This is the month of clearing and planting. In all parts of the garden, move spent plantings and crops and compost or burn. Cut-down dead perennials and shred the prunings. Sweep up and collect leaves.
Many gardeners prefer to do the bulk of their rose pruning this month and in all but the very coldest parts of the country, if you want to leave the garden as tidy as possible for the winter, it is quite safe to do this. Otherwise shorten back all long growths by at least a half to prevent the bushes rocking in the wind. Also prune thorn hedges.
Fork over lightly flower and shrub beds which you have tidied up.
Dig thoroughly all vacant ground, manuring if necessary.
Remove and clean up canes and stakes from summer flowers and vegetable crops.
Check tree stakes and ties to make sure they are sound and not damaging the trunk in any way.
Take off yellowing leaves from winter brassica crops as they occur.
Keep off slugs and snails from susceptible herbaceous plants by covering lightly with ashes or cinders.
Winter prune apples and pears, also prune bush and cane fruits and vines.
Burn all prunings immediately to prevent infection by coral spot disease. Otherwise remove to a waste disposal site.
Erect temporary shelter for less hardy shrubs.
Protect slightly tender perennials with bark or leaf mould. Also alpines not liking wet conditions with a supported pane of glass or clear plastic.
Continue constructional work in frost-free weather.
Inspect stored crops, especially fruit, dahlia tubers and gladioli corms and remove any diseased ones.
Treat canker in apples and pears – cut out diseased tissue down to clean wood and paint with a canker paint.
Spray dormant fruit trees and bushes, deciduous trees and shrubs and rose trees with tar oil.
Net fruit trees and bushes, also spring-flowering trees and shrubs against damage by bullfinches.
Lift winter vegetables as required or use from store.
Sow hardy broad beans and round-seeded peas in mild areas. Protect with cloches.
Make sure the crops already protected by cloches are all right. Trap slugs if the weather is mild.
Take hardwood cuttings of hardy evergreen plants (e.g., holly, laurel); put in a cold frame or greenhouse to root.
Under glass. With tender plants, keep a close watch on the thermometer and increase the heating if necessary. With plants being overwintered in a cool or cold greenhouse make sure the temperature does not drop below freezing.
Even pelargoniums are hardier than one imagines, but will not stand being frosted.
Put up temporary or permanent double glazing or transparent insulating material if possible to prevent much heat loss through greenhouse glass.
Remove dead and yellow leaves on greenhouse plants.
Plant all kinds of deciduous trees and shrubs, roses, climbers, and fruit trees and bushes. Continue to plant herbaceous plants and evergreens in open, mild weather. Do not plant in very wet, sticky weather or severe frost. Complete planting bulbs and replanting biennials.
Lawns are best left alone unless the weather is very open and mild, when you can top lightly — leave them alone if they are wet, though.