October is an ideal time for moving and planting trees, shrubs, climbers and hedging plants after they have defoliated. This is why many of the plants we sell through the autumn are not lifted at our nurseries until they are dormant and it is safe to send them to you. We only receive some of these plants in mid to late October and it is then our job to deliver these healthy dormant plants to you as soon as possible.
Keep a tidy autumn garden
As the leaves begin to fall one of the main jobs is to keep the garden tidy, dead leaves make great compost so throw them on the compost heap. Now is an ideal time to divide clump forming perennials, dig up the whole clump and carefully split into smaller sections for replanting around the garden or for sharing with friends and family.
This month is also probably your last chance to trim down any deciduous hedges to ensure your garden still looks neat and tidy over the winter months! Similarly, shrubs can be pruned or cut back to neaten them up and prevent wind damage.
Now is a great time to start planning your fruit garden for a mouth-watering crop for many years to come. It is great fun and highly rewarding to eat the fruit of your own labour. Plan your fruit garden carefully and prepare the ground for the requirements of your trees and plants. We have a great selection and one of the largest ranges of soft fruit plants available.
Fruit trees and plants should be ordered for planting in late October and November when loose rooted trees and shrubs have defoliated and entered a dormant state. Some to look out for include the ever popular Midget fruit trees (ideal for the patio where space may be limited), Raspberry Tulameen (one of the longest picking seasons available), Goji Berry (often referred to as the miracle health berry) and our brand new white Strawberry Pineberry (all the rage this summer amongst the top supermarkets).
October is also the time to lift and harvest many root vegetables such as Carrots, Onions and late varieties of Potato. These can be stored for use over the winter.
With the on autumn, the odd frost may not be too far away so it is important to lift frost tender bulbs and tubers over the next few weeks. Dahlias, Begonia Tubers, Eucomis, Zantedeschia, Nerine, Gladioli and Cannas are all susceptible to frost.
Lift the bulbs and tubers and keep over winter in a dry, frost free environment. This is a great way of maximising your investment as all these varieties can be planted again next spring for another fantastic summer display!
Early Autumn is the time to start planning for spring colour and planting your bulbs - this continues throughout the month of October. Think also about plants that might add a bit of colour to your garden this Autumn and winter, with many winter flowering shrubs offering bursts of colour in an otherwise bare season. You can also begin to plant Lily bulbs in pots this month and the next, for an unrivalled display or stunning colours and shapes.
The coming months are the time to start preparing to plant your indoor bulbs. Or, if you haven't already, buy your Amaryllis, indoor Narcissi or prepared Hyacinth now for a great winter display. Pot up specially treated, prepared Hyacinth bulbs now and they could flower as early as Christmas!
As the leaves fall, rake them off your lawn and add them to the compost heap. Leaving leaves on your lawn can damage your grass as they block light and air. Leaving these to decompose will make a useful mulch to help your garden along. Between this month and the next, it will be your last chance to mow your lawn before winter so make sure when you put away your machine that it's drained, dry and clean for storage. It would also be a good idea to apply a low nitrogen autumn lawn feed.
Over the winter months, walking on muddy lawns can be difficult and walking on frosted over areas can damage grass. It may be a good idea now to lay down a path or some stepping stones so you can still access areas of your garden without getting too messy or damaging your grass.