After such a lovely warm September, October is likely to be cooler with welcome rainfall to replenish our water butts and green our lawns once again!
The lovely misty mornings and cool starts to the days signal that it is now time to start tidying up and preparing for winter, whilst still enjoying the harvest and the golden Autumn sunshine whenever possible.
If you are lucky enough to have a crop of apples or pears, they should now be ready to pick and enjoy.
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.
Splitting and moving Perennials
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.
Tidying up and taking time out
Collect 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 next Autumn to condition your soil.
If you can, take time out to go for a walk on one the lovely peaceful misty mornings or just sit and enjoy the Autumnal views of your garden in the low October sunlight.