Getting ready for autumn and winter


I just love the garden in autumn! It’s still warm enough to be outside for ages, there’s plenty to do and lots to enjoy as well (especially when the leaves start to change colour). It’s the time of year for tidying up, planting and getting a head start for the coming year. Here’s my top tips for the next few weeks:

Richard Jackson QVC gardening expert collecting autumn leaves

1. Bring indoors any houseplants that have been in the garden during the summer. Check for pests and spray if necessary. Also look at the bottom of the pot, that’s where slugs or snails hide.

2. Preserve some herbs to use in winter. Chop them finely, add to ice cube trays, pour in a little water and put in the freezer. When needed, just pop the cubes into stews or sauces to give them a really fresh herb flavour.

Multi-coloured pansies by a wooden fance

3. As the summer bedding plants fade, dig them out and fill the gaps with pansies and polyanthus. The sooner these are planted, the better the display next spring.

4. Most spring flowering bulbs can be planted straight away but it’s best to delay planting tulips until late October/early November.

5. Help those green tomatoes turn red before the weather turns colder. Hang a couple of bananas by the plants. The bananas will give off a gas which will encourage the tomatoes to ripen faster.

Richard Jackson's Lawn Magic

6. Give your lawn a big late season boost by feeding it with Lawn Magic. The feed will turn it a glorious green and help it look better next year. The grass is still growing, although slowly, and will need a light trim from time to time. Raise the cutting height to 4cm (1.5″) so you don’t cut too much off. Brush off any worm casts before mowing or they’ll get squashed and form muddy patches.

7. Finally, it’s the best time of year for planting trees, roses, hedges, shrubs and most fruit. The plants will settle in over winter and will romp away next season. If you’ve got the choice, do your planting in the autumn rather than waiting until next spring.

Richard Jackson QVC gardening expert in the garden

Happy gardening!

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  1. Gillian Robertson September 21, 2014 at 9:24 am -  Reply

    Please can you tell me the best way to store lily bulbs over winter. I grow them in pots and have several varieties from standard, oriental, tree types. Hope you can help

  2. adele clark September 21, 2014 at 9:43 am -  Reply

    thank you richard. love your advice. i love this time of year aswell. i think its the best time. How can i get rid of rose rust?

  3. Sue Stewart September 21, 2014 at 6:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi Richard I love your garden tips. Thanks for these. We have our Lawn Magic ready. Will get this done in the week. Plus the herbs. I will be doing this as well.

  4. Mrs Isobel Bruce September 22, 2014 at 11:11 am -  Reply

    Could you help me please. We bought 5 hibiscus plants from QVC 3 Years ago and they have never flowered, just leaves. This year nothing again and 3 of them have hardly any leaves on them. What do we do? Thanks Richard. We have bought a lot of plants and other gardening products from QVC over the years.

  5. Barbara ackerman September 22, 2014 at 6:15 pm -  Reply

    Richard I bought the water hyacinth for my pond and my koi carp ate the lot

  6. Ron Champion September 22, 2014 at 9:26 pm -  Reply

    Richard, when is your bird food coming back 4 sale.

  7. Carole Bevan September 30, 2014 at 4:26 pm -  Reply

    Hi Richard, I too would like to know how best to deal with the lily bulbs that I bought from qvc this year. I have just cut the foliage down as it died off weeks ago, do I just leave the pots outside now ?
    Many thanks

    Carole (isle of man)

  8. Carole Bevan October 20, 2014 at 9:59 am -  Reply

    Hi richard. I bought Bacopia from QVC in April this year, they are now dying off, would you be able to inform me as to wether these were Annual or Perennials ? I googled being a novice gardener and it stated these plants could be both ?

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