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Thursday 1 October 2020

This Month in Your Garden - October

‘The winds give me enough fallen leaves to make a fire.’ Ryokan Taigu

The Fall is the more than apt description for autumn’s annual leaf deposit and there are many parts of our island that rival New England’s spectacularly colourful display. After the great show, we do of course have the task of clearing up and adding all those leaves to the compost or filling plastic sacks to make leaf mould. 

No compost heap? Now is a good time to build one or install a compost bin. Removing leaves from the lawn is essential but not so obvious is sweeping or blowing them off borders where they may smother young plants when they start coming up. 

A power blower is a good choice for this job. Now is a good time to start preparing and planting sites for your fruit and deciduous trees, evergreens, clematis and roses. Borders will benefit from an application of bonemeal where you have planted bulbs, it will get them off to a good start. Primroses, polyanthus and wallflowers planted now will ensure colourful seasonal displays as will lily of the valley and hyacinths for spring-blooming perennial fragrance. Sweet peas sown now will bring you pretty posies of cut and come again flowers next summer. 

Taking a bit of time this month to review your planting and colour schemes will reward you next year, which we hope will be more normal. Still, for many of us, this year’s gardening will have been a productive therapy which will bring more rewarding results in compensation. 

  • Take hardwood cutting now
  • Put up and repair fences
  • Lift gladioli and montbretia to store 
  • Apply slow-acting fertiliser to borders and mulch with we-rotted compost
  • Plant herbaceous perennials, roses, shrubs and bulbs
  • Plant daffodils, grape hyacinths (Muscari), crocus, winter pansies, wallflowers
  • Wait until November to plant tulips to avoid tulip fire
  • Cut back and divide herbaceous perennials
  • Lift and store Begonia tubers and dahlias
  • Plant up containers and hanging baskets for winter colour  

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