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Gardening tips for October

Gardening Tips for October

It is the spookiest month of the year but there is no reason to let your garden become a nightmare this October. As autumn draws in, there are steps you can take to nourish your garden and prepare it for the season ahead. From planting spring bulbs to taking care of the lawn, these are our essential tips for getting your garden in order this autumn

Tubs & baskets

Tubs & Baskets

  • Clear out the last of the summer bedding plants and replace them with new season bedding plants like Pansies and Violas. This will provide colourful flowers and that will contrast with evergreen foliage throughout autumn and into winter
  • Hardy plants like winter heathers will thrive even in colder conditions and will make a beautiful addition to your autumn garden. Find them in-store with 3 for £10 on 10cm varieties. Cyclamen and trailing Ivy are other great options for adding autumn and winter colour
Spring flowering bulbs


  • October is the perfect time to plant flowering bulbs in beds and borders in preparation for spring. For the best effect plant bulbs in groups of 5, 7 or 9, tucked into gaps that appear in your border when perennial plants are cut back for the winter. Dwarf bulbs such as Snowdrops, Dwarf Narcissi or Crocus are great picks for some spring cheer
  • Early flowering spring bulbs, such as Daffodils, can also be planted now - whilst Tulips are best planted in November. You can mix and match 3 selected packs of bulbs for £12 in-store and online
  • Indoor bulbs such as prepared Hyacinths and Paperwhites should also be planted now. Use bulb compost, such as 20 litre Miracle-Gro Bulb Fibre Peat Free Compost, to get your flowers growing and your home will be filled with fragrance over the Christmas and new year period
Beds & borders

Beds & borders

  • Herbaceous plants that have finished flowering can be cut back at this point, but this is not an essential as the remains of the plant will also provide shelter for wildlife over the winter
  • Keeping your soil healthy is vital to ensure better plant growth next year. Mulching borders with Bloomin Amazing Peat Free Soil Enricher will provide plenty of nourishment and protect plant roots from the worst of the winter weather
Cottage garden


  • Dahlias affected by the first frosts should be lifted. In milder areas, on well-drained soils, consider leaving them in the ground, dressing with a 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
  • Plant biennials, such as sweet, scented stocks and foxgloves for strong statuesque plants to carry masses of flowers early in the spring
  • Prune and tie-in climbing roses, cutting shrub roses back by around half to prevent damage from wind. Pruners, shears and loppers are available online and in-store with prices starting at £9.99
Fruit garden

Fruit garden

  • Harvest the last 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 which will establish over the winter months. You can see our selection of fruit trees in-store now
Vegetable garden

Vegetable Garden

  • October is the time to harvest pumpkins, squashes, and gourds. These seasonal crops are a staple at any Halloween party, but they also make delicious and healthy meals and can be included in everything from soups to curries
  • Garlic is easy to grow, so plant now and have large cloves in the new year. Apply a layer of farmyard manure as a mulch over the top, allowing worms to work it down into the ground during the winter


  • Do not let your lawn care fall by the wayside just because it is autumn. Rake up leaves and add to a compost heap, or store in separate pens for rotting down into leaf mould. Shredding the leaves first with a mower or garden shredder will help them to rot down quicker
  • Scarify established lawns to remove dead grass or moss, this 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 lawn dressing, such as Dobbies Peat Free Lawn Dressing, to improve the soil. Autumn lawn food will also strengthen your grass in preparation for the coming winter
  • October is also an ideal time to lay new lawns from turf or seed, the warm moist soils are perfect for new roots to establish quickly
  • Take a break from mowing and reduce frequency. When mowing the blades should be set on the highest setting. 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

We would love to see what you get up to in the garden this October, take a picture and tag us on socials with @dobbiesgardencentre for your chance to be featured on our social media channels