Gardening in October

It’s a beautiful time of year, so enjoy the crisp autumn colours in the garden. Now’s the time to start preparing for early frosts and of course, keep raking those leaves.

What to do in October

  • Cut back perennials that have died down. If the plant is healthy, the trimmings can be added to your compost. Move tender plants, including pond ones, into a greenhouse if you have one
  • Prune climbing roses as this will take out any dead or old wood and will encourage new flowering shoots to grow
  • Check chrysanthemums regularly for signs of white rust (pale yellow spots on the upper leaf). Remove affected leaves or use a fungicide if necessary. Remove the blooms as they die back
  • Dig your soil with compost, manure and plenty of organic matter. This exposes pest larvae and eggs to birds and frosts, gets rid of weeds and improves soil structure
  • Start your compost if you haven’t already. You can continue to add to it with kitchen scraps over the winter
  • Clean out your greenhouse so pests don’t hibernate there. Tidy up and wash pots and trays with mild soap. Clean the glass to make use of any sunshine during the winter months
  • Now’s the last chance to mow lawns and trim hedges in mild areas. Inspect for patches as you go as it’s a good time to lay turf. If you are planning an additional area of grass, you can turf this too

Keep weeding and tidying up borders but don’t be too thorough. Leave some seed heads for the birds and keep some areas of winter shelter for wildlife.

Caution – A pile of leaves or debris is an attractive shelter for a hedgehog, so always check thoroughly if you intend to burn these.