“Just before the death of flowers,
And before they are buried in snow,
There comes a festival season
When nature is all aglow.”
– Author Unknown
It’s the time for woodland walks, foraging and for the first log fires of the season. October is also time for clearing the greenhouse of spent summer plants, of placing a net over ponds to keep out falling leaves and for having a general tidy up. So, although autumn is here don’t go getting too mellow, there’s still plenty of work to be done!
Our top ten recommended tasks this month include:
- The grass will stop growing this month so cut it when you can and look forward to the last cut of the season.
- Remove any fallen leaves from the lawn and use them to make soil conditioning leaf mould. Place a net over garden ponds.
- For early flowering next year now is the time to sow sweet peas. If you haven’t already discovered them then do take a look at our root trainers. They’re perfect for sweet peas and other long-rooted plants.
- Depending on where you live the first frosts can arrive during October so protect any tender plants. If you don’t have space to bring them all under cover then invest in some fleece to wrap them up snug.
- Your summer hanging baskets will be looking pretty sad by now so re-plant bellis, polyanthus and pansies
- Spring flowering bulbs are still available to buy and to plant so make sure you have enough for a blaze of colour next year. Empty tubs are such a missed opportunity for colour!
- Don’t be tempted to lift your dahlias until frost has blackened the stems. Then lift them carefully. Stand the tubers upside down to drain for a few days and then store in a frost-free place. Those of you living in milder areas may not need to lift them.
- Garlic likes to be planted in October as do some shallots and onion sets.
- Harvest pumpkins ready for Halloween plus other squashes and ripen in a sunny spot before storing.
- Remove spent summer veg from the greenhouse and give it a good clean, including the glass. During autumn and winter, you want maximum light penetration. Winter salad leaves can now be sown.
Pumpkins & Winter Squash
Pumpkins and winter squash are synonymous with autumn. Being muck loving plants they will have produced a good crop if grown in a sunny spot with plenty of manure. By October the fruits are mature and ready to be harvested, before the first frosts arrive.
Summer squash such as courgette, pattypan and trombonchino are pretty fast growing. By contrast, their cousins, the pumpkins and winter squash, having sprawled around the garden all summer will only now be ready. Allow their skin to dry and cure and most squashes can be stored successfully for several months.
For useful tips on turning a pumpkin into a terrifying fiend, ready for Halloween, visit our blog
With summer now behind us and autumn here, it can sometimes appear that our plots become a little sparse. After the hard work put in during spring and summer it is tempting to take a bit of a break. But there is still lots to do at this time of year and complacency in the garden now leaves a lot to make up come next spring. So in amongst the tidying, cleaning and preparation for future growing endeavors, what can you start growing now.
Autumn is the best time for getting bare rooted trees planted. So whether its growing fruit for the fruit bowl or ornamental specimens for adding long-lasting structure to your garden, now is the time to get these in the ground when they are going through a stage of dormancy.
There is still time to get spring flowering bulbs planted. So if you don’t want to be without the early season colour of daffodils, tulips and bluebells get you bulbs planted into the ground or containers now.
If you’ve missed our September blogs the links to them can be found below: