October Gardening Blog
The 23rd of September marked the beginning of Autumn; however, it doesn’t feel very Autumnal to us. In the not-so-distant past, October was the month that we would slowly put our garden to bed, and we protected plants from the early frosts – not anymore! The climate has changed and for us gardeners that means that the planting season has changed with it.
As we have all learnt over the past year especially, our weather is now extreme, whether that’s a heatwave breaking every record or flash floods across the country. We’ve been so used to a steady flow across the year and so have our plants, which means the soil isn’t holding moisture or changing temperature in the same way in the same way it used to.
The typical seasonal tidy-up is getting later and later, and we can now still enjoy flowering Dahlias, Cannas and Tithonias – until the first ‘real’ frost hits. We are all going to have to ride this wave of change and enjoy each season as it comes. It may even open our eyes to new shrubs and flowers that we can plant later in the year that we may not have thought of, after all, the joy of Gardening is learning with the plants, right?
Of course, there is always something to do in the garden, so we will continue to share our gardening jobs for the month ahead. However, we may be thinking on our feet, or at least adapting to the forecast – but we hope you can muddle along with us.
GENERAL GARDENING JOBS
- Start to plant up displays with winter colour in pots with plants like Skimmia, heathers, cyclamen, and winter pansies. Or, why not enjoy instant colour and impact with our pre-planted pots, browse our range here >
- Deadhead your Dahlias, if you are still enjoying colourful blooms be sure to keep deadheading them to help them to continue until the first frost. Try and cut to the next leaf or side shoot, this will encourage the growth.
- Now is an exciting time to plant winter-flowering Irises in pots, this will give you some gorgeous colour in late January and early February.
- If you are looking to plant some Conifers or Evergreen shrubs, now is a wonderful time to do it as the soil is still warm. We recently celebrated National Conifer Week, discover our top varieties here >
- Place some pot feet on your pots to avoid waterlogging over winter. We have a great collection of these in all designs, check out our range here >
- Have a gap in your borders? Autumn Sedum is an excellent choice for this and will brighten up the area. You can do the same with similar plants such as heuchera and low-growing hardy geraniums.
- Bulb planting! We have a wide variety of bulbs in store for you to start your bulb planting ready for beautiful blooms in Spring. Whether you have a small or large space, bulbs are versatile, we even have a pre-planted pot ready to go – the choice is yours.
- If you have any overgrown rose plants, cut the height off to prevent them being damaged over Winter. Remember to remove old leaves from the bottom of the bush too, as this can encourage fungal disease if left too long.
- It’s also time to start sowing seeds, such as sweet peas. You can do these in pots or modules at around 7cm deep. Be sure to keep them sheltered in a cool frame or greenhouse.
- Collect lavender seed! You can have a bag of lavender seed before you know it just by cutting off the flowered stems, once cut, tip them in a paper bag and the husks can dry out. You can sow this straight away (in a cold frame) or wait until the Spring!
- Now Summer is over, remove anything left in your summer pots and hanging baskets and compost what’s left. You can top this up with Winter pansies and violas for a display that will last throughout the season.
- October is also a perfect month to give your lawn that much needed TLC. It’s best to do this when the ground is still warm and it’s not too wet to work with. If you have areas that need to be repaired, rake your lawn first, mow it thin and if possible, aerate it before you sow your seed. Find our best lawn products here >
FRUIT & VEG JOBS
- Harvest pears – to enjoy a good crop you need to pick them before they drop, a good sign is to try one! Make sure you pick any leaves with spots or blotches as this will reduce fungal infections.
- Remove stems from asparagus, cutting them off at ground level will reduce the chances of over-wintering beetles. These pests are cheeky, so any left-over stems also need to be removed as they will make their home in here too!
- Cover any salad plants that you have grown with cloches to lengthen cropping.
- If you are wanting to grow garlic cloves, place them in a sunny well-drained spot, at least 15cm apart, with the tip of the bulb 5cm below the surface.
- Any fruit trees such as apple, pear, cherry and plum need to be protected from the crawling female winter moth, so place some grease bands around the trees.
- You can plant your spring cabbages
- Clear out any old crops, so pests and diseases won’t appear on any veg throughout the winter.
- Harvest pumpkins and winter squashes
- To give you good chances of success next year, add a layer of well-rotted compost on any bare areas and leave to break down over the winter months.
- Get rid of any greenhouse debris to deter any pests, leave the cobwebs though as the spiders will do a rather good at eating them too!
- Collect the last of the Tomato harvest! Make sure the last fruits are getting as much sunlight as possible to aid ripening, so trim any leaves covering them.
- Sow microgreens such as peas into trays to enjoy a nice winter harvest.
- Wash your greenhouse windows to let in any Autumnal daylight.
- Bring tropical plants into the greenhouse that have enjoyed the warmth of the Summer.
- Get some bubble insulation for those chilly winter nights
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