WHAT TO DO NOW

Essex Life - - GARDEN MASTERCLASS -

Plant spring-flow­er­ing cro­cuses and daf­fodils in holes three times the depth of the bulbs. For a nat­u­ral look scat­ter ran­domly over the soil as op­posed to plant­ing in reg­i­mented lines. When plant­ing in lawns it’s eas­ier to lift a whole sec­tion of turf cut­ting an X in the grass with a spade and peel­ing back the turf to ex­pose the soil. Come spring the bulbs will grow up through.

Buy tulip bulbs now while the best range is avail­able, but keep in the shed for plant­ing in Novem­ber. When the leaves of pump­kins wilt they’re ready to har­vest. Cut the stems a few inches on ei­ther side of their stalks, as when this T-shaped han­dle dries and falls away it en­sures the stalks are sealed and the gourds keep into win­ter. Store in a bright, frost-free place, turn­ing the fruits to en­sure all parts are in the sun.

To­wards the end of the month re­place pots of sum­mer-bed­ding with win­ter pan­sies, prim­u­las and cy­cla­men. While it’s hard to con­sign sum­mer flow­ers to the com­post, the ear­lier win­ter blooms es­tab­lish in the au­tumn the bet­ter they’ll be. On warm days leave green­house win­dows and doors open to re­duce the build-up of mould and mildew.

If you do just one job…

Give porches, cold-frames and green­houses a good au­tumn clean sweep­ing down the glass be­fore they’re filled with ten­der plants.

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