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Wednesday 5 October 2016

This Month in your Garden - October

I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers

L.M.Montgomery: Anne of Green Gables

Asked to list the top ten jobs to do in the October garden it’s quite hard to focus on where to begin.

For the avid gardener you’re spoiled for choice, especially with the mix of sun and rainfall in September promoting growth – the lawn seems to be growing as you look at it. A good place to start if you haven’t prepared it for winter and next year is to aerate and scarify early in the month.

On to borders, it’s time to cut back faded herbaceous perennials and to lift and divide overcrowded ones. Which means it’s also a good time to visit the garden centre and find new plants to add to next year’s border canvas, with the soil still warm and moist.

Planting spring flowering bulbs should be high on your list but wait until November to plant tulips. In some warmer regions dahlias and cannas may be overwintered in the ground, but for most of us it’s time to lift the tubers and rhizomes when the first frosts occur. You can be planting wallflowers, Primula, winter pansies and Viola, Bellis and other spring bedding plants in the ground or pots. Climbing roses could do with a prune now along with hedges.

Tender plants in pots can be moved into the greenhouse or conservatory, Pelargoniums for example can overwinter indoors to go out next year. Autumn planting of trees and shrubs is less stressful for them so preparation in October for November planting is a good move.

  • Plant containers and pots for winter colour
  • Plant bulbs: daffodils, crocus, muscari, 
  • Prepare sites for new trees, bushes, roses and clematis 
  • Plant wallflowers, forget-me-nots, primrose and polyanthus, hyacinths and lily of the valley
  • Take hardwood cuttings 
  • Move shrubs, clear leaves from the lawn, repair fencing
  • Sow sweet peas
  • Look out for powdery mildew and grey mould and remove affected leaves
  • Collect and store seeds from perennials

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