Garden designer Kathy Vivian suggests the key jobs to do in the garden now
BRIGHT autumn leaves and berries add colour to our surroundings as the weather turns gloomier. If you don’t have autumn colour in your own garden and you have enough space, look at gardens in your neighbourhood for ideas of trees and shrubs you could grow.
Cotinus (smoke bush) has good autumn colour and there are many acers looking good now. Trees and shrubs with berries, such as cotoneaster and pyracantha, can also provide food for birds.
Rowans and crab apples are reasonably small trees that produce attractive fruit, but do check the final height and spread of a tree before choosing a variety for your garden.
This is a good time to plant container-grown shrubs and trees while the soil is still warm. Other things to think about: Finish planting out your winter/ spring bedding.
If you didn’t plant spring bulbs last month, there is still time. They may flower a little later during the first year, but will be unharmed. Tulip bulbs can also be planted from the end of October.
Cut down any perennials that have finished flowering to keep the garden tidy.
If you need to move any evergreen shrubs, now is the best time to do it.
Lawns can be mown less frequently now. Any bare patches can be reseeded while the soil is still warm.
Fungal diseases such as mildew and blackspot are a problem now. Put diseased material in your local authority green waste recycling bin rather than your home compost bin. Local authority composting reaches higher temperatures than can be achieved in our gardens, killing the disease spores.
Rake up fallen leaves from lawns and either add to your compost heap or store separately in a heap or bags.
Leaves take about two years to rot down but will produce crumbly leaf mould, which makes great mulch for your garden.
Kathy Vivian is a local garden designer with an interest in gardening to attract beneficial wildlife.
See www.kathyviviangarden design.com or KathyVivgarden on Facebook and Twitter. Kathy also writes a regular blog on her website.