Jobs to do in the garden this October

Jobs to do in the garden this October

Not sure what to do in the garden this month? Here are our garden reminders put together by our chairman and horticulturalist John Richardson.

1) With October starting with rain, following rain, which followed rain, the land is going to be too sticky and muddy to do much for the next week or so, give the greenhouse or garden shed a good clean, and put away all those tools, labels, canes and bottles that it has been easier to overlook during the good weather.

2) Give conifers a final trim this month and try and complete the planting of evergreens while the soil is still warm and new roots will then establish before the ground becomes cold.

3) Give thought to lifting tender plants which you wish to retain, pot them up and store in a frost-free environment. Calla lilies have been very popular this year, but don’t forget they are on the tender side and also need to be lifted and protected during the winter.

4) If you need to move trees that are going to be too big for their location, do it in 2 stages, this year dig a trench around half the root ball, about 30-40cm away from the trunk and backfill with good well-rotted Compost. This will encourage young roots near to the trunk before you cut the roots on the other side as you move it next autumn. Don’t try this on trees more than two years after the original planting; the root-balls would be just too big and heavy to lift.

5) As herbaceous plants die back, reduce top growth almost to ground level and compost all soft green material. Remove and store all the canes and stakes. Burn pea-sticks and rotten stakes.

6) Fix grease bands to apple and pear tree trunks to prevent female winter moth caterpillars climbing up to lay their eggs on the young buds. Choose the correct grease for smooth or rough-barked trees.

7) Now is an excellent time to clean out the pond and remove the water pump for the winter.

8) Store top fruit for the winter, by picking only those fruits which are undamaged, wrap in newspaper and store in a frost-free cool shed. DO NOT retain any fruits which show signs of damage; they will only affect those that are undamaged, but you can freeze these fruits.

9) Rake up fallen leaves around rose bushes to prevent the carry-over of Black Spot to next year.

10) Take hardwood cuttings of deciduous shrubs and line them out in a trench formed by pushing a spade into the soil to about 10 inches and rocking it to enlarge the slot. Insert the cuttings about 2 inches apart and firm soil back between the feet. On heavy soil run a little sand into the slot before planting the cuttings.

11) Tall shrubs such as Buddleia and Lavatera, which will be pruned hardback in spring will tidy up the garden if cut back by half at this time to prevent wind rock during the winter.

12) Dahlia tubers need lifting and storing this month. Cut the stems back to about 4” from ground level, shake off as much soil as possible, hosing off if necessary, and store upside down for 14 days to dry out the stems of the plants. Afterwards, store in dry compost with the stem out of the compost, in a cool frost-free building. Remember to name all plants at the time you lift them from the ground.

Posted 2nd Oct 9:53am