According to gardening expert Joe Harrison, there are plenty of tasks to keep you busy during the colder months and ensure a vibrant garden in the future.

The gardener said: “As another hectic summer season of successionally sowing seeds, watering and harvesting draws to a close, you would be forgiven for thinking autumn is the perfect time for you to relax and do absolutely nothing in your garden. However, there are lots of jobs you can be doing to get ahead and fully prepared for autumn.”

One of the key activities is planting garlic. Garlic cloves are typically planted in autumn and harvested throughout June, July, and August. To protect the plants from harsh conditions, covering them with horticultural fleece is recommended.

Autumn is also an ideal time to sow cold-hardy varieties of broad beans. While broad beans can be sown until April, October and November are suitable for sowing the cold-hardy versions, which will yield a summer crop.

In addition, autumn is the perfect season to plant spring flowering bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths. Joe Harrison suggests using Bioscapes’ WildPod planter for these bulbs. Planting them in autumn will result in a stunning display of flowers in spring, providing a mood boost after the long winter months.

Greenhouses or cold frames can be utilised during the colder weather to grow plants that require a bit more warmth.

Sowing sweet peas in these structures allows them to mature slowly and become strong and healthy plants. By early May, they will reward you with a fragrant bouquet of flowers.

Protecting existing plants in pots is also important during autumn. Tender plants like dahlias, cannas, and gladiolus can be moved into sheltered frost-free spots if grown in pots.

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For those grown in beds or borders, lifting the tubers or rhizomes and storing them in a cool, dry place will ensure they flourish when planted out in spring.

Aside from planting and protecting plants, there are other essential tasks to consider during autumn.

Sweeping and collecting fallen leaves not only keeps the garden tidy but also provides material for composting. Cleaning and sharpening gardening tools before storing them for winter helps prevent bacteria build-up and rust.

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