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Gardening In October

1st of October 2013

We’ve had a glorious summer but it is now cooling down and the days are getting much shorter and there is still much to do.

Flowers and shrubs
Start to plant winter bedding plants such as pansies, primroses and polyanthus. Wallflowers should be ready to plant now for flowering next spring. Dig up tender plants such as fuchsias and geraniums and take inside to protect from frost damage. Now is a good time to plant bulbs such as hyacinths, crocus, narcissi, tulips and a huge selection of less usual species to be found in the garden centre at the moment. An option with tulips and daffodils is to plant in large pots which can be ‘planted’ in the ground intact at a later date. Daffodils and narcissi can be naturalised in grass areas of the garden. Winter hanging baskets, window boxes and containers should be planted as soon as possible. Cut down untidy herbaceous plants but leave penstemmons, grasses and plants with attractive shape to overwinter untrimmed. Stake and tie tall plants to save from wind-rocking. Large tender shrubs will need protection from frost damage. Dahlia tubers should be lifted and taken inside.

The Greenhouse
Now is the time to empty the house, clean the glass and scrub the staging. While the house is empty fumigate with a sulphur candle to kill fungi and any pests that might be present. Insulate with bubble plastic. Then tender perennials such as geraniums and fuchsias can be brought inside for overwintering. Make sure that the glasshouse heater is working.

Fruit and vegetables
Carry on picking apples and putting into store but do not store bruised fruit as they will rot and the rot will spread to good fruit. Varieties such as James Grieve will not store and should be eaten straightaway. Harvest vegetables, especially those which could be spoilt by frost. Root crops can be lifted and put into store or can be left in the ground and covered with polythene topped with a good layer of straw. Plant early onion sets and garlic and spring cabbage plants can go in now. Now is a good time to plant strawberries. Dig all areas which are not to be planted until the spring leaving the ground rough so that the winter frosts will break up the clods. Add farmyard manure when digging except on patches on which root crops will be grown next year,

Lawn and garden
Keep mowing the lawn while the grass is still growing. Spike and aerate and apply a low nitrogen autumn lawn fertilizer to strengthen the grass for the winter that is coming. Level any dips in the lawn using a soil based lawn dressing. New grass areas can be turfed but there is still time to sow grass seed before the soil cools down. Feed the birds and give them water too. The pond will need to be cleaned of weed and leaves, and leaves will need to be removed from the lawn as well.
Terry Simmonds

This page is edited by Tony

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