October Garden Jobs
I don’t know about you, but I love this time of year. The glorious reds, oranges and yellows of autumn are at their most majestic in October. It’s the month when we get to literally enjoy the fruits of our labour.
On 21 October, we raise a glass of juice – or cider! – and say ‘Cheers’ as we celebrate Apple Day. Making sure you don’t let your harvest go to waste is one of the top jobs to do in the garden this month.
Harvest your fruit
You might have made a start on this in September. If not, get cracking now. It’s possible to store late season apples for several months in the right conditions, so you could have home-grown apples all winter, saving yourself a fortune. If possible, ensure the apples still have their stalks. Store them somewhere that’s cool, dark and has some ventilation – a garage is good. There should be a space between each apple, so make sure they’re in a single layer and not touching each other. Pears and mid-season apples can also last for up to 2-3 months, but pears will need to be checked frequently because they can ripen very suddenly. Remove any fruit that goes off.
Last chance lawn jobs
October is last chance saloon for:
1 – Scarifying, aerating and top-dressing lawns if you live in colder areas of the UK. You can then give your lawn a helping hand by applying an autumn lawn feed.
2 – Sowing grass seed if you live in milder areas.
3 – Mowing. Don’t cut too low; the grass needs to be at least 2.5cm (1 inch). This should keep things in order until spring.
Plant your springtime bulbs
Even as winter looms large, it’s time to make preparations for better weather in the New Year, by planting bulbs that will welcome in springtime with a riot of colour. Buying in bulk is a good idea. If planting in pots, think in terms of 10s to guarantee a great spring show. If planting on grass or decent sized borders, 100s would look amazing. By planting in October, the bulbs will benefit from the warmer soil before the first frosts, helping the roots to become established. Check the packaging for information on where to site the bulb as some prefer warm spots (such as daffodils and tulips), while others prefer cooler locations in the garden. October is also a good time to plant spring bedding plants in pots or prepared ground, or herbaceous perennials.
Getting maximum light onto the lawn will keep it healthy during the winter months, so remember to keep on raking your lawn.
Give the garden a good tidy-up by cutting back, pruning and dividing perennials.
Ring the changes by moving or planting trees, shrubs and climbers. And October is perfect timing planting wildlife-friendly hedges.
Bring tender plants into somewhere that’s nice and warm, such as a greenhouse or conservatory.
And don’t forget that the clocks go back at 2am on Sunday 29 October, officially marking the end of British Summer Time.