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Remove suckers from roses, fruit trees and other plants. Cut them off as close to the root system as possible. If the weather has been poor, your lawn will be receiving its first cut - don't forget to trim the edges. Use the cuttings to mulch lilacs, which will help prevent suckers. Pests are now starting to appear. Start to control slugs and snails by putting your slug pubs in place. Look under pots for these pests and remove them. Remove aphids and greenfly from plants, checking roses, fruit bushes and broad beans weekly. If the weather has been dry, make sure your plants and seeds have enough water. If you have applied mulches, you will need to apply enough water to penetrate beneath the mulch, which will also water the mulch and help to retain the moisture. Feed plants with a quick-acting fertiliser or liquid feed.

Buy equipment from The Potting Shed at Thompson and Morgan.


The real battle against aphids, slugs and snails will have begun in earnest. Aphids are easy to spot and can be removed by hand - use thin gloves if squeamish. Keep your slug pubs cleaned out and topped up. You can also look for slugs and snails in the evening and don't forget to look under pots. If you have hens or ducks they'll appreciate the extra food! Perennials will need staking now. Some will benefit from a framework that they can grow through which they'll soon cover. Tie in the shoots of climbing plants where they require assistance. Continue weeding and don't forget the patio and driveway. A good patio knife can make this job a lot quicker.


This is the most pleasant time of year to get out and get stuck into the outstanding construction and maintenance jobs around the garden – concreting, paving, wall building etc. Repair greenhouses as required and paint wooden structures and wooden garden furniture with a good wood preservative – it's just like getting new garden furniture as you transform it from its sad dowdy appearance to almost new. It's good to get into the routine of having a purposeful walk around the garden each week and remove any dead flower heads and clear out vegetables which have finished cropping. Holidays must be taken despite the keen gardeners reluctance to leave his or her pride and joy and it is inevitable that some plants will suffer while you are away – in an ideal world a neighbour or family member will be able to call in or better still house/garden sit for you while you are away. Encourage the good Samaritan to help themselves to as much of your produce as they want – things like beans, courgettes and sweet peas will stop producing if they are not cropped regularly so the more they take the more you will get on your return. If there is no one to help you out then the greenhouse will be your biggest worry and it would be wise to invest in an automatic watering system of some sort – either drip feed or spray watering via either mains or a large water tank if disaster is to be avoided. Or stay at home of course.


This month is the ideal time to take any cuttings from shrubs, heathers, hydrangeas, geraniums and fuchsias.

Buy equipment from The Potting Shed at Thompson and Morgan.


Clear beds and pots of any remains of crops and if you have time dig over the beds, removing any weeds as you go. Remember to order your seeds, shrubs, bulbs etc. before choice is limited. Take cuttings of hydrangeas and geraniums. Check your greenhouse heaters are in good working order before you need to use them. Clear out gutters and drains before the autumn leaf fall causes further problems with blockages.


Any spare time at this time of year will probably have to be spent rounding up fallen leaves which can be quite damaging if allowed to lie thickly on such things as alpine plants and lawns. Modern leaf blowerrs or garden vacuums are fantastic for taking the slog out of this annual chore - they even mulch the leaves to help them rot down in your compost bin. Garden ponds will need protection by covering with netting to prevent rotting leaves souring the water.


Any tender plants such as fuchsias, begonias, pelargoniums and geraniums should be lifted. Dig over any empty ground or fork between plants. Plant trees, shrubs and roses, soaking roots in a bucket of water before planting. If too frosty to plant, separate the roots and lay at an angle in a trench, covering with soil and heeling in. Clear up fallen leaves and reduce dry stems but do not cut down to ground level until Spring.

Buy equipment from The Potting Shed at Thompson and Morgan.


Keep an eye on greenhouses and coldframes and if mice droppings are seen, set some traps. Any fruit or vegetables that you are storing outside should be checked for damage and brought into the house if possible or stored in a frost free shed. Leaf mould applied around the base of trees and shrubs will help to protect against frost. Azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias will benefit from this. Arum lilies grown in borders appreciate a covering of a mixture of peat and leaf mould especially once they start to grow, as a sharp frost can damage new shoots. Continue to keep the garden tidy and lag any water pipes if possible.


Order as many items as possible ready for Spring - bulbs, onion sets, seeds, plants, plant labels, containers, sticks and fertiliser. Check tools and machinery are in good condition and maintain or replace as required. Wash seed trays and pots and treat woodwork with a preservative.


If you are lucky enough to have taken over a new garden then take stock of what is growing - what looks as if it is thriving and what is suffering - before you undertake any major work or start to design your ideal garden. Of particular importance is a soil test to establish the Ph of your soil in several places in the garden so that you know with some certainty which plants will thrive in your new garden.

Buy equipment from The Potting Shed at Thompson and Morgan.


All digging should be completed this month if at all possible. Paths and driveways should be cleaned of moss and weeds removed. Check stakes and ties are secure. Apply preservative to sheds, fencing and wooden furniture when the wood is dry. Top up your slug pubs especially next to delphiniums and sweet peas.


Hoe beds to remove weeds and apply a mulch. Tender plants that have been affected by frost need to thaw out gradually. To achieve this, cover them with paper or spray with cold water. Seedlings such as tomato plants and dahlias need to be ordered.

General gardening information, hints and tips on all those little jobs that need doing throughout the gardening year in your garden.