Welcome to the latest 10 minute gardener, looking at quick autumn gardening jobs you can fit into a busy schedule.
We’re heading towards the quietest time on the gardening calendar, when light is limited, most plants are dormant and the weather isn’t exactly tempting us outside. We’re not quite there yet though; there are still some garden jobs that you can do now to help protect your garden over winter and bring it to life earlier next spring. Here are some ten minute autumn gardening jobs to keep you busy.
Raise containers off the ground
Leaving containers on the ground makes them more likely to get waterlogged, and most plants hate sitting in cold water over the winter. Raise pots off the ground by using bricks or ‘pot feet’, to help excess water drain away.
There’s no getting away from it; the big leaf drop is upon us. Stay on top of fallen leaves now and you’ll avoid piles of slippery gunk later. And consider making leaf mould – it’s a brilliant mulch for your plants, it’s really easy to do and doesn’t have to take up much space in the garden.
Sow sweet peas
Sweet peas can be sown from October to March, but sowing them now gives you a better chance of strong healthy plants come spring. Once seeds have germinated and the seedlings have established themselves you can put them in a sheltered spot, a cold frame or an unheated greenhouse for the winter.
Tidy up your greenhouse
If you have a greenhouse, this is the ideal time to give it a good clearout. Empty pots and remove old compost and plants; this helps to avoid unwanted pests. It’s also a good idea to give the glass a wash with a very dilute washing up liquid solution; you’ll be amazed at the difference this makes to how much light gets in, and this is really important if you’re storing tender plants in there over winter.
Amaryllis are indoor plants and give a fantastic display of colour in the depths of winter, they also make lovely gifts. The bulbs can be planted from October to January, and flower 6-8 weeks after planting. Plant them in multipurpose compost in a pot slightly larger than the bulb, with two thirds of the bulb above the surface of the compost. Put the pot in a warm, well-lit spot and water sparingly until you see new leaves, after which you need to water regularly. You may need to keep turning the pot to stop the stalk growing towards the light.
Despite things slowing down in the garden this month, I haven’t managed any of these jobs yet this season – I think I need to get out there! What autumn gardening jobs are you planning this month?