What could be better than spending a warm October day in the garden? This month still has some sunny pleasures in store for you while you’re making early preparations for the cold weather.
TLC for your summer blooms
Non-hardy plants, whether in hanging baskets, tubs or beds, should be brought inside this month in case of frost. Transfer geraniums, begonias and fuchsias to the greenhouse or the house to enjoy any late flowers they produce for a little longer. Dahlias will be coming to an end too, and once the tops are cut off, the tubers can be stored ready for next year’s planting.
New life for your lawn
If you have a lawn, it’s a good time of year to rake and aerate it. Some gardeners will topdress too, making sure that the topdressing is evenly distributed and well applied by brushing-in.
However, if you’ve been thinking that your lawn has had too much wear over a dry summer, autumn is an excellent time to lay new turf. There’s less stress for you – and the turf – when it’s laid in a cooler season. Plus, footfall on your luscious new lawn is likely to be less in autumn, giving it the chance to bed in properly before next year’s summer parties.
Good quality turf should be laid soon after delivery, so it makes sense to choose a highly rated product and supplier such as Emerald Turf from Greenvale.
October is all about colour
October is a good time to plant out some cottage garden favourites such as Sweet Williams. While working on your spring plants, you can also be enjoying colourful autumn flowering lilies and crocus, as well as seasonal violas and primulas.
For gorgeous colour at this time of year, you can’t beat native fruiting trees and bushes, along with the giant rose hips produced by the Guelder and dog rose. These make superb boundary hedges and are great food sources for birds, butterflies and other wildlife.
As for the fruit and vegetable garden, October is harvest time for maincrop potatoes, as well as any remaining fruit such as apples. It’s time to prune the roses too, but not yet time for fruit trees, though some gardeners may prune plums and cherries this month to reduce the risk of silver leaf disease. October is a good month for taking cuttings, too.
If you do plan on clearing any beds off this month, consider whether to plant them with a winter cover such as mustard that will provide a green manure in the spring.
A month to enjoy
Above all, simply treasure the colour, beauty and shapes of your October garden, leaving the tidying up and cleaning for November, when its underlying structure will be visible. Then, from December, you can plan how you want your garden to look next year – definitely one of winter’s more enjoyable tasks.