Petersham Nurseries Head of Horticulture Thomas Broom-Hughes and his deputy Amanda Brame on the 10 things you should do to your garden in Autumn...
1. Mulch vegetable beds and herbaceous borders; this will benefit the texture and structure of the soil, so your plants will be stronger the following season.
2. Now is the time to start sowing hardy annual flowers, such as Nigella, Ammi Majus, Sweet Rocket and Cornflowers. In the vegetable patch, sow spring onions and oriental leaves, which will overwinter and produce an early crop in spring
3. Sow winter hardy green manures (Field Clover, Hungarian Rye Grass, and Winter Tares) to keep your vegetable plot covered for the winter.
4. Plant spring flowering bulbs in borders and containers. Narcissus, Alliums and other bulbs can be planted now. Tulip bulbs should be planted in November once the soil temperature has cooled down.
5. Continue to deadhead Dahlias, to prolong flowering until the first frosts. Repeat-flowering roses can also be deadheaded now, for an October flush of flowers (unless you want to enjoy the rosehips!).
6. Continue to harvest potatoes, squash, courgettes, fennel etc. Harvest the last beans and cut down foliage, leaving the roots in the soil to release nitrogen into the soil for next year's brassica crop.
7. Rake leaf litter from lawns and borders, to make homemade leaf mould - an excellent soil improver.
8. Continue to water container plants, to ensure that they do not dry out.
9. Plant soft fruit whilst the ground is still warm, to establish a good root system for a strong, healthy crop next year.
10. Plant up Autumn/Winter containers, to provide colour throughout the colder months. Evergreen shrubs, Hellebores and Skimmias, Cyclamen and winter flowering Violas make great displays, lasting until early spring.
Source: House & Garden