Prune pear and apple trees anytime between now and February. But don't be tempted to prune your plum trees now as they will be susceptible to the silver leaf fungus - wait until midsummer.
Apply glue bands or grease bands to the trunks of fruit trees to prevent wingless female winter moths climbing the trunks and laying their eggs in the branches.
Remove the top netting from fruit cages as heavy snow in winter can make it sag.
Check fruits in storage and promptly remove any showing signs of disease or rotting.
In the greenhouse
Replace damaged glass before the worst of the winter weather sets in.
Insulate the greenhouse with sheets of bubble wrap attached to the inside of the frame, to reduce heat loss.
Clean out the greenhouse thoroughly. Wash the glass, the floor and the staging with horticultural disinfectant to kill any overwintering pests and diseases.
Install solar lights in the greenhouse so that you can still get out there on dark winter evenings to check your plants.
Don’t forget to ventilate the greenhouse, particularly after watering and when paraffin heaters are used at night.
As the winter approaches, take special care to not to over water plants that remain in active growth. Little and often is the key.
Looking after your lawn
If you haven't already aerated your lawn, there's still time to do it before winter sets in. You can use either a lawn aerator or simply insert a garden fork at regular intervals and lean it back slightly to let air in.
Continue to clear fallen leaves off the lawn to keep it healthy.
Remember to set your lawn mower to a higher cut-height for winter.
Now your beds are clear, try edging your lawn. Lawn edging creates a neat and tidy appearance and makes maintenance easier.
Try gathering your leaves on to the lawn and mow them with a rotary mower that has a collection box on the back. They will rot down quicker in your compost bins.
Other jobs about the garden
Reuse spent compost from annual container displays as a mulch on the garden.
Create compost bins for collecting fallen leaves and dead plant material.
Build a coldframe to protect plants from the winter weather
Build a cold frame to protect young plants from extreme winter weather.
Collect leaves up for making leaf mould as a soil conditioner. Oak, Alder and Hornbeam will rot down in a year but beech, sycamore, horse chestnut and sweet chestnut will take a couple of years to compost.
Sweep up debris and fallen leaves that harbour overwintering fungal spores and hiding places for slugs and snails.
Start preparing a bonfire with twigs and prunings - cover them with plastic so they remain dry for better burning later. (Make sure you check for hedgehogs before lighting your bonfire)
Net ponds to prevent leaves falling into them. If you need to clear pond weed lay it next to the pond for a day to allow wildlife to escape back to the water.
Clean out water butts and let the autumn rains refill them. Install a new water butt ready for next year.
If the soil is dry, give your garden one last good watering before the ground freezes.
Use the last of the dry weather to paint sheds and fences with preservative before the winter arrives.
Check stored onions and garlic and remove any rotting bulbs immediately. The neck of the bulb is usually the first area to rot. Try using onion bags to improve air flow.
Check stored potatoes and remove any that are rotting. Use Hessian sacks to store your potatoes as this will allow the crop to breathe.
Make time to give evergreen hedges a final trim before the bad weather sets in, so they look neat and tidy for the winter.
Once plants are dormant, it is a good time to lift and relocate any plant that you want to move.
Raise pots off the ground for the winter by using bricks or 'pot feet', to prevent waterlogging.
Take stock of this years garden and make a few notes or sketches for next spring - a digital camera has become an invaluable garden companion - taking snapshots of where herbaceous plants are located before they die back so you don't damage their roots during a winter dig, capturing images of borders you'd like to replicate at home or simply just a memory jog so you remember which areas of the garden look like they need improving. Why not keep a photo diary of your garden with pictures taken each week? Reflect on what grew well, what failed miserably, and what changes you will make next year. You will be surprised at how useful these notes can be when you start ordering seeds and plants for next year!
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