Autumn is here, the leaves have changed colour and are falling fast. Make sure you collect them regularly, much easier than leaving them until they are all down. Inevitably it will be too wet to collect them! Lawns tend to keep growing so cut them if necessary but not too short. Once you have finished with mowing (hopefully|), check your mower, clean it and perhaps book it in for a service during the quieter months. Also try not too walk on lawns when they are very wet or frosty.
Plant any remaining bulbs as soon as possible. Lily bulbs will be available now and can also be planted. If in pots, plant them deeply on a layer of sand to help with drainage. With several pots planted, you can move them into spaces that need a bit more colour, next summer.
When tidying the borders, leave tender plants such as Fuchsias and Penstemons until the Spring. Give them a covering of mulch to protect them from frosts. Once Dahlias, Cannas etc. have either been blackened by frost or just dried back, remove them from the garden or pots, dry off and store in a frost free shed or greenhouse. If you have some chippings or home made compost a good layer of mulch will help to condition the soil and keep down the weeds. Stop feeding any plants or shrubs outside as they will encourage more soft growth which will be damaged by the cold. Make sure that any tender plants are under cover. If they are too large and in pots, try storing them under a patio table, or put heavy weight fleece around them. If you have a greenhouse and are storing tender plants like pelargoniums and fuchsias, check them regularly for grey mould and remove any dead leaves. Keep them fairly dry to prevent this happening.
Pruning and renovating of hedges, shrubs and trees can be undertaken now as long as it isn’t too frosty or wet but not anything in the Prunus family – plums, cherries, etc as this can cause silver leaf disease. Prune apples, pears, quince or medlar, also red and white currants and gooseberries. If planting any new shrubs etc, add some horse manure or compost. Over wintering broad beans can be planted either outside or in modules in the cold frame. Garlic can also be planted now.
Don’t forget the birds as the temperature drops, give them plenty of fresh water and food and they will reward you by gobbling up insect pests.