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© 2005-2018 David Howlett



Gardening is a fascinating and rewarding hobby or profession. Having said that, there are times when it can also be frustrating!

To the left, you will find a selection of Links that should alleviate disappointments, give you a few ideas and get more from your garden.

The Garden Focus section covers all you will need to develop your garden.

We have long been aware of the many benefits of gardening, keeping us active in both body and mind to name but two. The garden itself benefits us in many other ways and today, one of the most significant benefits is that our gardens have become a vital custodian within the landscape we all live in. A wide range of wildlife is looking to our garden for refuge and even survival. As more of our countryside is built upon the garden can only gain in significance. The Wildlife section looks at a range of ecological issues to help us, as gardeners, lend a hand.


The jobs we should be getting on with,
or at least think about getting on with!

As daylight hours and temperatures decrease the pace of the garden slows down ...but not the jobs that need doing!

Early AutumnEarly AutumnMid AutumnMid AutumnLate AutumnLate Autumn

When is it Autumn for you?
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Ok to prune or dig? Click the cloud!
Whats the weather up to?

I also have a website featuring my paintings - perhaps you might like to visit!


WttG News

Trees, Shrubs and Roses:

Early AutumnThis is the best time of year for planting containerized plants, including evergreens. You can also transplant existing plants providing the soil is moist. Check your climbers and plants growing against supports after gales and secure as required. Continue dead-heading your roses, tie-in climbers and pinch-out blackspot / mildew infected leaves and shoots. Remove aphids. Remove large weeds but consider leaving coverings of freshly germinated weeds, particularly over bare soil. They will protect the structure of the soil surface and help avoid ‘capping’.
Mid AutumnConclude planting containerized plants but protect with screening if the site is exposed. Most conifers should now be pruned. Begin taking hardwood cuttings. Continue with early autumn care of roses, and take cuttings of species roses. Prune by a third long shoots from your roses to help avoid wind-rock. Do not allow new or transplanted plants to dry out.
Late AutumnPrepare for winter by protecting tender plants, (use mesh or fibre sheeting). Take hardwood cuttings. Refer to fruit and vegetable soil preparations.

Herbaceous Perennials, Annuals and Bulbs:

Early AutumnIf unsightly cut back to the ground dead stems and have a general ‘tidy-up’ in the borders. That said, don't be too clean and tidy, there's nothing worse than bare soil and think of our wildlife ...those dead stems will not only provide cover but carry a priceless resource for our birds - SEEDS! Move late flowering Chrysanthemums to the greenhouse and dig up early chrysanthemum to put in a cold-frame or cold greenhouse. Plant border carnations. Remove dead annuals but be careful of seedlings. Plant biennials such as Myosotis, wallflowers, and sweet Williams. Begin planting spring-flowering bulbs such as Narcissi, Anemones, Scillas, Muscari and Iris...and don't forget they also look good in the lawn!
Mid AutumnContinue to tidy borders as necessary. Divide and replant perennials providing they have finished flowering. Lift Chrysanthemums in colder parts of the country and store in cold frames or greenhouses. Bring in or protect other tender plants. Continue planting spring flowering bulbs including snowdrops, crocus and Chionodoxa.
Late Autumn Plant tulips. Divide Lilies. Apply a dressing of potash to the border...that bonfire ash is good! If you live in the colder parts of the UK cut down Dahlias and Gladioli, lift, allow to drain and store somewhere frost-free. Refer to fruit and vegetable soil cultivations.

The Lawn:

Early Autumn Begin to raise the height of cut slightly, put back the grass-box and return to a weekly mowing regime. Providing moist conditions have returned this is a busy month on the lawn! It’s the time of year to give your lawn a bit of TLC! Start by cutting the grass, then scarify, then aerate and then top-dress. If the lawn had looked a little ‘tired’ before you began this work, apply a lawn autumn-feed. Bare patches can also be re-seeded now. This is also the best time of year to create a lawn from seed or turf as well as the time to renovate that worn out lawn! If dry conditions prevail delay this lawn maintenance programme till mid-autumn.
Mid AutumnIncrease the height of cut slightly and keep up the weekly mowing. If making a lawn, turf can still be used but using seed may be a bit risky! Towards the end of mid-autumn increase the height of cut to its final autumn level and look out for frosts.
Late AutumnIf it’s not too wet or no severe frosts forecast, cut the grass as required. Providing it’s not too wet or cold it’s not too late to lay turf.

