Last updated on October 24th, 2019
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Now is the time for Halloween and while you are thinking about the many ways you plan to decorate your pumpkins, it’s also time to add some extra care to your garden by planting up some pots for winter to provide instant colour now. Clearing any leaves and protecting any tender plants are also top jobs to get done.
It’s also a great time to sow winter salad seeds, plant garlic cloves and onion sets.
Top jobs for October
- Plant spring pots with winter flowering plants such as pansies and spring bulbs
- Lift and divide perennials whilst the ground is still warm
- Cover tender plants with fleece or move into a frost free greenhouse
- Clear fallen leaves from lawns, paths and patios to make leaf mould or compost them
- Tend to your compost heap
- Sow winter veg and plant garlic
- Clear your greenhouse with disinfectant whilst it’s at its emptiest.
- Take hardwood cutting from deciduous shrubs
- Cut back perennials that have died back as well as climbing and rambling roses after flowering has finished
- Mulch borders with farm manure or bark
- Move any trees and shrubs that need moving and plant bare root roses which will start to become available.
- Aerate your lawn with an aerator or fork to help improve drainage
- Repair dead patches of your lawn
Planting spring pots
If you haven’t done so in September, October is the time for you to plant your remaining spring flowers. You can plant things like wallflowers, bellis, pansies, violas or spring-flowering bulbs now that the weather has turned. If you plant them in pots, keep those pot someplace sheltered so that the blooms will continue throughout the winter and avoid rot. Things like ornamental cabbage are very susceptible to rot if the conditions get to damp. You probably won’t get a lot of flowers if the weather is very cold but in mild bouts of weather you can still enjoy a good show specially from pansies.
Clear away leaves
Make sure you clear away all the leaves before winter sets in. The best way to do this is to go over your lawn with your lawn mower. The blades will shred the leaves and help expedite rotting, if not you can just rake them together and make leaf mould. Once a week you should collect the leaves from your garden. We recommend using leaf blowers or vacuum to clear the leaves away from your paths, your patios, or in between different garden beds. You can either blow all of your leaves onto your lawn and then go over the entire lawn with your mower, or collect them all and put them in your compost heap if you have one.
Tend to your compost
If you have a compost heap make sure you are still turning it. As you tidy up your garden and prepare for winter, you won’t have as much material to add to your compost bin. At this point, you will want to encourage faster rot by turning your content more quickly and allowing more oxygen to get inside.
It’s natural that during colder weather the rate of decomposition slows down but once it gets hotter it’ll speed up again.
Protect tender plants
October is also a great time to give your tender plants some extra protection. Bring them inside now before any chance of frost kills them. If you have a cold frame or greenhouse, you can also bring your plants there and keep them on the dry side during winter. They won’t produce a lot of growth when brought into a greenhouse but they will come back in the springtime very quickly and keep them protected against the worst of the winter weather.
If you are planning on growing winter crops, now is the time to do it. Things like garlic and winter salads do particularly well especially if you grow them in a greenhouse. It’s also a great time to plant winter onions sets.