October

Purple Pansy Flowers

Beds and Borders

If September was mild and you didn’t clear out your annuals and split the perennials now is a good time to do this before any really bad weather. Mulch around any plants that would benefit from any extra protection around the roots.

Roses

Many roses will continue to flower, dead head them using secateurs to keep them tidy and help reduce fungal disease. Continue to spray as required.

If you have rambling roses and they have finished flowering now is the time to prune the stems and secure any new stems with ties.

Blackspot and or Rose Rust if evident in spotty, yellow and weak leaves. Pick up any affected leaves from the ground but don’t put them in your compost bin. It is an idea to spray your roses with Fungus Fighter next year as soon as new growth appears.

Lawn

Now is a good time to rake out any thatch and moss in the lawn, this is called scarifying and can be done by hand with a spring tine rake or with a mechanical scarifying machine.

If you are making a new lawn this is a good time to sow seed as the soil should still be holding some warmth. You can enrich the soil before sowing with Evergreen Lawn Soil this should encourage stronger grass roots. Germination may be slow if the light levels are low and the temperature drops.

Fruit

Prune your soft fruit bushes taking out around a third of all branches to leave room for new shoots.  Try to remove growth from the middle of each bush to create an open habit which will help to reduce the occurrence of mildew.

Pick any remaining apples and pears, the ripe ones can be eaten straight away or stored in a cool dark area free from frost. It is not advisable to store any fruit that is blemished.

Treat peaches and apricots with either Vitax Bordeaux Mixture or Bayer Fruit and Vegetable Disease Control to help prevent peach leaf curl next season. This will need repeating in the Spring.

Vegetables

Outdoor tomatoes could all be picked and any that are still green could be hung on the trusses in a well lit area where they should continue to ripen.

Broad beans can now be sown outside so that they can establish themselves before any harsh weather in the following winter months slows down the growth.

Harvest and store any winter squash and marrows when the skins have toughened, they can be ripened on a sunny windowsill for a few weeks.

This is the perfect time to plant overwintering onion sets and shallots. These will be available at the Garden Centre.

 

Bulbs

Plant bowls and baskets with prepared Hyacinths for Christmas flowering using Bulb Fibre. Use gloves to prevent possible skin irritation.

 

Tree Planting

Now is an ideal time to plant new trees in the garden. Ensure the plant area is well prepared and weed free. Choose a suitable tree stake and tree tie to reduce root movement after planting while the tree is becoming established. Protect the trunk from rabbit damage using a spiral tree guard. Water in well and keep moist until all the leaves have fallen in the Autumn.


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