What to do in the garden in October

October is a month bursting with autumn colours.  The leaves begin to turn golden with warm orange, yellow and deep reds.  It’s a palette of colours to inspire any landscape artist.  There is still plenty to do in the garden in October.  Time spent in the garden is mainly taken up with tidying up leaves from lawns and flower beds. 

In many colder areas, this is the last month to provide good lawn care.  Clearing fallen leaves, aerating and apply top dressing are important jobs this month to keep the lawn healthy through the cold winter months.

Beds and Borders

Beds and borders will need particular care as the autumn draws in.  Clearing away fallen vegetation is important to avoid smothering plants and creating opportunities for plant diseases and fungus.  Now is a good time to apply a slow acting fertilizer to beds such as bonemeal to feed the garden with valuable phosphates.  Mulching with a good organic matter will also release nutrients while protecting the soil from cold winter frosts.  It is important to remember that frost can arrive quickly, so remove any tender plants which will need to be over-wintered in the greenhouse.

garden in October Chrysanthemum

There are many autumn and winter plants which can be added to the garden to provide plenty of colour and variety such as Aster and Chrysanthemum.  The beginning of the month is an ideal time to buy new additions and plant them out while the weather is still relatively mild. 

Vegetable Garden in October

garden in October Pumpkins

In the vegetable garden you can plant out garlic and spring cabbages this month along with various brassica.  In colder areas it is important to protect the winter root vegetables from early frosts.  Pumpkins will be ready to harvest soon along with beets and brassica varieties.  October is generally the time for the last harvest of blackberries, apples and pears. Take care of our garden critters and wildlife by putting out nuts, seeds and berries.  Adding Late-flowering plants such as Michaelmas daisies, sedums and asters will provide a rich source of nectar for insects that over-winter in the garden.  

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