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Gardening In October

1st of October 2010

What a mass of colour there is in the garden this month! In the hardy border there are heleniums, Michaelmas daisies (asters), sedums and rudbeckias all in full flower with the begonias and fuchsias still a blaze of colour. Leaves are now beginning to show their autumn hues. With days becoming shorter, gardeners have a lot to get on with ….

Spring flowering bulbs
These should be planted during the next month or so. Use prepared hyacinths, crocus and some daffodils when sowing in bowls for indoor use and a special bulb fibre compost is available for these. Mixed narcissi can be naturalised in lawns. Specie crocus, aconites, scillas, irises, chionodoxa, hardy cyclamen plus dwarf tulips and narcissi can all be used in rock gardens or in window boxes and containers. Bedding plants (pansies, violas, primroses and polyanthus) are ready for planting in the garden or containers. Hanging baskets can be planted using a combination of bedding plants together with small shrubs and conifers and a host of trailing plants (ivies, nepeta, ajuga, etc) which can now be found in the garden centre. Wallflowers, sweet williams and Canterbury bells can also be planted now.

Fruit and vegetables
It is time to harvest the apples and to put into store. Varieties such as James Grieve need to be eaten straightaway but Bramley’s Seedling and Cox’s Orange Pippin will keep for months. If not done already, put greasebands round the trunks of the trees to prevent the onslaught of pests. Rootcrops (turnips, carrots, etc.) will need to be lifted now and so too the rest of the potato crop. Get on with digging the ground well before the winter sets in. Add farmyard manure but not where next years’s rootcrops are to be grown. The early onion sets and garlic should be planted now and strawberries can be planted too. There is time for a final sowing of radish.

The greenhouse
Clean up thoroughly with a disinfectant such as Jeyes Fluid and clean the glass. If the house is empty, burn a sulphur candle to get rid of pests and diseases which might overwinter in cracks and crevices. Line the greenhouse with bubble plastic. And make sure the heater works.

The lawn
Aerate and scarify and apply one of the proprietary autumn turf fertilizers which will strengthen the grass ready for the winter. Carry on with mowing until the grass stops growing and then arrange to get the mower serviced so that it will be ready for use next spring. New grass areas can be seeded or turved this month.
Terry Simmonds

This page is edited by Tony

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