DON’T cut off the flowerheads of ornamental grasses. These will provide winter interest.
•Remove and destroy any Nicotiana (tobacco plants) showing signs of downy mildew. This shows up as yellowish blotches on the upper surface of the leaves.
•Earwigs can make Dahlia blooms ragged. Set traps to reduce damage.
•Hebes and lavenders can be given a light prune after flowering.
•Give hedges a final trim over now. They will only grow a little before cold weather stops growth.
•Hyacinths, Paperwhite daffodils, freesias, and Lachenalia corms can be planted in bowls now to achieve flowers for Christmas. Once they have put on 2.5cm (1in) growth, they can be taken into a cool room, only to be brought into a warm room in time to flower for the festive period. Bulbs sold as “prepared” can be forced by plunging the planted bowls in a cold, dark place for a few months, then bringing them straight inside to flower.
•Lawns on thin soils may benefit from a high phosphate feed. This will strengthen the roots for winter, rather than encouraging lush top growth that could suffer in the cold and weaken the grass.
•Dig over any areas due to be grassed over later in the year. Leave them for a few weeks to allow weeds to re-emerge, and then spray with a weedkiller or hoe off to ensure thorough weed clearance before seeding or laying turf in the autumn.
•Keep picking runner beans daily and sow late salad crops, such as winter hardy spring onion White Lisbon and cold-tolerant lettuce.