What to do Now / October

Gardening Advice

What to do Now / October

  • Plant drifts of spring bulbs informally in a lawn, including crocuses, daffodils and snake's-head fritillaries
  • Lift tender cannas to avoid frost damage, dry off the tubers and store in cool dark conditions until spring
  • Plant up cheery pot displays with winter colour, such as heathers, cyclamen, winter pansies and skimmia
  • Lift and pot up tender perennials, such as chocolate cosmos, gazanias and coleus, to protect over winter
  • Plant evergreen shrubs and conifer hedges while the soil is still warm
  • Take cuttings of shrubby herbs, such as rosemary, lemon verbena and thyme
  • Remove large fruits on fig trees that have failed to ripen, leaving pea-sized fruits to develop for harvesting next year
  • Sow green manure, such as winter rye, rather than leaving soil bare over winter
  • Cover salad plants with cloches to prolong cropping
  • Keep sowing batches of hardy broad beans and peas outdoors for early crops next year
  • Clean out the greenhouse to get rid of debris that can harbour overwintering pests and diseases
  • Wash greenhouse glazing to let in as much of the weaker autumn daylight as possible
  • Bring potted tropical plants inside, including bananas, pineapple lilies (eucomis) and brugmansias
  • Plant hippeastrum (amaryllis) bulbs in pots on a warm windowsill for flowers by Christmas
  • Move potted citrus plants and fuchsias inside over winter, keeping them cool but frost free
  • Rake up fallen leaves from lawns, borders, driveways and paths, and store in bin bags to rot down into leafmould
  • Build a log pile at the back of a border for wildlife to shelter in
  • Check that your shed is secure and waterproof, so you can safely store tools and patio furniture in it over winter
  • Apply an autumn lawn feed to revive the grass after the rigours of summer
  • Remove barley straw, placed in the pond in spring to discourage algae, once it has turned black
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