October Gardening Guides

Autumn is here and there is plenty to do before the days become very short. So use this bonus warmth to get stuck into those autumn jobs.

  • Continue to mow lawns while they are still growing.

  • Continue scarifying the lawn, spiking and brushing in sharp sand. If planning a new lawn or just patching up the existing family playground, now is the time to think about laying turf or reseeding.

  • You have probably had to start raking up leaves, if not the time is now! Be fastidious about the general clean-up, removing fallen fruit and any diseased leaves. Compost leaves in separate enclosures or use black bags pierced with a fork, they will take about a year to decompose.

  • Remove them from lawns and small plants and take care to keep paths and patios clear, as slipping is a real hazard. Keep them to make leaf mould, every cloud has a silver lining!

  • Overgrown perennials can be divided up now, use strong outer shoots for re-planting, add new varieties to extend the flowering period.

  • Bare rooted roses can be planted out and other biennials and perennials for flowering next season as well as tulips and lily bulbs. Prepare and plant out wallflowers, polyanthus and other spring bedding and bulbs.

  • Autumn is also a good time to establish a new hedge. Prepare the ground with plenty of organic matter and feed again in the spring. Bare rooted plants will soon be available.

  • Rhubarb crowns can be lifted and divided now and planting of spring cabbage can continue. Sow varieties of peas and broad beans for an earlier crop next year, protect with a cloche if available.

  • Main crop potatoes, beet and turnips should be harvested before the frosts.

  • Use grease bands around the trunks and stakes of pear and apple trees to protect them against the wingless winter moth ascending from the ground.

Be prepared towards the end of the month, if leaf fall occurs, to spray peaches, apricots, nectarines and almonds against peach leaf curl with a protective copper based fungicide such as Bayer's 'Fruit and Veg Disease Control'.