• 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
Agapanthus flower

Protect agapanthus from frost


Fruit and veg


Protect onions, garlic and shallots with fleece


  • 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
Fixing bubble wrap to the greenhouse frame

Bubble wrap makes excellent insulation for greehouses


Garden maintenance

  • Check bonfires carefully before lighting to make sure no hedgehogs or other wildlife are sheltering inside
  • Continue to mow the lawn in mild spells if the grass is still growing, but raise the height of the blades
  • Collect fallen leaves and place in bin bags, then leave to decompose into leaf mould
  • Look after garden wildlife as winter approaches, by providing additional food and shelter
  • Move worm compost bins under cover for the winter
  • Chop up any faded bedding plants, annuals and old crops, and add to the compost bin
  • Start pruning free-standing apple and pear trees once dormant, to control their size and encourage fruiting
  • Repair fences and trellis now they're becoming free of foliage
  • Remove pond pumps and fountains to prevent ice damage when temperatures fall below freezing
  • Wrap bubble polythene or hessian around pots to protect from frost damage and to insulate vulnerable plant roots
  • Put waterproof covers over any garden furniture that you can't take indoors over winter
  • Wrap insulating foam around outdoor taps and pipes
  • Clean out and scrub bird feeders regularly to maintain hygiene
Cleaning a bird feeder

Give bird feeders a good clean

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