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Autumn-Garden-Tips-Oct

The ornamental garden. This is mainly a month to continue those jobs started last month – dividing and replanting herbaceous perennials, taking up old bedding plants and replacing with biennials and spring bedding plants, and removing tender perennials to the protection of the greenhouse.

Lift dahlias and gladioli corms – hang upside down to dry before cleaning them, dip in fungicide: dry off thoroughly and store in a cool, dry place.

Continue planting evergreen shrubs and conifers. Plant bare-root deciduous stock, including most shrubs and roses, from the end of the month (containerized plants can be set at any time of the month). Also continue planting bulbs.

Hardwood cuttings can still be taken.

Sow sweet peas, in frames.

Clear up fallen leaves regularly or they will pollute pond water, block drains, and kill the lawn and small perennials including alpines. Stack in a heap to form leaf mould, which is a valuable source of humus.

Mulch with leaf mould, compost or manure while the soil is still warm.

Continue to mow lawns in dry weather with the blades set high. Seed new lawns until about the third week in the month. Continue raking, spiking, top dressing and feeding as described for September, if necessary. Keep a watch out for dead and dying patches and take action.

Start turfing from now onwards. Continue throughout winter and spring in favourable weather.

The vegetable garden

Harvest root crops before they become coarse and are attacked by soil-borne pests. Store in shed or freeze.

Clear up spent crops and consign to the compost heap.

Sow lettuce in frames. Also over-wintering broad beans in mild areas.

Plant lettuce and spring cabbage, also Japanese onion sets.

Cover winter crops with cloches.

Trap slugs and snails.

Spray against late pests and diseases.

Earth up celery and leeks.

Cover the curd of late cauliflowers by bending a leaf over it.

Dig ground, manuring if necessary.

Fruit

Most apples and pears will be ready for gathering this month and should be stored if absolutely sound, individually wrapped in newspaper, in a cool room. Plant containerized fruit bushes throughout the month, leave bare-root stock until after leaf-fall. Finish planting strawberries by mid-October.

Spray peaches with Bordeaux mixture against peach leaf curl. Put greasebands round the trunks of top fruit trees. Continue pruning currants and gooseberries. Prune figs in mild districts.

Take cuttings of gooseberries and currants.

In the greenhouse

Most summer vegetable crops will be over by now, so give the greenhouse a good clean-out on a warm day. Let everywhere dry off properly and then rearrange all the overwintering plants to get the best light they can.

Give the same treatment to garden frames. It is essential in winter to allow as much light as possible into the greenhouse and frame and it is surprising how much is lost through dirty glass, especially overlapping panes, during the shortest months of the year. Pot up some mint and parsley and take in for winter use. Provide heat for tender subjects.

For more October garden tips click here

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