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The Garden in October
Tuesday, 8 Oct 2013 12:50 pm

After some warmer days during September, autumn is now here for real, and it’s starting to feel cold. It's a beautiful at time of year, with the trees changing to their autumn colours. It may seem pointless raking up the leaves when the wind just blows more leaves onto the garden, but think of all the leaf mould you’re able to make! Time to start preparing for early frosts.

A few things to do this month

Divide perennials.
Ideally, perennials should be lifted and divided every three or four years. This way you'll be rewarded with healthy growth and a crop of new plants. Plants should be divided during their dormant period, in late autumn or early spring. (Leave fleshy-rooted perennials, like peonies, until the end of their dormant season in late spring.)
 
 
 
In the greenhouse.

Remove any shade paint from glass for maximum light in the greenhouse during the winter. Also you can insulate the greenhouse with bubble wrap and check heaters are still working. Remember ventilation may be required during warm autumn days. Move tender plants into the greenhouse and check for pests and disease and check any forced bulbs for top growth - if growth is visible bring into a cool well lit room to induce flowering.
 

 

Autumn lawn care.
Autumn is a critical time for lawn care. Help your lawn make it through the winter months and look its best come spring.
As the weather starts to cool grass will grow more slowly so adjust the cutting height on your mower so that it cuts grass higher. Mow roughly once a fortnight until mid-October, depending on the weather. Recut lawn edges with a half-moon edging iron to create neat edges and trim the lawn edges weekly using edging shears to maintain a neat finish.
Don’t use a summer feed on the lawn now. Instead treat the lawn to Autumn Feed and Moss Killer which deals with moss and feeds the lawn in one easy application.
If you have a few little bare patches try using an after cut revitaliser treatment combining a lawn feed with some added seed.
 

Clear fallen leaves.

Apart from looking untidy fallen leave can choke ponds, lawns and cause rot and disease, in a woodland setting or on the flower bed different rules may apply! In the average garden its far better to clear fallen leaves from lawns, paths and the pond at least.
Scoop all your collected leaves into the bin liners, pour in a little water so everything is nice and damp and loosely tie the top of the bag. Gently prick the bag all over with a garden fork. Store behind the garden shed for about six months. After about six months have a look - you should have a bag full of leaf mould to help invigorate your garden. Some bags will have rotted down some won’t, if not moisten with a little more water (keeping it damp is the secret!) and leave for another six months or so - it will happen!
 

 

Harvest apples and pears.

As a general rule apples that ripen early (September) are best eaten quickly but later ripening apples, cooking apples and all pears can be stored for months (if done carefully). Late varieties which are excellent for storing include ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’, ‘Crispin’ and ‘Jonagold’. Choose carefully when selecting individual fruit to store. Make sure they are free from any signs of damage, such as insect holes, bird pecks or marks where the fruit has rubbed against the tree. Never attempt to store imperfect fruit. Sort fruit by size as medium-sized fruit can be stored for longer periods than larger fruits. Wrap the apples individually in newspaper or tissue paper and place them into dimpled, cardboard trays (ask your local supermarket for these). Once packed, place them in a cool, frost-free place, like a cellar, garage or garden shed. Check the apples weekly while in storage and remove any fruit showing signs of rot or disease immediately. Apples stored in ideal conditions can last for up to six months.
 

Prune climbing roses.

The aim of pruning roses is to improve flowering, maintain an attractive shape and to keep the plant healthy. However, many people consider it to be difficult and complicated - it really isn’t if you apply a few simple rules.
Prune climbing roses in autumn immediately after the flowers start to fade by first removing dead, diseased or dying branches. Tie in new shoots and remove any really old branches if the plant is congested to stimulate new growth. Prune side branches growing from the main framework, cutting them back to leave two to three leaf buds.
 

 

Cut back perennials.

Cut back faded herbaceous perennials and add to compost heap, also lift and divide poor flowering or overcrowded herbaceous plants.

See also:

 

 
Trade discount for professional gardners.

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Opening Times:  March to December: Monday to Saturday - 8am - 6pm  |  January & February: Monday to Saturday - 8am - 5pm  |  Sunday's 10am - 4pm All year
Please note: We are closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day and Easter Sunday
We close early (3pm) on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.

       
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