbing the trees during winter and early spring and laying their eggs. Keep the bands sticky and free of debris from now until April when the adults die off. Sticky bands and pots of grease are widely available from garden centres and online.
Tidy up deciduous trees that have grown out of shape
Keep turning compost to keep it healthy