Trees, Shrubs and Roses
The planting period for trees, shrubs, hedges and roses will soon be starting again and if you wish to plant any of these, the ground should be prepared now by digging or cultivation to bury grass and weeds, or the application of Roundup or similar product to kill existing vegetation. Water any young shrub or tree that show signs of drought after a spell of dry weather. Water and feed camellias and rhododendrons in pots.
Some of the late flowers such as montbretia, rudbeckia, helenium and helianthemum make a significant contribution to extending the season. Make a note of areas of borders or beds that would benefit from an injection of late colour and remedy this next month. Keep up watering and feeding of baskets and other containers. Control weeds which are likely to be present especially if the summer weather was wet.
Grass growth is usually quite good at this period and this offers an opportunity to get the lawn in good condition for winter. Maintain regular mowing to create a tight sward that will compete with lawn moss. If moss is already present, consider a lawn moss killer now. Apply an autumn lawn fertilizer to provide a boost to growth and encourage good growth for winter.
Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs
Apples, plums and autumn raspberries are ready to use and many vegetables too. Remove apples or pears attacked by wasps, including windfalls, to avoid more damage.Green manures, such as vetch, rye grass or phacelia, can be soon now to grow over winter and be dug in in spring. They help to keep nutrients in the soil and improve fertiliy and soil structure.Remove the tops of potato plants if potato blight has arrived. Some old crops have gone over and should be removed. Herbs can be frozen or picked and dried for winter use. Freezing is very good for french tarragon and basil.Cherry trees that have cropped can have some of the strong young shoots pruned back leaving any spurs of fat buds to carry flower next year.
Greenhouse and House Plants
Greenhouse grapes are ready for picking and this is the worst time to lose them to rots. Check the bunches each day to spot the first berries rotting and remove them together with a few others to allow air to access the remainder. Remove leaves close by for the same reason. Stop all feeding of greenhouse and house plants and ease off on watering, except for winter flowering plants such as winter cherry and azalea.