It is that time of year again, the days get noticeably shorter and cooler, not forgetting the clocks go back an hour at the end of the month and we can probably expect frosts this month, but on the bright side there are all those wonderful Autumn colours to enjoy. This month bring us the annual, joy of repeatedly clearing up fallen leaves, where do they all come from? Collect them up cut them up with the lawn mower, put into a black bin liner, with a few holes in, and leave for a year or so & you will have some nice leaf mould, do not be tempted to put dead leaves in your compost bin, it just slows down the decomposition of other material in the bin. Give priority to those jobs that won’t wait, then try to get the Winter digging done so that the ground gets the maximum benefit from being turned & exposed, weathering during the Winter helps break down heavy soils, plus expose soil-borne pest for predators such as birds to eat. This month is a good time to lay new turf, if you do not want to wait until the Spring, there usually plenty of rain to help the lawn become established before the really hard weather of Winter sets in. Established lawns can be give their final cut, remembering to raise the blades, also do not neglect your mower, give it a thorough clean & oil the blades before you put it away for the Winter. Other tasks this month, harvest fruit & vegetables. apples & pears should be picked, at thelatest, by the end of the month, main crop carrots & potatoes should now be lifted & stored for Winter. Sow hardy annuals, sweet peas and lettuces to overwinter under glass . Sweet peas can also be sown direct into the ground and protected by cloches. Plant Spring flowering hardy annuals and biennials as soon as possible, also now is an ideal time to plant all evergreens, including conifers but no later than the end of the month. Plant up containers and baskets for Winter interest . Lift tender bulbs corms and tubers, such as dahlias and gladioli, clean off all the soil and store in a frost free place. If you have planted bowls of bulbs for indoor flowering, keep an eye on them and do not them dry out or get too wet. Bring in pelargonium’s and half hardy fuchsias that are growing in tubs and pots outdoors. Net pools to prevent fallen leaves contaminating the water. Lift & divide perennials , potting up some for selling at our “plant sale” next May. Prune climbing & rambling roses & tie back to prevent damage from Winter winds. Now that the beans and peas have finished, remove any seed pods & save for next year’s seed, cut down to the ground leaving the roots in this provides a natural fix for the nitrogen in the soil, compost all the haulms. When you harvest your cabbages, leave the roots in, make a nice cross cut on the stump to encourage a nice flush of tender young leaves. If you have not already done so, cut out all old wood from Summer fruiting raspberries & loganberries , tying in all new growth to wires or canes. Now is a good time to plant up any strawberry runners you have taken or order new plants. Divide any congested rhubarb clumps with a spade re-planting the healthiest looking pieces. The days may be getting shorter but work in the garden does not!