Jobs to do this month

Flowers

  • Sow hardy annuals, such as cerinthes, ammi, scabiosa and cornflowers, for flowers early next summer

  • Lift gladioli corms, dry them off, then store in a frost-free shed or garage over winter

  • Plant wallflowers, pansies, forget-me-nots and other spring bedding in pots and borders

  • Collect ripe seeds from your favourite flowers and store in labelled envelopes, ready to sow in spring

  • Plant up containers for autumn interest, using cyclamen, heathers, heucheras and other colourful bedding plants

  • Bring any houseplants that you moved outside over summer back indoors, before temperatures start to drop

  • Lift, divide and replant congested clumps of perennials, such as achilleas, once they finish flowering

  • Apply vine weevil control to pots if plants show the tell-tale sign of notched leaf margins

  • Fill any gaps with late-flowering perennials, such as sedums, to provide nectar for pollinating insects into autumn

  • Plant spring bulbs, including crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths, bluebells and snake's-head fritillaries in pots and borders

  • Take cuttings from fuchsias, salvias and pelargoniums

  • Keep summer bedding flowering in hanging baskets and pots until the first frosts by deadheading and feeding regularly

  • Trim conifer hedges to neaten them up and control height

  • Leave sunflower seedheads in place for birds to feed on

Fruit and veg

  • Sow hardy greens, such as kale, land cress, pak choi, mizuna, lamb's lettuce and mustard, for winter pickings

  • Prune out all the fruited canes of summer raspberries, cutting down to the base, and tie in new canes to supports

  • Pot up herbs, such as chives and parsley, and place on a sunny windowsill to use during winter

  • Start sowing hardy varieties of broad beans and peas for early crops next year

  • Plant onion and shallot sets in a sunny spot, 10cm apart, with the tip just showing above the soil

  • Cut away any leaves covering the fruits of pumpkins, squash and marrows to help the skins ripen in the sun

  • Plant saffron crocus bulbs (Crocus sativus), so you can harvest your own saffron 

  • Pick apples and pears before the wind blows them down, and store undamaged fruits if you can't eat them fresh

  • Store chillies by threading the stalks onto strong cotton or wire and hanging up to dry somewhere warm and dry

  • Cut off trusses of unripe outdoor tomatoes before the weather turns cold, then ripen them indoors

  • Lift maincrop potatoes, dry off and store in hessian or paper sacks, in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place

  • Complete summer pruning of both free-standing and trained apple trees, to encourage good fruiting in future years

Greenhouse

  • Plant prepared hyacinth bulbs in pots or hyacinth glasses, for fragrant indoor flowers at Christmas

  • Take down greenhouse shade netting or wash off shading paint by the end of the month, as light levels start to fall

  • Stay vigilant for pests and diseases in the greenhouse, and treat any you find immediately

  • Plant dwarf spring bulbs in pots, including irises, crocuses, chionodoxa and scilla, for early flowers

  • Pot up tender perennials, such as fuchsias and osteospermum, from summer displays and bring indoors before temperatures drop

  • Repot moth orchids after flowering if they look like they're about to burst out of their pot

  • Water houseplants less frequently and move them off particularly cold windowsills at night

  • Plant hippeastrum (amaryllis) bulbs in pots for spectacular flowers over the festive season

  • Plant Anemone De Caen corms for a vibrant indoor display in early spring

  • Pay close attention to greenhouse ventilation, shutting vents on cool nights

  • Check greenhouse heaters are in good working order

  • Maintain good plant hygiene, picking off faded blooms and dead leaves before fungal diseases can take hold

  • Look out for forecasts of early frosts and be ready to bring tender potted plants under cover

  • Move potted peaches and nectarines into a cool greenhouse or porch

With thanks to BBC Gardeners' World.

©2019 by Gilnahirk Horticultural and Civic Society. Stye Brae Centre, Gilnahirk Road, Belfast. Find out more: gilnahirkhacs@outlook.com

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