The temperatures have dropped and trees & shrubs are changing colour - autumn is officially here, but there's still plenty to be doing in the garden this month from planting bulbs to taking cuttings; below are some hints and tips put together by Chairman and horticulturist John Richardson.
1) Give conifer hedges a final trim and finish planting evergreen shrubs while the soil is still warm, and new roots will develop quickly.
2) Lift and store carrots and potatoes. Cut back strong stems of tall shrubs like lavatera and Buddleia to half their length to prevent winter damage. Complete the cutting back to 15 inches in February/March.
3) Collect the seed of those plants you may wish to increase and will come true from seed. Store seed in paper bags in a sealed container on the bottom shelf of a refrigerator. If unsure when to sow the seed, sow half on the collection and the other half in the spring.
4) At the end of October give the glasshouses and frames a thorough clean both inside and outside. Scrub down the benches with a mild disinfectant before hosing down the entire area.
5) If you have electricity in the glasshouse, check that the earth-breaker is undamaged and clean.
6) Fix grease bands to the trunks of apple and pear trees.
7) Clean out ponds and water features, and remove water pumps for the winter.
8) Repair broken fences, patios, trellises, steps, fall pipes and walls.
9) Take hardwood cuttings of forsythia, deutzia, honeysuckle, jasmine, Virginia creeper, holly, privet, cotoneaster, poplar, willow, gooseberries, blackcurrants etc., at the end of the month.
10) Make several collections through the month of fallen leaves, and store them in a wire-netting enclosed area to ensure they rot down over winter. Do not leave fallen leaves on the lawn.
11) Clean out leaves from around alpine plants. If permanently outside and not in a cold frame, cover with a pinned down sheet of glass over winter to prevent the plants from becoming water-logged.
12) Lift Dahlias, Gladioli, and other tender perennials when temperatures fall sharply and store them in a frost-free place.
13) This is a good month to lay turf providing the ground has been firmed, raked, levelled and weeded.
14) If the weather warms up at the end of the month, take the opportunity to prepare compost and boxes for sowing half-hardy annuals by the end of the month. You should have a heat source available for frost prevention on cold nights
15) Be sure to have a stock of sand or salt for very frosty mornings when paths and roads are slippery.
16) Plant new daffodils, but don’t plant tulips until mid-November to reduce the risk of Tulip Fire Disease.
17) When planting new trees larger than 2m., place a diagonal stake into the prevailing wind to prevent the tree from leaning over in the first year.
18) Remember, when selecting shrubs, birds don’t like yellow berries!!
19) lift and divide rhubarb crowns at 5-year intervals, a spade is the best implement to use!
Interested in plants that are looking good this October, click here to view
Posted 4th Oct 1:01pm