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Garden Jobs for October

We are officially in autumn, widely regarded as nature’s time to plant as the ground is still warm and moist. It’s a busy time in the garden with still plenty to do so we have looked at just a few garden jobs for October that you may find helpful.

Get planting

You may think spring is the best time but autumn is actually perfect for planting perennials as the ground is still moist and warm. Leave them until spring and you’ll need to wait for the soil to warm up for the roots to grow.

If you think about it, time spent now means a head start in the Spring when most of us are desperate for some colour and greenery in our gardens. Wait for spring to start planting perennials and you’ll be waiting until the end of the season to see your plants flourish. 

We have a sale throughout October if you are looking to purchase some end-of-season bargains. 

Sweep up leaves

If you’ve trees in your garden it’s a good idea to keep on top of sweeping them up as they can harbour slugs, snails, and fungal spores. You can use them to make leaf mould for the garden, you’ll need a bespoke leaf mould bin and Monty Don explains what to do here.

Plant hedging

October is the perfect time to plant hedging and also if you need to, move trees and shrubs. As with most planting, good soil preparation is important to get the best results.

Root balled hedging is best planted from the start of September to mid-October or from the beginning of April to mid-May. Plant bare root hedging between mid-October and the end of March. Planting and caring for a new hedge is very similar to that for any new tree or shrub and you can find out more here.

Check out the greenhouse

If you’ve used any shading during the summer and haven’t yet removed it now is the time to as your greenhouse needs the light. It may also need a good clean and this is important to do, to remove any pests and risk of disease, as we head towards winter as less hardy plants will need to come in. 

You might also find it useful to set up your greenhouse heater and check it’s working so you are prepared for any early frosts. When you do start to bring plants in remember to health check them for pests, like aphids, so you are not creating a problem for your greenhouse!

Cut back 

You should now cut back any perennials you already have in your garden that have died down. Or you could consider leaving the foliage for wildlife to use as shelter. Most perennials benefit from being cut back as it allows the plant to concentrate its energy and nutrients on the root, ready for regrowth in the spring. 

You can also trim plants that are overhanging pathways and prune climbing or rambling roses, making sure you tie the stems together to avoid wind damage. 

Plant Hellebores

With summer now truly behind us, if you are feeling a little disappointed by the lack of colour in your garden there’s some good news, it’s now Hellebore season!  Our Hellebores are grown in-house at our Herefordshire nursery and we are proud to be a UK Gold Collection grower. The collection is easy to spot, it comes in a burgundy pot which is clearly labelled as you can see below.

Gold Collection Pot

The Hellebores we produce are a range of famed Hellebore varieties consisting of the celebrated Christmas Rose, Snow Rose, Ice N’ Roses and Lenten Rose varieties, collectively known as the Helleborus Gold Collection®

Despite their fantastic looks through winter, these perennials are quite low maintenance once established.  Even in planters, these charming winter flowerers don’t require a great deal of work. You can browse our collection here

Look after the birds

We have included in our Garden jobs for October, looking after the birds! Birds are one of nature’s friends that gardeners have and now is the time to think of them. They help to keep garden pests down, so invest in bird feeders and baths and keep them topped up so they are well looked after through the winter. The RSPB has lots of useful information to help you and they offer membership too which could be the perfect gift to add to your Christmas list or consider for a gardening friend.

Take time to prepare for next spring

It’s a great time to take photos so you have a record of your achievements. This can also be really useful for next year if you created a bed or border that you particularly liked and want to replicate. You can also keep photos of where herbaceous plants are so you don’t damage their roots if you do any digging before they start to grow again.

Sketching and notetaking are also popular amongst gardeners so it might be time to treat yourself to a new notebook or sketchpad as a reward for all your efforts this summer. We particularly like this new brand Osity, which is local to us and designs and produces lovely high-quality products using traditional methods.

Check everything over

After a busy summer and in preparation for spring it’s worth checking out your water butts and compost bins, they may need replacing or a good cleaning. 

Whilst the weather is still relatively dry and warm you can also take the opportunity to paint sheds and fencing or build cold frames to shelter young plants through the cold weather.

Ensure pots are raised from the ground to avoid water logging and as a final treat for the garden give the soil one last water ahead of colder weather and dare we say it, frosts!

Further reading

After all the Garden jobs for October are done you might also like the following Planting Perennials or our Garden Jobs for September