Fruit and Vegetables:

Early Autumn This is the time of year to be cultivating the soil! Prepare the ground for winter planting ...using a FORK, ‘turn-over’ existing, empty plots to the full depth of the fork, incorporating plenty of organic matter. Prune secondary growth on restricted apples and pears. Cut out the dead wood on fruit trees and bushes apart from stone fruit. Sow winter lettuce and spring cabbage. Earth-up blanching celery, lift onions and continue cropping maincrop potatoes. Keep a look-out for pests and remove as noticed. Remove greenhouse shading.
Mid Autumn Continue winter planting soil preparations. Continue successional winter lettuce sowing. Cover carrots sown in late summer with cloches. Draw soil around Brussels sprouts and pick off yellowing leaves from cabbages. Conclude runner-bean cropping and cut back to the ground - if possible leave the roots in the soil. Dig up maincrop potatoes, Swedes, turnips and carrots. Plant fruit bushes and trees, take hardwood cuttings of currants and gooseberry.
Late Autumn This is the time of year to prepare the ground for planting in the spring. Whether creating a vegetable plot, or shrub border or flower bed...this is the preparations that can make the difference between success or failure! Using a SPADE ...single dig virgin plots, incorporating plenty of  manure/compost to the base of the trench, and when ‘turning-over’ leave in large clods. Elsewhere, continue planting fruiting plants as required. Prune red and white currants and for those with cold and exposed gardens, commence pruning apples and pears. In milder parts sow broad beans and round-seeded peas for a subsequent late spring crop. Check stored potatoes, onions etc. removing any soft or diseased produce if noticed.

The Water Garden:

Early Autumn Falling leaves could become the worst enemy of the pond now. Not only the pond but water features as well. Try not to allow them to sink to the bottom. Check regularly and skim or pick them off. If any have sunk scoop them out. Consider netting the pond if necessary. Divide marginal plants and thin oxygenating plants if they have become matted.
Mid Autumn Continue the fallen leaf patrol! You can still divide marginal's if necessary. Lift tender plants for winter protection. Pull off yellow/dead water lily shoots. Water features should be given protection form frosts or freezing now. If you give your fish living in a well balanced ‘natural’ pond supplementary food reduce the amount given as the temperatures begin to cool.
Late Autumn Check for fallen leaves. Remove dead or decaying leaves from marginal plants and water lilies. As the fish become less active due to lower temperatures reduce their feeding.


Early AutumnContinue watering hanging baskets and containers but reduce to every other day towards mid-autumn. Feed permanent planting with a high potash feed. Continue checking for P & D, dead-heading and tidying. Plant-up permanent containers with climbers, shrubs and bulbs. Plant-up ‘winter’ containers using evergreens, bulbs, pansies, heather etc. Re–pot or top dress permanent plantings. Lift and divide perennials.
Mid AutumnWater as required - particularly new planted containers. Continue planting-up containers for winter. Keep deadheading, tidying, dividing and checking for P & D. Protect tender plantings - bring inside or into a cold greenhouse.
Late Autumn Water only when compost is dry - and then only lightly. Ensure pots and containers are standing clear of the floor and not clogged up with debris. Ensure protection of tender plants left out for the winter months is adequate. Discard summer planted containers such as hanging baskets, when they look exhausted and untidy, (empty on the compost heap). Clean with hot, soapy water containers to be re-used and store somewhere dry.

My Garden in September

The information on this website is provided by David Howlett - a qualified Gardener, Garden Designer and Tutor. Whilst studying at Writtle College his design for a garden for less-abled people was exhibited at their stand at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. His gardening business ran for fourteen years. Over recent years David has concentrated on, "Spreading the word" and is now a Tutor of Horticulture. In order to help give an insight into this vitally significant and diverse subject, he developed a course he called 'Window to the Garden.' The course has been very popular since it’s launch and much of the information supplied here is based upon it. His latest course, 'Gardening for Wildlife' forms the basis of the wildlife section. He also helps the young students on their vocational horticulture courses run by Writtle Horticultural College, in conjunction with The Plume School, Maldon, Essex.

Based in Essex, England About Links Courses Contact
HA Home HowlettArtwork on Facebook! Follow HowlettArtwork on Twitter!
The Soil The Plant The Wildlife The Seasons Seasonal Planting Planting Combinations
Sense Appeal! Garden Focus WttG Visitors' Gardens Garden Beauty Garden Questions NPTC Courses