Plant, prepare and pamper is the theme this month. Working with the seasons is, I believe, the best way to achieve great results in the garden. Do spare some time to enjoy the autumn colours too!
October is perfect for planting. The soil is still warm but it is now wetter and ideal for plant roots to establish. Plant Roses and deciduous trees and shrubs. Continue to plant spring flowering bulbs. Plant fruit trees and bushes. Anything hardy can be planted now.
Prepare the vegetable patch for next year’s planting. Dig over the area to open up the soil so that air and water may penetrate and incorporate garden compost or well composted manure It is also a great month for having a bit of a tidy up and cracking on with some pre-winter jobs. Divide perennials that have outgrown their space and have finished flowering. Once the frost has blackened the foliage of Dahlias cut down the stems to about six inches and lift the tubers. Lift and store Gladioli. Divide clumps of Lilies that have become overgrown.
Pamper the lawn. Increase the height of the mower blades for the final few cuts of the year. Sweep up fallen leaves. Scarify by giving the lawn a good rake to remove dead material and encourage the grass to thicken by developing runners and side shoots. Aerate compacted areas using a garden fork or hollow tine fork. Apply an autumn lawn feed to promote root development and strengthen the grass to withstand the rigours of winter. This is the best month for laying turf, either as a repair or for a new lawn.