The garden shedWooden structures

Take advantage of remaining dry weather by painting fences, sheds and other wooden features with a preservative. Water-based ones are kinder to the environment, and many of the older oil-based products (such as creosote) no longer have approval for domestic use.

Fix leaky shed roofs before the autumn rain comes.

Hard surfaces

Clean up patios and hard surfaces to get rid of moss and algae. Doing this job now will prevent them becoming slippery during the winter.

Under glass

Replace any broken glass panes in the greenhouse and also take the opportunity to check for lost glazing clips or worn putty.

As temperatures fall, greenhouse shading paint should be removed, and any blinds lifted or removed as light levels are steadily decreasing. Don’t deprive your plants of light once the risk of overheating is over.

Cleaning the greenhouse is best done before bringing in all your tender plants for the winter. Pests and diseases can hide in tiny nooks and crannies, only to come back to life the following spring. Hose down the structure with a forceful jet of water, and then use a safe cleaning products such as Citrox, and a non-abrasive scourer specifically recommended for cleaning glass.

Compost bins

Make and repair compost bins so that they are ready for the autumn, when fallen leaves will quickly fill them.


Install a water butt to collect water from your down-pipe, where it can be stored for use in the garden. Rainwater is particularly beneficial for watering potted ericaceous plants (e.g. rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias), and also conserves mains water, which is in short supply in several parts of the UK.

Garden furniture

Clean and store away garden furniture when it is no longer in use.

Gardeners' calendar

Find out what to do this month with our gardeners' calendar

Advice from the RHS

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.