Keep your Camellias and Rhododendrons well watered at this time of year to ensure that next year's buds develop well.
In the vegetable garden
Keep harvesting crops. If you have a glut of fruit and veg try freezing, drying, pickling, and storing so that you can benefit from them later on. Take a look at our recipes page for ideas on what to make with your produce!
It's important to pinch out your cordon tomato plants now if you haven't already done so. This will concentrate the plant's energy into producing ripe fruits.
To test if sweetcorn is ready, pinch a kernel - it will release a milky sap when ripe. If the kernels are starchy you've left it too late, if they're watery they need a little longer to ripen!
Pull or cut off the foliage of maincrop potatoes at ground level 3 weeks before lifting them to prevent blight spores infecting the tubers as you lift them. This will also help to firm the skins of the potatoes.
Spread newly dug potatoes out to dry for a few hours before storing them in in a cool dark place. Store them in paper or hessian sacks as this will allow the crop to breathe while it is in storage. Only store undamaged, disease free tubers - one rotten potato can ruin your whole crop!
Help your pumpkins ripen in time for Halloween by removing any leaves shadowing the fruits.
Place pumpkins and squashes on a piece of slate or wood to raise them off the wet soil and prevent rotting.
Keep feeding and watering French and runner beans to make the most of them. Continue harvesting little and often to prevent them setting seed.
Start the autumn cleanup. Remove any old crops that have finished and clear away weeds to leave your plot clean and tidy for the winter.
When beans and peas finish cropping simply cut the plant away at ground level, leaving the roots in the soil. These crops fix nitrogen which is slowly released into the soil as the roots break down.
Pot up some mint and parsley for the kitchen windowsill, to use through the winter.
Empty pots - old compost and decaying plant material can harbour unwanted pests in your greenhouse and provide ideal shelter for them over winter. Clean out your greenhouse to reduce the risk of pests and diseases next year.
Dont forget to remove the shading from your greenhouse towards the end of the month so that your plants receive the maximum amount of light.
Water early on in the day so the greenhouse is dry by the evening. Damp, cool nights can encourage botrytis.
Close vents and doors late in the afternoon to help trap in heat overnight. This will ensure your plants crop for as long as possible.
Looking after your lawn
Create a new lawn from turf or seed - autumn weather is favourable for good lawn establishment.
Raise the height of your mower blades as grass growth slows down.
Now is a good time to carry out essential lawn maintenance to avoid waterlogging and compaction. Try aerating your lawn with a garden fork, removing thatch from the surface with a rake and repairing dead patches. Use a specialist lawn scarifier if you have a large area to cover.
Apply a special lawn top-dressing after carrying out maintenance work. Follow the instructions on the packet carefully.
You can feed your lawn with an autumn fertiliser now, which is rich in potassium and low in nitrogen.
Now is the perfect time to use a biological control (nematodes) if you suspect damage from lawn chafers or leatherjackets.
From your armchair
Make rough sketches of your flower borders and vegetable plot to help plan for next year. Reflect on what worked and what didn't!
Think about which bulbs you would like for next spring - now is the time to order ready for autumn planting.
Other jobs about the garden
If you have clay soil, now is the best time to improve it before it becomes too wet or frozen. Incorporate organic matter and/or horticultural grit.
Sow green manures such as mustard, clover and rye grass on uncultivated areas to improve soil and keep weeds down over winter.
Create compost bins in preparation for all the fallen leaves and dead plant material which you'll be collecting over the coming months. Autumn leaves make a great addition to compost bins and are ideal for making leaf mould.
Dispose of diseased plant material by burning it or putting it in with your household waste. Dont compost it as the spores may remain in the compost and reinfect your plants.
Raise pots off the ground for the winter by using bricks or 'pot feet', to prevent waterlogging.
Clear pond weeds and net your pond in anticipation of autumn leaf fall.
Perennial weeds are more vulnerable to weedkillers in the autumn. Use a glyphosate-based weedkiller to kill both the leaves and roots.
Install water butts to collect rain this autumn and winter. Rain water is great for watering ericaceous plants such as blueberries, Rhododendrons and Camellias.