Jobs to do in October

October brings with it a great change in the garden but a change that is quite beautiful with autumnal reds, oranges and russets from turning leaves. Late flowering perennials are often still producing many flowers such as Japanese anemones and dahlias, so there’s much to see.


It is often tempting to start clearing and chopping straight away but, if you can, resist all of your tidying tendencies and enjoy the changing sights.

However – of course you can get on with a few jobs to do in the garden in October too!

  • Summer pots of bedding can be kicked out and replaced with plants that will look good in the autumn months such as pansies, violas and ornamental cabbages. By feeding regularly, keeping watered if dry and deadheading occasionally, pots planted now should look good until early spring.

 Dahlias at Arley Hall, Cheshire

  • The likelihood of severe frosts is stronger now, so ensure that all tender plants are protected, statues or pots that are frost prone wrapped, and external water taps and pipes lagged. In some cases you may wish to turn the outside supply off and drain.

  • Consider collecting autumn leaves and keeping for leaf mould. This can take a couple of years but if you have the room its a lot easier than having fires or taking to the local tip. Collect them all, ideally in a mower which chops them up a bit, sprinkle with water if a bit dry, and then store in bin bags with holes pierced for a bit of air. Store somewhere out of the way and in 2/3 years you should have a crumbly matter that’s excellent for spreading as mulch around trees and shrubs.
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