Child in Autumn garden

Autumn in the Garden

Autumn in the garden is all about preparing for winter. It's a time that can be used to tidy your garden before the cold weather creeps in. This will allow you to be prepared for Spring and to keep your garden neat for the next few months.

Lawn Care
  • Lawn care should be on the top of our gardening to-do list.  This ensures a green lawn with little moss in the Spring. 
  • Start by removing any moss that has crept in during the Summer.  We recommend using Zero Lawn Moss.  Zero Lawn Moss will start to work over night attacking moss right down to the root.   
  • 24 hours later, give the lawn a good feed.  Zero Lawn Feed will not only feed your lawn for the next 3 months, but it will also suppress moss creeping back. Ensuring a green lawn all Winter long, with little work required come February. 

Late August-early September is one of the best months to sow a new lawn or re-seed bare patches in your existing lawn. Green Velvet lawn seed is a perfect, hard-wearing lawn seed. It will give you a hard-wearing lawn that is easy to maintain, and tough for children and pets to play on. 

Sow and Grow

August and September are an ideal time to sow edible and flowering plants from seeds. Simply sow the seeds in a pot of compost, cover with cling film and watch them grow. Once they begin to shoot, replant them in a larger container. Japanese onion sets should be planted during late August to September. They will reward you with a picking of young, fresh, green shoots in early spring and full sized onions for April and May. Don't forget to plant Christmas potatoes in August in order to have them in time for Christmas dinner! You can also plant blueberries in August in large pots or directly out into your garden soil.

Plant autumn and winter vegetable plants in September, such as winter cabbage, Chinese cabbage, purple sprouting broccoli, lettuce and iceberg lettuce.

September remains one of the best months to plant berrying broad leaved trees. One of the most beautiful ones to plant is the Malus trees. Plant a Malus tree this month to be rewarded with a brightly coloured tree this Autumn. It will also produce edible berries from September to early winter. This growth is followed by bright colourful flowers in spring. 

October is a good time to plant rhubarb in your garden. Don't forget to enrich the soil using organic compost before planting rhubarb. If you want to plant a new apple, pear or plum tree in your garden, October is a good time to do so. The Coronet Dwarf Apple Tree can be grown in a patio pot or container and will give you an abundance of fruit next summer.

Plant herbs in November to have them in time for Christmas. Seasonal favourites including Thyme, Sage, Italian Parsley and Rosemary can all be planted now and are all winter hardy. Plant them into a window box or patio pot to produce some fresh pickings of kitchen herbs ideal for the festive season. Remember, herbs need be trimmed and picked regularly to encourage new growth.

Garden Care

August is the ideal time to prepare for autumn. You can start by cleaning out your bird feeders and wash them in a little detergent.  Garden song birds need to build up their energy and fat reserves. Simply hang high-energy wild bird feeders in your garden using fat balls, sunflower seeds and wild bird mixes. Watch as wild birds flock to your garden all winter long. This is also the time to remove old nests from your nesting boxes.

Apply PAC to your outdoor areas that are affected by moss (patios, slates, tiles, driveways and footpaths) and watch as your moss disappears. Simply mix the solution with water and apply to affected areas in dry weather. An application of PAC will kill any unwanted moss and lichen growth on hard surfaces.

Plant hedging plants in October to provide shelter and privacy in your garden. Large, instant mature hedging plants are now available for planting to create an instant wall of foliage up to 6 feet tall. They come in a wide selection of heights and varieties. Interested in planting a hedge? Read more here.

In October Trees including liquid ambar, mountain ash, maples, sumachs and cotoneaster offer stunning autumn and early winter colours in your garden. Fruiting trees including sorbus, pyracantha, cotoneaster and malus offer your garden songbirds a natural food source of delicious berries to sustain them through the autumn and early winter.

November is a great time to prepare for early spring planting. Clean out your polytunnel and greenhouse of old plants and remove and store all fruit indoors in a cool, dry location. Remove old and dying foliage and stems and place them in the compost heap. Wash the glass or polythene with an easy clean treatment. This will clean old moss, algae, pests and diseases from your greenhouse or tunnel.

The foliage of boxwood balls and cones can look a little tired and yellow during the winter months. Care for them by applying a dressing of Topbuxus Health Mix. Simply mix the health mix solution with water and apply it to the foliage. This mix will encourage a rich green colour, that'll last throughout the season. You can also prune back your fruiting trees in December. Shorten this year's growth by 2/3rd’s, removing any damaged or diseased branches. Next, apply a dressing of winter wash to the entire tree to kill any overwintering pests. This can be applied to your deciduous trees also. 

Garden Colour

Did you know you can get plants for free? Yes, August and September are time for propagation!

  • Choose some of your favourite garden shrubs and cut pencil length slips off the plant.
  • Dip the base of the slip into rooting powder, place the slip into a compost mixed with perlite and place in a medium sized pot.
  • Cover the cuttings with a polythene bag and leave to root on a bright window sill.
  • Once the slips have rooted, plant them in individual pots to grow over the winter.

Fancy a wildflower patch or strip in your garden? September is the ideal time to sow wildflower seeds and bulbs in your garden. Honeybees, bumblebees and butterflies will visit the flower meadow in late spring and summer. September and October are also a good time to plant winter flowering cyclamen, pansies, violas, heather and aconites for colour in your patio pots and window boxes.

A wonderful project to complete with your children this autumn is to plant scented hyacinths. Hyacinths offer you a wide range of colourful blooms. If they are planted now they will reward you with a stunning show of colour and scent for Christmas and the New Year. They can be planted in baskets, pots or window boxes. 

One of the most enjoyable projects to complete with your family in your garden in November is to plant spring colour. All you need is a couple of plastic pots, compost and a variety of spring flowering bulbs. Children will love colourful dwarf daffodils or vibrant and colourful tulips. Simply pot them up into the plastic pots, leave them outside in the garden and watch them flower in early spring.


Plant a tree for a special occasion. What better way to mark a family celebration, graduation or special occasion than to plant a garden tree that will be remembered for years to come. At Horkans we can help you select the right garden tree for that special occasion. We even have trees that will flower each year on a specific date to help you mark that memory for ever.

December remains one of the best months to plant beech hedging plants. Purple and green beech can be planted now to form a strong screen of shelter and privacy around your garden and home. Beech hedging is easy to grow, very hardy and adds fantastic seasonal colour in any garden.

Do you have questions about your garden? If so, just contact your local Horkans Garden Centre where one of our helpful and knowledgeable staff will be happy to help and answer any questions you may have.