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October Garden Tips

Garden work for October.

Flower garden

It can be pretty expensive buying perennials, so if you have space to fill in, continue dividing and replanting herbaceous plants this month.  By doing this you will re-invigorate the older plant and getting a better display next year.

Once seed heads have ripened and are nice and brown, cut them and store the seeds in envelopes (with the name of the plant).  Keep the envelopes in an airtight container where there is a constant low temperature (for example a fridge)

Prune back hybrid tea roses and floribundas by about one-third to reduce them being damaged by wind rock.

Pot on late summer cuttings into 9cm pots, using a well-drained growing medium.

Apply an autumn feed to the lawn as soon as possible.

Mulch borders with well-rotted organic matter such as farm yard manure or garden compost.  Put it on thickly as a layer about 7cm (3”) is ideal.

Vegetables

October is the time to harvest pumpkins and squashes.  Do it before the first frost arrives.

Garlic should be planted now.  On our heavy clay the bulbs should be planted about an inch deep.

If you are planning to have more fruit trees and bushes, now is the time to order them as popular varieties are liable to sell out quickly.

Spring cabbage should be planted out now; space them 6” (15cm) apart.  Protect them from hungry pigeons using netting that does not sag down, otherwise the birds will still get at your plants.

Towards the end of the month sow broad beans such as the variety ‘Aquadulce Claudia’ to overwinter.

Dig over fallow vegetable beds and cover with landscape fabric to let rain in but stop weeds germinating.

Put barrier glue or grease bands on to the trunks of apple and pear trees to prevent the winter moth from scaling the heights to lay her eggs.

When you pick ripe apples, make sure to store only those that are blemish free.  Chuck out or use straight away any that have had a bird strike.  Surplus apples can be taken to Village Greens for juicing.

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