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Garden Calendar - October

October

Falling leaves, high winds and plenty of autumn rains can be expected in October.

Thankfully a lot of the time we get similar amounts of sunshine to balance the wet weather and the soil is an ideal temperature to encourage roots of newly planted shrubs, hedging and other hardy plants.

Beds and Borders

  • Planting of bulbs for next year's flowers should be continued as daffodils and crocus need to be in the ground as early as possible this month.
  • Dwarf rockery narcissi are worth planting in containers or on the edges of the flower border.
  • Completing the planting of the winter flower bed with specially selected bedding plants will make all the difference this autumn.
  • While you are tidying up, store away water hoses and other watering equipment in a frost-free position to extend the life of this vital material.

Patio Gardening

  • Pots of spring colour need planting now if roots are to develop before the really hard weather of winter. The easiest way to ensure colour from March through until June is to plant different types of bulbs in one pot and to move this into a prominent position as the flower buds start to colour.
  • This is a great time to kill off any weeds on gravel paths, drives and waste ground to leave the surface clean and weed-free for the winter.

Lawn Care

  • Autumn is a good time to rake through your lawn to remove any thatch that develops from small pieces of cut grass that form a layer close to the soil surface.

Vegetables

  • Harvest all outdoor tomatoes, even if they are green and hang the trusses in a shed, porch or well-lit spare room. They will continue to ripen.
  • Marrows and winter squash should also be harvested and stored away when the skins have toughened. Even when the skin of winter squash are pale yellow they should harden off and turn more pale orange if they are kept on a sunny windowsill for a few weeks. Store the fruits in a frost-free shed, garage or greenhouse for eating during winter.
  • Pot up seedlings of herbs in a Herb Planter to be grown on a sunny kitchen windowsill.
  • Pick any apples or pears that are ripe and either eat immediately or store in a cool, dark frost-free place. Any fruits that carry a blemish need to be eaten immediately, as these will not store well.
  • Pruning soft fruit including gooseberry and blackcurrant bushes should be completed now. Take out about a third of all branches on red, white and blackcurrants to leave room for new shoots.