We continue the Autumn gardening tips with advice on pruning and fertilising. Autumn is the time to dead head roses, remove all spent flowers and any rosehips (seed pods) that may have formed. Hydrangeas should also be cut back now, remove spent flower heads down to the nearest healthy double bud (one bud either side of stem). Cut back spent perennials however some flowering grasses (Miscanthus, Pennisetum) should be left as both foliage and flower heads will produce autumn colour well into winter. Frangipanis should be checked for any signs of tip rot.
Remove any branches that are obviously dead (no green leaves) or are soft to the touch. Cut back soft branches until you reach hard healthy wood, you will know you have gone far enough when the white milky sap is visible. Remember to disinfect your secateurs before pruning other trees to prevent the spread of fungal spores.
Time to feed Azaleas and Camellias with a good organic fertiliser or thin covering of cow manure. Ensure fertiliser is watered in and not allowed to contact the trunks and stems as collar rot may result.