October brings cooler weather conditions, welcome rainfall to replenish our water butts and those lovely misty mornings, all signalling that it is now the time to start tidying up and preparing for winter, whilst still enjoying the harvest and the golden Autumn sunshine.
If you have apple or pear trees, now is the time to pick the fruit.
Protecting from early frosts
Move any tender plants, including houseplants, into a conservatory or greenhouse and check to see if your greenhouse heater is working properly.
Outdoor pots and containers
Remove any drip trays from under planted up containers and raise terracotta patio pots with bricks or special pot feet so they don’t sit in water over winter and crack when it freezes.
This is also the time to stop all feeding, as your container plants are slowing down for the winter.
Mow when you can, but is you wish to remove any moss in your lawn, treat with a combination moss killer and fertiliser then scarify to remove the dead moss. If your lawn is in good condition it will still benefit from a granular or liquid Autumn feed which will “green it up” and sustain the grass through the winter months.
Perennials – splitting and moving
While you can still identify the various clumps of perennials in your flowerbeds, dig up and divide any which may be getting too big and transplant any which you think are in the wrong place. Transplanting at this time of year gives them a chance to settle in over the Winter and gives them a strong start for next year.
Planting bulbs, trees and shrubs
Continue planting your spring bulbs, but delay planting your tulip bulbs until November. This is a good time to plant shrubs and trees but avoid very wet or frosty days.
Continue collecting leaves as they fall, putting them in a separate compost bin or in black bin liners to rot down into leaf mulch to be used nest Autumn to condition your soil.
If you can, take time out to enjoy the lovely peaceful misty mornings and Autumnal views of your garden in the low October sunlight.