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October In Your Garden

2nd of October 2007

This is the best month to plant spring-flowering bulbs such as crocus, narcissi, tulips and hyacinths. Use bulb fibre when planting in bowls and potting compost when growing bulbs in containers. When growing bulbs in the garden it is a good idea to mix in some potting compost or organic conditioner to improve he soil.
Pansies, polyanthus and primroses are ready now for bedding out and planting in hanging baskets and containers., which  can be enhanced by adding trailing ivies, small cyclamen and dwarf bulbs together with small conifers and soft grasses. Spring-flowering bedding plants such as wallflowers, Canterbury bells, forget-me-nots and Sweet Williams are also planted this month.
Lawns will now need aerating or scarifying prior to having an application of autumn turf fertilizer which will toughen them up for the winter months ahead. While the grass is growing keep up with regular mowing and as leaves start to fall sweep them up as soon as possible.
As soon as the maincrop potatoes are lifted, press on with digging the vegetable garden so that it is ready well before the winter sets in. Don�t forget to work in farmyard manure where necessary.
Cut back the taller herbaceous perennials but leave the penstemmons intact until next spring. Keep up with the weeding and dig over the flower borders. The summer bedding plants will be dying down now so lift them and put them on the compost heap and get the beds dug ready for the next season. Tubers of dahlias and cannas will need to be lifted and stored and a little sulphur dust added to prevent rotting during storage. Cuttings of geraniums and some shrubs can be taken at this time of the year. The less hardy fuchsias should be lifted before the frosty weather arrives and so too should the geraniums and pelargoniums.
If it is possible to get the greenhouse completely empty, a sulphur candle will sterilise it and rid it of all whitefly, pests and diseases. Container-grown shrubs, climbers and herbaceous perennials can be planted this month and now is the time to plant the early onion sets. There is still time to plant a few more spring cabbage plants.
October is the month when trees and shrubs show their spectacular autumn colour. Most impressive are the euonymus alatus, blueberries, maples (acer), liquidambers, rhus, cotinus and the climbing Virginia creeper.
Terry Simmonds

This page is edited by Tony

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