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 Jobs to do in the October Garden


Just When you thought that all was done in the garden for this year - out comes the sun, and there's loads to do again. Even if the sun doesn't shine, there is still much to do! Much of what you do in the October Garden has an affect upon the garden's wellbeing next year.

Lawns in the October Garden

  • Lay a new lawn - October is a good time for doing it, if you didn't do it last month! (Protect seed with fleece until it germinates). Turfing a new garden is better than seeding a lawn during this month. Only a few weeks away from winter settling in. So get the turf laid down quick to give it time to root into the soil.

    • Scarify and aerate existing lawns. Brush sharp sand into the spiked holes. October is about the latest that you should be top dressing your garden lawn.

    • Last chance for a lawn autumn feed. If your lawn has been below standard this last year, then maybe a dressing of AUTUMN lawn feed will help. It is important not to use normal lawn feed during October for this will force the grass into late growth. Autumn Lawn Feed is specially formulated to toughen the grass up, and in particular to give overall strength to the root system.

    • Keep mowing - but with blades set higher. But only if the weather conditions are right. In October, when mild, the grass on your lawn will still grow - sometimes putting on a last flush of growth. this needs to be trimmed back, but only with a light cut. If the grass continues to grow, then keep cutting.

    • Pop over to our Lawn Care section if you are unsure what to do to the lawn in October.

Pennistetum setaceum Rubrum - Ohnamental Grass
Pennisetum setaceum Rubrum

The Ornamental Garden in October

  • Bulbs - Still time to plant some bulbs to give you a good early display next Spring - but soon. Daffodils should have been planted, but they can still be planted now. October is the best time for planting Tulips. The garden centre will probably have bulbs - or corms - of the Autumn flowering Crocus - Colchicums. They will probably be starting to flower, so take care not to break off the flower  buds when you plant.

    • Those bright pink flowers that look like lilies will be starting to show through in this month. They will be one of the bulbous plants group -Nerines - Nerine bowdenii.

  • Grasses - Those who are lucky enough to have ornamental grasses in their garden, will be reaping the benefits of the wonderful autumn colour and interest display. Other than possibly dividing a clump, they are best left alone at this time of year - just enjoy.

    • If you do not have any ornamental grasses for your October garden, now is a good time to source them, and plant them. We have a full section about Ornamental Grasses - including the Pennisetum in the top image.

  • Bedding Plants - Out with the summer bedding plants when finished flowering. October is the last month that you should be planting Spring Bedding Plants. They need to get settled into the soil before the winter starts proper.

  • Clear up all fallen leaves and put them on the compost heap, or start a special leaf mould heap. Do not put diseased leaves on this heap. Have a small bonfire for these!

  • Keep dead-heading roses throughout October if the weather is dry and warm - they could flower until Christmas!

A good crop of climbing rose flowers

  • Shrubs and Hardy Plants - October always used to be the traditional time for planting shrubs and perennials - until the garden trade persuaded us to plant all the year round with container-grown plants. October is still the best time for planting shrubs, conifers, perennials, roses and trees.

    Autumn Pruning of Wisteria - essential to prune - or at least trim your wisteria now.

    • One of the finest groups of shrubs for Autumn and Winter colour, are the Dogwoods - Cornus alba, Cornus stolonifera and Cornus sanguinea types. They will give colour in the garden right through Autumn and Winter - regardless of weather conditions,

  • Plant out your spring flowering plants. Pansies, wallflowers etc.

Violas will flower in the winter - especially winter flowering types of pansy

  • Bring in your Dahlia tubers. It should have been done in the early part of the month. This will show you how to look after your Dahlias throughout the Winter.

  • Carry on with shrub cuttings. Semi ripe or hardwood cuttings can be taken now.

  • October is a good time for dividing your hardy perennials. Split the mature clumps up - and discard the central woody part. The sections around the perimeter are the best  parts for new plants.

  • It is usually a good time to paint fencing and trellis. The plants can be moved back from the fence more easily now.

Fruit and Vegetable Crops in October

  • Carry on picking fruit as it ripens. Most should be off the trees and bushes by middle of October.

  • Plant out your spring cabbage - but net them against hungry pigeons.

  • Plant out autumn onion sets and garlic.

  • Dig up your remaining potatoes - not much use after they are hit by frost!

  • Grease bands on the fruit trees in October - helps to keep the insects off the tree and prevents many unwanted visitors !

  • As soon as leaves have fallen, treat peaches and nectarines with copper fungicide to help control leaf curl. Burn the old foliage - do not put it on compost heap of leaf mould heap!

  • Spray cherries with copper as well - it helps prevent bacterial canker.

  • Start digging in some organic manure into the vegetable plot. Better still, try a no-dig option and simply leave the mulch material on the top of the soil.

  • All of the Asparagus 'ferns' can now be cut down.

  • Prune your blackberries - Simply cut out all of the growths that have fruited this year.

The Greenhouse in October.

  • Any tender plants need to be bought into the greenhouse now!

  • Remove all traces of shading from greenhouse glass - wash down if dirty

  • Line your greenhouse with bubble polythene - if you need to conserve heat for the winter.

  • Make sure that heaters are working - before you need them!

  • Reduce watering now, and only water in the mornings.

  • Still keep an eye out for hot days, when your ventilators may need opening.

So, you see! October in the garden is not for slackers!

Flowering Plants for October



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