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.