Your new lawn is ready to be sown if you did the preparation last month. Time to exercise those muscles with some digging, rotovating and working manure into the borders. There are spring bulbs to be planted and seeds to be collected.
Many seeds will keep happily in brown envelopes somewhere dry and cool, for sowing next year. Time to tidy up and hoe out weeds, stake dahlias and take cuttings. There are plenty of tender perennials that, having been grown as summer annuals, all too often get dug up and consigned to the compost heap. Marguerites, osteospermums, fuchsias, pelargoniums to name a few can provide cuttings which can be potted, put into a cold frame to harden off and then brought indoors before the first frosts. Kept inside through the winter you can have young plants next spring to plant out in May to June.
Violas and pansies that you cut back last month will also provide cuttings. You can pot up fuchsias too that have been in used in hanging baskets. Keep them in a cool room with plenty of light – the conservatory would be good or a heated greenhouse. Cuttings of evergreen shrubs, pulled off with a ‘heel’ or cut closely below a joint can be inserted in sandy soil. You can help them along by covering with a glass lidded frame and keep them lightly watered.
Dig over borders and plant new perennials, working in some organic fertiliser throughout the border. Divide older perennials like Sedum and Achillea. Plant bulbs and corms on fairly rich, well worked soil but not dressed with animal manure. They will, however, like a feed of bone meal in the preparation of the bed.
- Take cuttings of calceolarias, penstemons, verbenas, zonal pelargoniums, antirrhinums, violets
- Root cuttings of privet, laurel, rosemary, lavender, thyme and sage in sandy soil
- Pot lilies for the cold greenhouse or unheated frame
- Plant spring bulbs, daffodils, crocuses, alliums, Anemone blanda, Fritillaria
- Plant tulips later – early November, to protect them from slug damage and fungus
- Sow hardy annuals to flower next year, alyssum, Calendula, candytuft, clarkia, coreopsis, godetia, larkspur, Shirley poppies
- Pot on primulas and calceolarias growing under glass
- Plant rooted carnations pegged down in late July
- Plant summer bulbs, galtonias, camassias
- Shelter tender greenhouse plants
- Force hyacinths indoors