Gardener  planting a seedling
Jobs to do this month


  • Plant tulip bulbs in pots and borders, covering them with at least twice their depth of soil or compost

  • Lift dahlia tubers after the first frost, clean them off and store in dry compost in a cool, frost-proof place

  • Send off for seed catalogues and start planning what to grow next year

  • Plant bare-root hedging, roses, trees and shrubs, before the weather turns really cold

  • Clear faded sweet peas, morning glory, thunbergia and other annual climbers from their supports

  • Cut down faded perennials that are looking tatty, then mulch the surrounding soil with garden compost

  • Plant a Japanese maple in a pot and place in a sheltered spot in semi-shade 

  • Gather up and bin the fallen leaves of roses affected by blackspot, so they don't carry the disease over to next year

  • Move containers of alpine plants under cover to shelter them from winter rain

  • Protect plants that are borderline hardy, such as agapanthus, with a thick mulch of straw or garden compost

  • Replenish gravel mulch around alpines to keep the foliage clear of damp soil, which can cause rotting

  • Put stem protection guards around young trees and shrubs, if rabbits are a problem

  • Sow seeds from berry-laden trees and shrubs

Fruit and veg

  • Take hardwood cuttings from healthy fruit bushes, including currants, blueberries and gooseberries

  • Use cloches to protect winter peas, beans and salads, but leave the ends open as good ventilation is vital

  • Prune autumn-fruiting raspberries to the ground after harvesting

  • Plant garlic, shallots and onions in free-draining soil or raised beds, then cover with fleece

  • Prune fruit bushes once dormant, including blackcurrants, redcurrants, whitecurrants and gooseberries

  • Support top-heavy Brussels sprouts with sturdy canes, and pile earth up around the stems for extra stability

  • Cut down Jerusalem artichokes, then dig up and store the tubers in a bucket of dry compost

  • Put netting over cabbages, kale and other hardy brassicas to protect them from pigeons

  • Plant bare-root fruit trees, bushes and canes, as long as the ground isn't too wet

  • Check stored crops for signs of rot or deterioration

  • Lift and pot up chicory roots to force in the dark

  • Tidy up strawberry beds, cutting back old foliage and congested runners and removing any weeds


  • Insulate the greenhouse walls and roof with bubble polythene

  • Make sure all tender plants are safely under cover and kept frost free

  • Propagate perennials, including phlox, oriental poppies and verbascums, by taking root cuttings

  • Sow leafy crops such as rocket into small seed trays on a warm sunny windowsill, for winter pickings

  • Check greenhouse plants regularly for overwintering pests

  • Scrub down greenhouse staging, glazing and the framework with disinfectant

  • Water indoor pots of spring bulbs frequently so they never dry out

  • Wash out all empty pots and trays and store neatly under greenhouse staging, ready for use in spring

  • Bring potted herbs, such as parley and chives, indoors to continue cropping into winter

  • Monitor greenhouse temperatures with a max-min thermometer and turn on heating if needed

  • Avoid splashing foliage when watering, as it will dry slowly in cool weather and fungal diseases may set in 

  • Clear out faded tomato and cucumber plants from the greenhouse and add to the compost heap

  • Give houseplants extra humidity to combat the drying effects of central heating

With thanks to BBC Gardeners' World.