As the vibrant colours of autumn paint the landscape, October is a pivotal month for gardeners here in the UK. It marks the transition from the warm summer to the quieter, often wetter and chillier period of Autumn/winter. In this blog, I am going to cover a range of October gardening jobs that you should consider carrying out right now.
Harvesting and Storing
October is the month to reap the rewards of your hard work throughout the growing season. Harvest fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, pumpkins, and squashes. Ensure they are fully ripe before picking, and store them in a cool, dark place. Remove any damaged or diseased specimens to prevent the spread of problems in storage.
Planting Spring Bulbs
October is the perfect time to plant spring-flowering bulbs, including daffodils, tulips, and crocuses. The soil is still warm, allowing the bulbs to establish roots before the colder months. Ensure proper spacing and planting depth, and consider incorporating bone meal or bulb fertiliser to encourage robust growth.
Attend to your lawn in October by giving it some much-needed care. Aerate the soil to improve drainage and reduce compaction. Apply an autumn lawn fertiliser to provide essential nutrients. If moss is an issue, consider scarifying to remove this, allowing your grass to breathe.
Pruning and Cutting Back
Pruning is a critical task in October. Trim back perennials that have finished flowering, removing dead or diseased growth using the right pruning tools. Cut back long, unruly branches on trees and shrubs, promoting a tidy appearance and preventing winter damage. However, avoid pruning spring-flowering shrubs, as this can impact next year’s blooms.
Fallen leaves are a valuable resource for your garden. Collect and add them to your compost heap to create nutrient-rich compost for next year. Alternatively, use leaves as a protective mulch around delicate plants or incorporate them into your garden beds to improve soil structure.
Planting Winter Vegetables
Extend your vegetable harvest by planting winter varieties such as kale, spinach, and winter cabbage. These hardy crops can withstand cooler temperatures and provide fresh produce throughout the colder months. Ensure they are well-watered after planting to help them establish.
If you have a greenhouse, October is the time to thoroughly clean it. Remove old plants, tidy up the space, and wash the glazing to maximize sunlight penetration. Consider insulating the greenhouse to provide extra protection as temperatures drop.
As winter approaches, consider the wildlife in your garden. Clean and refill bird feeders regularly to provide a food source for feathered friends. Create habitats for insects and hedgehogs by leaving some areas untidy and providing shelter options.
October in the UK garden is a time of transition and preparation. By addressing these essential tasks, you set the stage for a thriving garden in the coming seasons.
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