WHAT TO DO IN OCTOBER

                                    and try these websites for more help and guidance     

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

VEGETABLES

 

FLOWERS

Plant rhubarb into soil that has been treated with plenty of manure. Lift and divide existing crowns

 

Complete the pruning of rambler and climbing roses.

Dig in plenty of well rotted manure to those beds that are now empty and will be taking brassicas and potatoes in the new year.

 

Plant spring flowering bulbs (such as hyacinths, daffodils and crocus but not tulips) and hardy summer flowering bulbs (such as lilies, alliums and crocosmia)

Make sure you pick all crops such as tomato, courgette and squashes before the first frost. If your tomatoes are still green either use them for chutney or put them in a drawer with a banana.

 

Plant wallflowers, forget-me-not, Bellis, Primula, Viola (including winter pansies) and other spring bedding plants in prepared ground or pots

Harvest pumpkins and squashes and leave them in a dry sunny place to ripen. This helps the skins to harden enabling them to be stored for longer.

 

Lift dahlias as soon as their tops have been damaged by frost, cut back the stems to 10 -13cm (4 – 5in). Place upside down in boxes to dry out. Label and store in a frost-free place.

Cut off the stalks of Jerusalem artichokes close to the ground.

 

Take hardwood cuttings of plants such as Rosa, Cotinus, Salix and Forsythia.

Lift remaining potatoes. Carrots can be left in the ground but are best picked and stored (see August notes). Leave parsnips in the ground until after the first frost.

 

Plant autumn hanging baskets and tubs with plants such as pansies, violas, primulas, polyanthus, cyclamen, ivies and winter flowering heathers.

Lift and divide older clumps of chives to encourage fresh growth.

 

Pot up half-ripe shrub cuttings taken in late summer into small pots and place in a cold frame during the winter.

Continue to plant spring cabbage.

 

Remove and clean all stakes and supports not now needed and store for the winter.

Continue to earth up celery and leeks.

 

Clean up herbaceous borders removing dead leaves and rubbish from the soil to help prevent disease.

FRUIT

 

LAWNS

Apply grease bands to the trunks of fruit trees to trap the wingless female moths, which emerge from the chrysalis in the soil and have to climb the trunk to mate and lay their eggs. The commonest moth is the Winter moth whose grubs eat the leaves in the spring. This does not protect against apple maggots which are the offspring of codling moths.

 

New lawns can be sown early in the month whilst the ground is still warm in mild areas. Ensure the ground is prepared well beforehand with weeds and stones removed, the ground levelled and finely raked. Rake in a granular fertiliser a few days before sowing.

Finish picking fruit – see September tasks.

 

Continue to mow the lawn with the blade now set at 25mm but avoid wet or damp days.

Prune out (back to ground level) a third of old stems from currant bushes to encourage new growth. New currant bushes can be planted between now and early spring.
 

 

Clear leaves from the lawn ideally choosing a dry day when they can more easily be raked up. Alternatively use the lawn mower with the blades set high. This has the advantage of chopping up the leaves, which makes them easier to compost.

Prune out the fruited canes from raspberry and blackberry at soil level and tie in the new canes once harvesting has been completed.

 

Apply an Autumn fertiliser to promote root growth. If moss is present, use a moss killer not Lawn Sand at this time of the year.

Plant gooseberry bushes 1.5m (5ft) apart between now and late winter.

 

Use a bulb-planter to plant naturalized bulbs in the lawn. Mark their positions with canes.

GREENHOUSE

 

GENERAL

Remove any “whitewash” on the glazing used for summer shading and ensure the glass is clean to allow the maximum light in during the winter. If you intend to heat the greenhouse during the winter then check any heaters are in place and working and consider using bubble wrap to help insulate the greenhouse.

 

Collect leaves and store them in bins or black plastic sacks – there is no need for air unlike your compost heap – where they will break down to produce leafmould. This makes an excellent mulch or soil improver. Piles of leaves collected under hedges and other out of the way places should be left for wild life habitat

Winter watering should be done sparingly and only when required. It is better for the soil to be on the dry side to reduce the risk of rot. Water in the morning to give time for the leaves to dry before the temperature drops.

 

Remove dead and dying foliage from your pond and keep it clear of falling leaves. Start to thin out underwater oxygenating plants. Cut off dead water-lily leaves. Continue to feed fish.

Ventilate the greenhouse whenever possible to help prevent stagnant conditions which encourage disease.

 

Renew plant labels before winter rain and wind renders them completely illegible.

Complete any potting up of plants this month.

 

Lift, divide and replant bog garden plants.