“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
L M Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
Hopefully many of us have enjoyed a good summer with plenty of warm dry days. Early autumn will bring with it rain and winds and of course the days are shortening. However, there’s still much outdoor pleasure to be had, the rich colours, foraging and the first log fires being just a few. It’s also time to prepare your garden for the colder months ahead. The greenhouse needs emptying and cleaning, tender plants need protecting and crops need gathering and storing.
• 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 absolutely 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, drain them and 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.
Our October catalogue will reach you on, or shortly after, the 7th October. Launching our Christmas range, this catalogue contains a wide range of must have Christmas gifts for gardeners and growers alike.
Is your garden looking a little drab now that the summer blooms are gone? Not to worry, we have a few instant colour solutions to breathe fresh life into your garden this month as well as some great value bulk buy packs to get you ready for spring.
October Allotment Tips – advice from Lee Senior >