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Monday 1 October 2012

This Month In Your Garden – OCTOBER

All the colours of autumn abound but fallen leaves need clearing up as frequently as you can. A thick layer covering plants could cause them to die. Bag them up in bin liners and pop them in an out of the way corner where they will rot down to leaf mould for composting; or put them on the compost heap. Exclude any from diseased plants, they are best burned. 

This is a good month to apply some bonemeal in herbaceous borders and bulb beds. It’s also a good time for digging. Existing borders won’t need digging too deeply but new ones and vegetable plots will benefit from a good dig with a spade or a fork. 

Half hardy flowering plants such as begonias and dahlias will need lifting to a frost-proof store after the first frost blackens them. It’s the time for planting shrubs, trees and climbers, when they will be the least stressed, between now and spring. Evergreens are best planted this month. Hardwood cuttings will root easily at this time, while the soil is still warm enough, so you can propagate shrubs and trees. 

It is also the ideal time to move any shrubs that have grown too big for an area. You can plant herbaceous perennials now if your soil is well drained and light. On heavy or wet soils it’s better to do this in spring. Spring bedding such as wallflowers, forget-me-nots, polyanthus, primrose and double-daisies can all go in.

  • Plant spring bedding
  • Prepare sites for trees and shrubs
  • Insert hardwood cuttings including: berberis, buddleia, cornus, cotoneaster, elderberry, escallonia, jasmine, kerria, laurel, leycestaria, philadelphus, rose, spiraea
  • Move large shrubs
  • Plan for hedges
  • Lift gladioli around mid October
  • Sow sweet peas
  • Plant in late October, lily of the valley, tulips, hyacinths
  • Pot on annuals grown in the greenhouse
  • Plant up pots and containers for winter and spring

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