OCTOBER JOBS IN THE GARDENAs the garden dies back, now is the time to replenish summer colour with winter flowering plants, and start thinking ahead to Spring to ensure a beautiful display of colour and some early veggies. Here’s a summary, but scroll down if you want more information on any of these jobs!
In the vegetable plot …
Harvest Squash and Pumpkins
Make sure you harvest your remaining squashes and pumpkins before the frost hits otherwise they will be mushy!
Once you have harvested cabbages, leave the root in the ground and cut a cross in the top of the stem – this will encourage growth of smaller leaves which you can harvest.
Bring in green tomatoes and peppers
Bring any remaining green tomatoes or peppers inside and hang them upside down to ripen.
Harvest apples and pears
Harvest apples and pears and store so that you can continue to enjoy them in to winter. Store them in a single layer, not touching each other, in a crate, polystyrene tray or shallow wooden box (a container that allows good air flow through the sides and over the top). Put them somewhere cool (2.8-7oC for apples, cooler for pears), dark, well ventilated, frost free and slightly humid. Ensure they aren’t somewhere that will attract mice.
In the flower beds …
Start planting spring bulbs
Daffodils, Tulips, Iris and Alliums. Spread them though borders, round the base of trees and in pots.
Add winter colour
If you’re not looking to put your garden to bed completely for the winter, think about adding some colour to take your through to spring with some of the gorgeous winter flowering plants such as Polyanthus, Winter Pansies and Cyclamen. These can be added to borders, or you can put them in pots and place them in your beds and borders to add colour amongst your evergreens.
Lift and divide perennials whilst the ground is still warm.
When you’ve tidied your beds, mulch them to insulate the roots over winter and keep weeds at bay.
Around the garden …
Clear leaves from your lawn and hard surfaces (a much easier task when they are dry). The easiest way for getting leaves off your lawn is to run your lawnmower over it once a week. For patios, decking and paths a leaf blower is the ultimate method! Blow them on to the lawn for the mower to pick up, or on to a tarpaulin to then tip in to the compost bin. Alternatively, put the in to a black plastic bag on their own to make leaf mould compost. If you have space, you might consider leaving a pile or two in a corner for hedgehogs to hibernate in.If you have a pond, put a net across it to prevent leaves and other debris falling in to it.
Prune climbing roses
Prune climbing roses to encourage new blooms, strong growth and a good shape in the pring. If you’re unsure about how to prune certain plants, Steve, our plant expert, will be happy to give you some advice.
Clean tools and greenhouse
Get your greenhouse and tools ready for next year. In the greenhouse, choose a dry, mild day to empty your greenhouse out and give it a good airing. Brush down the framework and surfaces, clean the windows and sweep the floor. Then give all surfaces a wash with disinfectant to remove any pests. Replace any broken glass.
To store your tools for winter, scrap off any clinging mud and give them a wash in some warm, soapy water. Oil any metal blades to avoid rusting.