First off , protect half-hardy plants with fleece or bring them into a frost-free greenhouse.

The end of October is a good time to prune overhanging plants a er flowering, clear pathways and tidy up shrubs and trees that need a bit of shaping. Now is the time to move anything that needs to be transplanted.

Clear up fallen leaves around the garden and tie in climbing plants.

Give the lawn its last mowing and neaten up those edges ready for next year. Aerate the lawn with a garden fork a er raking the thatch from the surface and repair any bare patches. This is a good time of year for laying turf too.

Autumn is the perfect month to plant spring-flowering and hardy summer-flowering bulbs such as da odils, crocus, hyacinths, lilies, alliums and crocosmia. Plant tulips in November.

In the fruit and vegetable garden protect the plants that are still in the ground. Now is the time to construct cloches to cover crops such as chard and winter salads that are to stay
in the ground over winter. Root crops should be li ed out of the soil and stored in a cool frost- free shed if they are to remain in good condition for eating over winter.

October and November are the best times to plant garlic. Split a bulb into individual cloves and plant them 10cm deep and 15cm apart. Each clove will grow into a new bulb of garlic by July next year. It’s best to buy from the garden centre rather than the supermarket.

Broad beans and hardy peas can be sown now. They should germinate quickly and produce small plants that will overwinter. Sow the seed into pots and keep them in an unheated greenhouse or polytunnel. Plant the seedlings into their final position in March.

New fruit trees and bushes can be planted from October right through the winter months as long as the soil is not frozen. Young fruit trees need careful pruning to ensure they have a good framework for branches that will bear heavy crops in the future.

Improve your soil in all the borders.

For almost any type of soil the best thing you can do is add well rotted organic matter such as leafmould, degraded manure, mushroom compost……the list goes on. This can either be dug into the soil or applied to the surface as a thick mulch which will help to protect the soil from the worst of the winter weather. During the winter months earthworms will get to work in the organic matter helping to mix it into the soil ready for sowing seeds in the spring.

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