leaves-rake-670You know it’s really getting Autumnal when your breath mists the air at the back door, as you get your gardening wellies on. And the smell – it’s crisp and damp and sometimes there’s even a hint of woodsmoke. Delicious.

October is a great month to be in the garden – it’s cool enough to potter about in a warm jumper but not freezing. Everything is truly beginning to hibernate by the end of the month and it’s an exciting time to clear things away and prepare for next year’s grand plans, dreamt up on chilly evenings inside.misty web

Maintenance

autumn hedgehogStart clearing autumn debris to prevent pests and diseases overwintering, remembering to put diseased material in the bin – or even better get a bonfire going, but remember to check for hedgehogs and wasp/ bee nests. Clear leaves from under plants and if possible save them in a pile for leaf mould.

Lawns

autumn-lawnsReduce how often you mow the lawn from this month. Reseed bare patches, but also scarify, aerate and top dress established lawn areas. Turf new lawns and don’t cut earlier made new lawns down to more than 2.5cm.

Seed & Feed

Poppy seed headsKeep collecting seeds from perennials, as they ripen. Also, start adding organic matter to the soil to enrich it for planting now or in the spring.

Plants

Lift tender plants to bring them under cover before the real cold snaps set in. Lift and store dahlia tubers so they don’t rot in the soil over winter. Check all newly planted shrubs are secure in the soil by firming the soil round the plants. Lift Cannas, and lift and store Gladioli. You can start to move evergreen shrubs and it’s also a good time to plant container grown trees, shrubs and climbers. Plant containers with spring bedding / bulbs. Cut out and dig over new borders ready for planting. Plant hedges of evergreen and deciduous plants. lift and divideCut back, lift and divide overgrown clumps of perennials, and put new perennials into the ground. Plant lily bulbs and spring bulbs. Tulips can also be planted towards the end of October.

Pruningbuddleja davidii black knight6

While deadheading roses take the stem down to an outward facing bud. Prune climbing roses when the flowers fade. Prune tall shrubs like Buddleja davidii down by half.

Enjoy the smells and changing colours of October, as the leaves will soon be gone. Check out our ‘What’s On’ pages for Autumn events in October and November and enjoy it!