Jobs for the garden in September and October

September and October are two of the less busy months in the gardening calendar. However, before you put your feet up, there are still some jobs to get on with!

September is a transition month between summer and autumn, with the summer chores winding down. But then October marks the real start of autumn, and that means a time for some tidying up.

September is also a great time to plan your planting of container grown trees, shrubs, spring bulbs and winter and spring flowering perennials (start the actual planting from the end of September). The end of October is the start of the bare root season – with roses, trees and hedging becoming available in garden centres.

So, whilst you watch your garden changing as we move into autumn, here is a list of jobs to keep you busy…


  • Keep deadheading perennials like Penstemons, and also annuals, and shrubs including roses. This will keep them flowering for as long as possible
  • Start dividing herbaceous perennials
  • Mow lawns less frequently, scarify lightly if necessary, and apply an autumn feed (read our lawn calendar & lawn care activities blog posts)
  • Net ponds before leaves start falling
  • Pick soft fruit (& don’t forget all that wild fruit too – blackberries, damsons, elderberries to name a few)
  • Plant spring bulbs
  • Sit out and enjoy an Indian Summer – if we get one!
  • Plan planting of container grown trees and shrubs (and spring flowering perennials)


  • Plant and move trees and shrubs (and spring flowering perennials)
  • Clear leaves, especially from lawns
  • Cut back and tidy herbaceous perennials
  • Divide perennials to propagate
  • Scarify lawns if necessary
  • If the weather is dry, water spring flowering shrubs like Camellias and Rhododendrons – to ensure that the flower buds develop fully

Image credits: Alexandra Kikot on Unsplash; Dan Freeman on Unsplash; Anna Zakharova on Unsplash ; Alex Motoc on Unsplash

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