The Gardener's Journal is a free monthly gardening guide delivered direct to your inbox.

Each month, receive tips on the top jobs needed in your garden as well as a wealth of information on a range of gardening topics. From sowing seeds to picking fruit, each month get access to information on the care and maintenance of your flowerbeds, vegetable plot and lawn. As with your own gardening diary, the journal is split into separate sections, each covering a different area of garden care.

Monday 4 October 2021

This Month in Your Garden - October

‘Dry your barley in October, or you’ll always be sober.’ English folk-rhyme.

It’s easy to become inebriated on the colours of October and not just the autumn leaves. Many flowers will bloom through to the first frosts. Asters, Japanese anemone, agapanthus, chrysanthemum, calla and carnations, to name but a few, give the garden a vivid palette on darker days. Deadhead dahlias and they will keep coming and once blackened by frost the tubers can be lifted and stored for planting next year.

The Lawncare Guide - October

To turf or not to turf 

If you have prepared an area for a new lawn or you’re repairing an existing one, now is the time to lay turves when the soil is moist and warm. Turf can be laid as late as November if the forecast is not too cold or wet. Similarly, if the weather is still mild and you prefer the seeded route, you can sow now on a prepared area. 

Should it become cold or heavy rain is forecast the sown area can be covered in clear polythene to protect it and promote growth. If it remains warm and rain is light, leave it uncovered to grow quickly and naturally. 

Lawn Care: Questions & Answers

Q. Mole damage has left my lawn with hollows in places. What should I do to even it up and get it level?

The Vegetable Plot - October

Hoe and go

One of the least strenuous ways of dealing with weed in the vegetable patch is to use a hoe. There are other benefits to hoeing in that the topsoil is broken up, better aerated and water can easily reach the roots of your vegetables. 

The Big Glut - October

French cauliflower soup with scallops

From House & Garden. Serves 6. Prep 20 mins, cook 20 mins.


  • 1 head cauliflower, leaves removed
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium leek, chopped
  • 2 small sticks celery, chopped
  • 500ml whole milk
  • 1 nutmeg
  • 100ml double cream
  • Mild curry powder, for sprinkling
  • 9 scallops
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1-2tbsp chopped chives 
  • Crusty bread (to serve)