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My Garden Diary – Reminders for October 1914

my garden diary

Please find below October’s gardening advice from 1914. Many of the tasks still apply today with October being a busy month for us gardeners. Winter vegetables need attention and bulb planting continues. Pop along to Facebook and let us know what’s top of your To Do List for October. We’d love to know!

In fine weather ply the hoe freely between standing crops. Complete the planting of Spring Cabbage, and for protection during winter mould up the plants. Clear Brussels Sprouts of decayed leaves. Be prepared to protect tender subjects from premature frosts. Parsnips can be dug as wanted, but Beet, Carrots, Salsify, and Turnips are safer in a cool store.

Sow Cauliflower seeds in a cold frame. Continue the planting of Lettuces on a dry border. Tie up Endives and transfer mature plants to frames for protection. Tie round and earth up Cardoons. Lift Chicory roots, and commence forcing in absolute darkness to ensure perfect blanching. Plant out the remnants of Kale and Savoy : these may be of much value in the event of a severe winter. Earth up Celery, and assure its safety from frost. Lift and store late crops of Potatoes. Thin Parsley for spring use. Make up Mushroom beds for supplies in winter. Clear Asparagus beds and give a thick top dressing. Lift Rhubarb for forcing, and expose the roots in a cool dry place for an early start.

Dig vacant plots, leaving the land rough that it may be disintegrated during winter. Manure heavy land, but it is better to defer the dressing of light soil until spring. Sweep up leaves and keep the garden extremely neat during the fast shortening days. Securely tie up plants to resist the October gales. Provide loam, leaf-mould, and peat for potting. To secure Cucumbers for Christmas sow in pots and plant out when ready.

Wallflowers and other Biennials will now transplant to blooming quarters. Raise each one with a ball of earth and carefully firm it into position. By potting a few Double Wallflowers it is easy to ensure a splendid display in the conservatory during spring.

Many successful Cyclamen growers make their main sowing this month. Those who did this in August or September should sow again to ensure a succession of these elegant flowers. Dibble the seeds singly in pans an inch apart ; and do not transplant until the seedlings are a nice size, and avoid the least injury to the fleshy roots. Repot Mignonette for spring flowering. Generously feed Calceolarias, Carnations, Cinerarias, Primulas, and other plants.

Complete the potting of Hyacinths, Narcissi, Tulips, and Crocuses, and plant these and other bulbs in beds and borders. In the beds between the bulbs plant Myosotis and Silene. When the flowers of bulbs fade in the spring, cut them off and pin down the leaves. A few days later the beds will be covered with charming masses of blue and pink flowers.

All varieties of Lilies should be planted immediately the roots are obtainable. Retarded crowns of Lily of the Valley can be flowered in a month after they are potted and placed in a temperature of 55º F.

It will be regarded as a favour if customers will be good enough to give notice of change in address, so that the Amateur’s Guide for 1915 may be correctly posted.


1.    Pheasant shooting begins.
4.    Full Moon, 5.59 a.m.
7.    Various Licences expire.
12.    Old Michaelmas Day. Revising Barristers to complete Revision of Lists by this day. Last Quarter, 9.33 a.m.
14.    Michaelmas Insurances must be paid.
19.    Quarter Sessions held this week. New Moon, 6.34 a.m.
21.    Battle of Trafalgar, 1805.
24.    Borough Councillors to be nominated.
25.    First Quarter, 10.44 p.m.
31.    Game Licences (40s.) expire.

Barometer, 29.721 in.            Temperature, 50.1 deg. Fahr.
Rainfall, 2.78 in.            Rainfall for October 1914……………………

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