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Gardening Tips for October

Gardening Tips for October

As autumn draws in on the garden, October brings warm seasonal colours to our beds and borders. Cold nights and shorter days cloak our gardens in fiery autumn shades and the first frosts etch the garden with a silvery sheen.

Gardening Tips for October

Tubs and Baskets

  • Clear the last of tender summer bedding plants and replace with fresh new season plants to provide colour and texture throughout the autumn and coming winter. Pansies, Violas, Cyclamen, winter Heathers and trailing Ivy are all popular choices for long lasting and proven garden performance. Add early flowering dwarf bulbs such as dwarf Narcissi or Crocus for a cheerful splash of spring colour.
Gardening Tips for October

Spring Flowering Bulbs

  • Continue to plant Spring Flowering bulbs in beds and borders. For best effect plant bulbs in groups of 5, 7 or 9, tucked into gaps generated in the border as perennial plants are cut back for the winter.
  • Early flowering Spring bulbs, such as Daffodils and Crocus benefit from being planted now, whilst Tulips can wait until November if you are busy.
  • Indoor bulbs such as prepared Hyacinths and Narcissus Paperwhite should be planted now to fill the house with fragrance throughout the festive period. Use bulb fibre or compost and follow the instructions on the packet carefully to ensure success.
Gardening Tips for October

Beds and Borders

  • Remove the last of the summer bedding plants and replace with fresh autumn/winter plants to provide colour and texture throughout the autumn and coming winter. Pansies, Violas, Cyclamen and Heathers are all popular choices for long lasting and winter performance. Add early flowering dwarf bulbs such as Narcissi, Crocus and Hyacinths for a cheerful splash of spring colour.
Gardening Tips for October

Cottage Garden

  • Lift tender Dahlias touched by the first frosts. In milder areas, on well-drained soils, consider leaving them in the ground, top dressing with a think protective layer of mulch.
  • Cut back and tidy cottage garden perennials, adding them to the compost heap. Leave grasses and seed heads to feed winter birds and to shelter overwintering insects. On frosty mornings they look stunning in the low winter sunshine too!
  • Plant biennials now, such as sweet scented stocks, foxgloves and honesty for strong statuesque plants to carry masses of flower early in the spring.
  • Prune and tie-in climbing roses now, cutting shrub roses back by around half to prevent damage from wind rock.
Gardening Tips for October

Fruit Garden

  • Harvest the last of the Apples and Pears and store in a cool airy shed. Blackberry, Raspberry and Loganberry canes that have finished cropping should be cut out and new canes can be tied in to support next year’s fruit.
  • Autumn is the natural time to plant new fruit trees and bushes, establishing over the winter months.
Gardening Tips for October

Vegetable Garden

  • Harvest Pumpkins, Squashes and Gourds. Pumpkins are great fun for carving for Halloween, but are also tasty in soups and curries. Gourds in their myriad of colours also look stunning in a display basket.
  • Plant Garlic now for the largest cloves next year.
  • Dig over ground as it becomes vacant. Apply a layer of mulch over the top, allowing worms to work it down into the ground during the winter.
Gardening tips for October

Lawn

  • Rake up leaves and add to the compost heap, or store in separate pens for rotting down into leaf—mould. Shredding the leaves first with a mower will help them to rot down quicker.
  • Scarify established lawns to remove dead thatch, which can stifle growth in the winter months. Spike the surface with a fork or lawn aerator to reduce compaction and allow nutrients to reach the roots.
  • Apply an autumn lawn food to help strengthen your lawn ready for the coming winter.
  • October is an ideal time to lay new lawns from turf or seed, the warm moist soils perfect for new roots to establish quickly.
  • Reduce mowing frequency and set the blades high. By the end of the month it will be time to stop cutting and the mower should then be serviced in preparation for next year.