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Friday 30 September 2022

October Gardener's Calendar

Autumn has arrived and it's traditional time for autumn planting. Its also the best time to reposition plants in your garden and of course get your spring bulbs in the ground.
  • Time for autumn planting. Traditionally this is the very best time in the gardening calendar to plant shrubs, trees and container grown hedging plants.
  • It is also the most successful time of year for moving most plants, shrubs and trees.
  • October is a good time for laying a new lawn, 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.
  • Its a good idea to formative prune your woody shrubs if you have not done so. Many plants are pruned after flowering but better to prune now than never. Your are  pruning to improve the shape and this may involve removing large branches that are unsightly and creating too much shade. Also remove diseased, dead and damaged branches and and any crossing branches.  

  • Plant out autumn onion sets and garlic.
  • Bare rooted wall flowers can be planted now, £4.50 per bunch of 10 plants. 5 bunches for £20

  • Grease bands on the fruit trees in October help to keep the insects off the tree and prevents many unwanted visitors.

  • 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.
  • Hardy annuals need sewing in prepare seed beds. 

  • Sweet peas  do well if sewn in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse to overwinter, planting outdoors in March or April to produce early blooms. 

  • October is a month to store and pick your apples and pears, only store fruit that is not bruised or diseased.  Store in an open create with newspaper on the base in a frost free place.

  • Plant your Spring  bulbs for next year.

  • Plant up pots with spring colour, under plant with layers of bulbs, for colour from mid winter plant tall tulips, dwarf daffs, dwarf tulips and snowdrops or crocus or both. Beginning with the later flowering tulip as the base layer. The bulbs will come through  the plants whether you choose to lasagna plant or just add snow drops and narcissi.

  • Plant tubs and hanging baskets now use a mix of evergreen shrubs, heathers, Heuchera/Heucherellas,  evergreen grasses,  herbs and ivies.  Small evergreen shrubs like pernettya, gaultheria, small pieris, these will need to be planted in ericaceous compost.  Finish the pots with violas, pansies or for a splash of colour now cyclamen.

  • If you have got tender plants such as Canna and dahlias now is the time to bring them in doors before they get killed by the frost.  Choose a light frost free place such as a greenhouse or cold frame. Then keep them on the dry side during the winter, so they do not put on much growth.

  • As the garden is tidied in preparation for winter lots of material is generated for composting.  To encourage it to rot down quickly turn the contents regularly to stir it up and allow in lots of air.

  • The simplest method of clearing leaves off the lawn is to run over them with a lawn mower.  The cutting action of the mower blades will help to shred the leaves and make them quicker to rot down.

  • Plant containers with prepared Hyacinth bulbs early in the month and towards the middle of the month plant narcissus for colourful displays indoors during Christmas and New Year .

  • October is usually a great month for preparing the ground for planting soft fruit. Select a well drained sunny position that is not prone to late frosts.  Dig over the area incorporating well rotted farm yard manure or garden compost removing all perennials weed roots.
  • Take back old finished stems of currents and as they are greedy plants give them a good dollop of muck. If you have not cut back your raspberries yet this also applies to them.

  • Dig in leaves as mulch soil conditioner and Dalefoots clay buster, this will help to break down heavy soil but will also act as a mulch to protect your plants for winter.

  • Prepare your ground to plant your bare root hedging which is available from the beginning of November.