Your Garden in October.
This October there is plenty to do in your garden from planting bulbs to raking leaves. Much like the previous month, it’s all about preparing for the upcoming spring and the next harvest. Planning is crucial as what you plant now is how your garden will look next year.
There are also a few final stages of garden maintenance to do before your garden hibernates for the winter. October is one of the last months to treat and maintain your lawn and plants. Pruning and harvesting your summer plants and crops will allow for them to thrive again next spring.
Planting Spring Bulbs.
Bulbs create fantastic displays of gorgeous flowers around your garden and planting them now will ensure your garden is glowing in spring/ summer 2024. Hardy plants are the perfect bulbs to plant this month, Lilies, Alliums, Crocosmia, Hyacinths, Starflower, and Scilla are great examples of beautiful bulbs to plant this month. They will all look amazing in bedding, borders, pots, and raised beds. Plant them according to how you want your garden to look next spring and summer.
Bulbs should ideally be planted 10-15cm (4/6in) deep and the bulb will sit evenly at the bottom of the soil. Always plant them with their ‘nose’ or ‘shoot’ facing upwards. Each bulb should be spaced out roughly 10cm (4in) or the length of two bulbs. Watering is not critical if the soil is moist or if you are planting in autumn as there is enough moisture in the ground and air. The soil used for planting bulbs should have good drainage to prevent rotten roots
There are many great crops to sow this October, ensuring you will have a full harvest in the spring and even this winter.
Sweet Peas are hardy annuals and sowing them this month will add 6 months to their lifespan and likely you will see two harvests from the same plant. When sowing these peas, it’s essential to use damp compost as that is their chosen climate.
Sow them 2cm into the soil and allow the soil to cover them afterwards, spacing each seed out 15cm. Use rootrainers to contain their roots to allow for successful planting.
During autumn the weather and soil are relatively warm and will create the perfect climate for garlic bulbs to establish good solid roots and then they will flourish when winter kicks in. Their ideal climate is nutrient-rich and well-drained soil as they don’t do well in water-logged areas.
When planting garlic split the bulb in cloves and plant them approximately 2.5cm deep in the soil with the ends facing upwards. Each clove should be 10-15cm apart and each row 30cm apart.
Lettuce sown during this month will be ready to harvest throughout the winter and allows you to enjoy a fresh and sustainable salad during the winter months. Most lettuce and rocket plants can withstand temperatures of -5 degrees Celsius. Although their ability to withstand these cold temperatures, if cold weather is forecast cover your plants with cloches or small polytunnels if available.
Winter lettuce should be sown 20-25cm apart and around 2cm deep. Each row should be spaced 30cm apart to allow for growth.
There are lots to around your garden this October before it goes into hibernation and prepares for the winter.
The summer season has truly come to an end and autumn has set in, making October one of the last chances to treat and care for your lawn before winter comes and the wet and frosty weather sets in.
Throughout October feeding, sowing, and mowing your lawn is a great way to care for it before the winter hibernation. This is the last chance to apply grass seed and if you do, cover it with clear polythene to protect it from any fierce rain or cold nights. October is the last month to mow your lawn before any regular wet weather. Keep your grass at an even 2.5cm length.
Regularly rake fallen leaves before they block out the light and air access for the grass. Rakes and leaf blowers are both useful tools for this.
Pruning Climbing Roses.
It’s time to prune climbing roses as the winter season is upon us. It’s essential to prune these specific rose shrubs otherwise they become entwined and tangled together, possibly preventing further growth and bloom.
First remove the dead flowers, and diseased or dying branches using shears, this will then encourage further growth.
When rejuvenating rose plants, saw away any dead stumps at the bottom of the plant, this will prevent rain collection, which encourages rot. After pruning your roses boost the plant by spreading some rose fertiliser over the soil and mulch them with 5cm of garden compost. This will help rejuvenate the plant and provide nutrients for the winter months.
Now that the colder and wet months are fast approaching, this simple task will help maintain your plants and prevent waterlogging.
Move or raise your potted plants so they do not sit directly on the ground. This can be done with small/ large pieces of wood or bricks. This is essential if your garden or outdoor space commonly becomes waterlogged during the winter. It’s very likely as UK winters are often wet.
Waterlogging can result in yellow leaves, rotten roots, and the plant perishes. If you have planted bulbs in pots this job is essential for their continued growth over winter.
As the festive season is upon us, it’s time to start thinking about Christmas plants, primarily Amaryllis the plant of Christmas. Amaryllis is a stunning bright plant that flourishes through winter and spring. They are easy to grow and take between six and eight weeks to flower. Planting seeds during October will ensure they flower in time for Christmas.
Fill a medium-sized pot with compost, don’t use a large pot as they thrive in contained spaces. Place the bulb a few cm down into the soil, cover the bulb, and water it well. Leave the plant in a warm but dark place until a shoot APPEARS then you can move it into shaded light.
KEEP THE PLANT OUT OF REACH OF CATS AND DOGS AND THE PLANT IS POISONOUS TO THEM.