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Autumn is the traditional time to plant trees and shrubs – this can be done right up until the end of the month as long as the ground is not frozen or waterlogged.

Prune HT/floribunda roses back by half to prevent strong winds rocking the plants and damaging the roots.

Lift dahlias after the first frost has blackened them. Dry them off and store them in a frost free greenhouse, shed or garage. Check periodically for signs of rotting and remove. Cannas can be treated in exactly the same way.

Bedding geraniums (pelargoniums) can be potted up and used as indoor plants in a cool conservatory or porch, or even on a sunny windowsill. Avoid direct heat from central heating.

Plant out in the vegetable garden, or in 9cm(3″) pots, cloves of garlic. Garlic needs to be exposed to the cold to encourage good bulbs next summer so place pots in a cold frame. Now is also a good time to plant onion sets. Use traditional autumn planting varieties and also Japanese onions.

Plant up winter containers using pansies, violas, primroses and cyclamen. Underplant with dwarf bulbs for extra colour and try using evergreen shrubs and grasses for structure in the arrangement.

Remove dead leaves from ground cover plants to prevent them rotting underneath. If leaves have blown under your hedge in large drifts, check for hedgehogs that may be hibernating underneath and keep them covered. If  you are building a bonfire for November 5th then also check for hedgehogs before lighting the bonfire.

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