Autumn is a great time to get your garden ready for winter.

Autumn in the garden

The garden is winding down in October but there’s still plenty to keep gardeners busy. Here are our top jobs to tick off your list this autumn:

Plant spring bulbs

October is a great time to plant spring-flowering bulbs like tulips, daffodils, crocuses, and hyacinths. However with tulips, you can plant them as late as Christmas and you will still have beautiful blooms next spring.

Divide perennials

Cut back your perennial plants and if you have plants that have become overcrowded or are not performing well, you can divide them now. This promotes healthier growth and you get new plants for free which is an added bonus!

Autumn clean-up

Now is the time to remove dead or diseased plants, and debris from your garden beds. This will help prevent the spread of diseases and pests. Also remember to remove all those fallen leaves, which can be a great hiding spot for slugs and snails.

Bulb forcing

Even if you don’t have a garden you can still have plants to enjoy and it’s easy to achieve. There is nothing more beautiful in mid-winter than having flowers blooming, and you can start forcing bulbs like paperwhites which have a glorious fragrance or a bold and beautiful amaryllis for indoor flowers during the winter.

Lift your dahlias

There is much debate whether lifting dahlias or leaving them in the ground is the right course of action, but if you are removing them, October can be a good time to do it; you don’t need to wait for the first frost.


Prune back any summer-flowering shrubs that have finished blooming. This is also a good time to shape and prune trees and shrubs.


If you have tree ferns, banana plants wrap layers of fleece or straw around them to protect from winter frosts. Do the same for banana plants, if you have a greenhouse, bring them inside.

Secure plants

Tie in plants that might need it to protect them from the strong winter winds.