Monty’s Top 10 October Gardening Jobs
Fruit – For those of you that still have fruit on your trees you should think about harvesting them and also remove any rotting/diseased fruit to prevent infections in next years yield. An excess of fruit can be used for jams and preserves, or stored careful in a cool, dark well ventilated place. Make sure you check on them on a regular basis to stop any disease starting or spreading.
Spring flowers – For a glorious spring colour you can many Spring flowering bulbs now so you can sit back and wait for them to pop up in the new year. When choosing your bulbs make sure they are healthy, they should be hard and free from any signs of mold on the bulbs or any green shoots on them as this is a sure sign of stress or bad storage. As a rule of thumb plant most bulbs a twice the size of the bulb in depth. My top tip for planting bulbs is not to plant Tulip bulbs yet, wait until next month as they don’t like to sit in wet ground for too long.
Leaves – Clear away any leaf fall on a regular basis to prevent diseases but if you have a designated area for any winter wildlife you can create a wild patch in your garden with any debris. Also of course, leaves make for great compost material. I would also advise if you do make a pile of leaves or logs at this time of year and then want to move them check for wildlife first, Hedgehogs love to find places like this so let’s all make sure we look after them.
Tie down – As stronger weather undoubtedly approaches, you may want to tie any weaker plants to stakes to protect them from strong winds. Certainly a good idea for any new shrubs or trees you have planted this month.
Squash – If you’ve been busy growing your own crop this year then you’ve probably harvested already but if you haven’t, don’t delay; any squash such as pumpkins need to be ripened away from damp conditions, so consider moving them indoors but in any direct sunshine available. You want to be prepared for halloween don’t you? If so then take a look at our Pumpkin Ideas post for ideas on carving your Pumpkin.
Woodwork – If you have a dry day free you may want to paint any woodwork with a preservative to protect it from the winter elements. If we have an ‘Indian Summer’ then this is a perfect time to paint fences, sheds or gates to make sure they last for a few more years.
Birds – Garden birds need all the help they can get over the Winter months, so make sure you clean out your bird feeders and bird baths to encourage them into your garden. Keep water fresh and keep an eye out for ice after frosts as birds can dehydrate in the winter. If you do start to feed the birds then try to remember not to stop, wild birds will remember where there is good stocks of food and keep coming back, if you keep topping up the food they will be happy to return time and time again.
New plants – If you want to plant any shrubs, late perennials, roses and trees or divide any plants then you should do so now, before the first frost while the soil is still warm. When doing so, make sure they get a really good water too. Autumn is the perfect time of year for planting as plants can focus on producing good root growth, making them stronger and better for next Spring and Summer.
Water features – If you have a water feature then you should unblock and clean out the pumps and toward the end of the month you can remove them and place into storage. Also, you want to keep the water free from leaves and debris so rake it out and cover with a net. Towards the end of October is a good time to give ponds and water features a good clean ready for the Winter, ponds won’t have as much wildlife in them, but always remeber anything you remove from a pond to leave on the edge for a couple of days, that way if anything did get caught up it has time to escape back in to the pond.
Lawn – While the weather is still reasonably mild you should give your lawn and hedges one last treatment; remove any weeds if you haven’t already done so and give your lawn a mow. Make sure you give the lawn a good rake over and remove any moss that is present, the next few months can be the worst time of year for moss to form, prepare now will make your life a lot easier.
Well that’s October taken care of, what happend to the last nine months I don’t know the year always seems to go so fast when spending all your time out in the garden, but I love it and I am sure you do too. Enjoy October and all the colour it has to offer in the garden and the countryside.
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