October

“Learn character from trees, values from roots and change from leaves.” Tasneem Harmeed

Grow Your Own

Its clear up time for the last of the summer cropping veg plants, but don’t forget that as your garden starts to move into snooze mode, it is a great time to plant fruit trees, bushes and cane fruits like raspberries. Onions and garlic can be planted now and will give a great (and very easy) early crop next year.

Patios & Pots

Don’t let summer containers sit un-used, instead clear them out, add fresh compost and plant them with autumn and winter bedding plants, under-planted with miniature bulbs. Plant up larger containers to include some perennial plants or small shrubs too for a longer-term planting, perhaps with seasonal bedding around the main planting.

Houseplants

By October light levels have dropped significantly so those plants which prefer more light will often really benefit from being moved onto a better-lit windowsill, say West- or South-facing as at this time of year they’re unlikely to get too hot. As the night gets noticeably colder make sure that tender houseplants are not too close to single-glazed windows.

Beds & Borders

As autumn leaves start to fall, why not collect them up off fading flower beds and make some ‘leafmould’ by stacking the leaves in a ‘cage’ made from chicken wire, they’ll rot down to make a great soil conditioner. Continue clearing dead foliage and planting more bulbs, including tulips from the end of the month, and you’ll have an even more impressive display in spring.

Trees, Shrubs and Climbers

This is still a great time for planting trees, shrubs and climbers in almost all situations (and also a perfect month to choose those you’re after for their autumn leaf colour). If you are going to plant a hedge with ‘bare root’ plants (those sold without their roots in pots) then make sure you do some soil preparation before they arrive. Clear the area of weeds and debris and fork in well-rotted manure or compost.

Lawns, Ponds & Water Features

Autumn lawn care including an autumn feed, will help to keep your long-suffering grass looking good. If you’re considering a new lawn then, providing the weather is not yet too wet or cold, you can still lay turf or sow grass seed. For both these, preparation is the key to a good-looking lawn for years to come.