What to do during October in your garden
A list of gardening jobs and tasks to take care of this month.
With the release of my 2022 Gardener’s Calendar this week, I thought it was fitting to jump back on the blogging horse with a blog post about gardening jobs to take care of during October.
October is both a busy and a beautiful month for us gardeners. It’s the time of year to enjoy wonderful, autumnal colours, and be on the lookout for first frosts. As autumn settles in, we can get on top of tidying up and cutting back faded perennials. We can start to “put the garden to bed" for winter.
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Below are some of the main tasks to take care of outside and in your greenhouse throughout October:
Begin planting spring bulbs –
Plant Crocuses, Daffodils and Fritillaries in drifts in your lawn. Do this randomly to create a natural, informal look. These bulbs will naturalise and multiply over time.
Clear and tidy borders –
Cut back spent perennials (including in your vegetable beds) and rake out the front of the borders (bag up the leaves to create leaf-mould).
Clear and tidy containers –
Empty hanging baskets and pots of spent annuals. Add the contents to your compost heap or garden waste bin.
Plant hardy annuals before it get too cold.
You can also plant hardy vegetables such as broad beans and hardy peas, for early crops next year. Also, plant spring cabbages for harvesting next year.
Plant containers for winter displays -
Plant colourful winter Pansies, Heathers and Cyclamen in pots to add a pop of colour to your garden, throughout the winter.
Plant shrubs -
Whilst the soil is still warm, and before the first frosts, plant evergreen shrubs and hedging plants.
Protect tender perennials –
- Lift Cannas and store the tubers in a dark, cool, frost-free area (e.g. your shed).
- Bring tender plants such as tender succulents into a greenhouse or cold-frame to protect from frosts.
- Lift and pot up perennials such as Gazanias and Chocolate Cosmos to protect them over the winter.
- Wrap larger tender perennials, which are too large to move in fleece. This includes tree ferns – protect the crown by stuffing with straw, then fleece.
Stay on top of the weeding –
Remove perennials weeds with a fork. Continuing removing any remaining annual weeds with a hoe or by hand.
Tend to the lawn –
- Top-dress with an autumn lawn feed (low in nitrogen, high in potassium and phosphorus).
- Improve the drainage of compacted laws by spiking with hollow or solid-core tines. Brush grit into the hole to improve drainage.
Mulch borders –
Add mulch to your borders to reduce weeds, protect against frosts, and reduce soil loss in heavy rainfall. Use biodegradable mulches such as bark chips, compost, straw and leaf mould to lock in moisture.
Rake leaves –
Remove leaves from borders, driveways, paths and lawns. This helps to stop pathways from getting slippery and will allow light and airflow to your grass and plants. Put the leaves into bin-bags to store whilst they rot down to create leaf-mould.
Look after fruit and vegetable plants –
- Cut blackberries and autumn-fruiting raspberries to the base, when harvesting has finished.
- Protect salad crops with cloches to extend the harvest.
- Divide large clumps of herbs (e.g. Oregano, Chives and Thyme). Replant or compost some of the divisions.
- Put grease bands around the trunks of apple, cherry, pear and plum trees to trap the female winter moth.
- Clear away crops that have finished to reduce pests and diseases.
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You can, of course, keep an eye on these gardening “to-dos” with my colourful, flower calendar for gardeners. Each month comes with a gardening checklist, suggestions of flowers to enjoy each month, and an illustrated plant of the month art print. For my gardener's calendar, click here. To receive your FREE October garden checklist* click here (to save, right click and "Save image as").
*PLEASE NOTE: By saving my FREE checklists, you agree not to sell, reproduce or alter the artwork in any way. You may not change the design or remove my tag "@talkingofplants".