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October in the Garden

Now we're  in October the autumn is closing in on us with the trees changing colour, it’s a truly beautiful time of year and some peoples favourite as gardening slows down a bit but there are still plenty of jobs to do in the garden before you can sit and relax.

October in the Garden

In the Flower Garden

  • Keep planting daffodils, tulips, alliums and other spring bulbs for a glorious spring display.
  • As it gets colder protect any half-hardy plants that you can’t put into the greenhouse with fleece
  • Move any pots that aren't frostproof to a sheltered spot or greenhouse and wrap with bubblewrap
  • Lift Dahlia and Begonia tubers and gladiolus corms and store in a dry place over winter
  • Plant bare-root ornamental trees, shrubs and roses and hedging and if you’re redesigning your garden move any trees and shrubs to a new place so they can settle in before winter,
  • Plant spring bedding like wallflowers, primulas and winter pansies in borders and pots
  • Autumn is an ideal time to plant new clematis.
  • Take hardwood cuttings from deciduous shrubs.
  • Prune climbing and rambling roses once they have finished flowering
  • You can cut back your perennials or leave the dead foliage for overwintering wildlife and now is the time to lift and divide any overcrowded ones.
  • Mulch weed free borders with bark chips, leaf mould or well-rotted manure to insulate plant roots for winter and suppress weeds in spring.
  • Sweet peas can be sown into pots to over-winter in a cold frame

In the Vegetable Garden

  • Harvest squash and pumpkins before the first frosts
  • Protect autumn cauliflower heads from frost with a cloche or fleece
  • Carry on planting garlic bulbs and onion sets for bumper crops next summer
  • There is still time to get some seed potatoes in for new potatoes at Xmas
  • Cut back the fruited canes of summer raspberries leaving the new green canes for next year’s crop
  • Plant up strawberries for next summer
  • Sow winter lettuces, rocket and chard.
  • Sow hardy broad beans and peas for an early crop
  • Divide congested clumps of rhubarb.
  • Herbs like Basil Dill, Chives and Parsley can be sown now for growing on your windowsill throughout the winter.
  • Plant our spring cabbage
  • Plant asparagus crowns


Other jobs

  • Renovate the lawn or lay a new one with seed or turf
  • If your greenhouse is empty it’s a good time to clean and disinfect it
  • Have a go at growing paperwhites for Xmas
  • Give your evergreen hedges a final clip before winter
  • Net garden ponds to stop leaves falling in
  • Start sweeping up leaves to make leafmould
  • Clean out water butts so they fill with fresh autumn water and if you don’t have one install one now as the water is especially good for watering plants like camellias
  • Check your birdfeeders and maybe put a few more in and make sure there is a source of water like a birdbath.

Posted by Charlie Groves

Charlie is the manager at Groves Nurseries.  He is the 6th generation of C.W. Groves to run the garden centre. 

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