In the garden:
Start to divide herbaceous perennials, making sure you water the clumps well as you plant them. If you haven’t yet got space or the new plants are small, you can plant them in containers to overwinter in a frost-free place.
Amaryllis and hyacinths can be planted now for forcing to have colourful flowers at Christmas time. Plant them in containers with bulb fibre or compost. Put in a layer of fibre and water it before placing the bulbs and filling around them with compost or fibre. The top of the bulbs should just be showing above the growing medium.
Plant spring flowering bulbs like daffodils, crocus, hyacinths and so on. Don’t buy bulbs and hang on to them too long as they often don’t store well – get them into the ground. Natural planting schemes work well for many of these plants, most of which are also good container plants.
Wallflowers, pansies and viola plants can be planted now.
Prune late flowering shrubs.
Climbing and rambling roses can now be pruned. Cut out dead or diseased branches, tie new shoots to their climbing support and cut side shoots that have born flowers back by two-thirds. Keep an eye on the pruned plants and give them a good start to next season by feeding in the spring.
Fruit and veg:
Sweetcorn should be ready now. To check if the cobs are ready squeeze a kernel and pick if a milky sap is released.
Start to clear the ground for autumn by removing crops as they finish. Compost what you can but dispose of diseased plants elsewhere.
Cover brassica plants to protect them from birds. Remember to keep netting taught to avoid trapping birds.
Start planting onion sets and garlic for next year. Putting some nutrition into the ground in the shape of manure or compost will help them get a good start. Both onions and garlic need good drainage.
Rotting fruit on fruit trees can spread disease. Keep checking for and removing bad fruits.
Pick raspberries as they appear. This is another fruit that freezes well if you have a glut and want to enjoy garden fruit in the winter.
Keep an eye on squashes and pumpkins as the weather gets wetter. They may not be ready to be harvested yet and might need protection. Use a piece of wood or slate to keep fruits off the ground.
Clean out your greenhouse. For a deep clean, fumigate it to kill off any pests and diseases. Cold frames can be given a good clean too, ready for use again.
Plant green manures to improve soil condition and keep down weeds. There are a variety of green manure crops. Some will grow very quickly before being dug in, others will last over the winter before being incorporated in the spring before planting your vegetables. Find the right mix for your soil conditions and planting plans.
Any new plants going in will need plenty of watering to support their growth. Inside though, you can start to cut down on the amount of water you’re giving to your houseplants.