As autumn draws in on the garden, the days shorten and the garden begins to wind down. October is still a very busy time of the year preparing for spring as well as carrying out a range of general tasks and garden maintenance. What you do now will determine your success in spring.
The following are the main garden jobs in October:
Cut back perennials once the foliage has died down and add to compost heap.
Lift and divide poor flowering or overcrowded perennial plants
Lift and store tender bulbs, corms and tubers once foliage has died down such as dahlias, tuberous begonias etc.
Continue to plant winter and spring flowering bulbs such as daffodils, tulips, crocus etc in borders or patio containers. As a rule of thumb most bulbs should be planted at approximately three times their own height with a few exceptions.
Plant wallflowers, forget-me-not, sweet William, violas, myosotis, cyclamen and other spring bedding plants in borders or patio containers.
Late autumn is a great time to plant shrubs and perennials for plants to “settle in” before the new season.
An excellent time to plant fruit trees and a range of soft fruits such as blackcurrants, gooseberries and raspberries. Enrich the soil before planting with a good compost such as `Erin Excel Multipurpose Compost`.
A good time to scarify established lawns and spike the surface with fork or lawn aerator to help drainage.
Apply an autumn lawn feed such as 'Evergreen Autumn 2 in 1' which contains mosskiller if it has not already been applied.
Start putting root vegetables such as carrots and beetroot into storage.
Sow broad beans for early crop next year.
Prepare soil for next season by adding organic manure at the same time as digging. Do not leave soil exposed too long before covering with black polythene, sheeting or mulch.
Now is a good time to clean algae, moss etc off driveways and footpaths with a product such as 'Goulding Path and Patio Cleaner'.
Note: Enjoy the autumnal leaf colours as well as planning and preparing for the season ahead and your efforts will be rewarded.