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Recommended tasks and hints for October

October is a great time for moving tender plants under cover before the first frosts arrive, planting bulbs, bare root trees and shrubs and raking up fallen leaves to make a superb leaf mulch in your compost. 

It’s also time for clearing and washing the greenhouse.  You can also fumigate it to get rid of unwanted nasty pests like whitefly using a sulphur candle.

Other jobs to tackle include

  -  Planting garlic, either directly in the ground or in pots, and keep the area weed-free as it grows.

  -  Sowing winter salad leaves  along with other hardy veg such as peas and beans or winter cabbages.

   - Pulling up and compost any remaining annuals. Replace them with winter and spring flowering Pansies, Wallflowers, Bellis and Primulas, not just in the garden but in containers too. Empty tubs are such a missed opportunity.

   -  Spring bulbs are still available to buy and to plant so make sure you have enough for a blaze of colour next year.

Remember tulips will be better for having had a late planting as it helps them to avoid fungal disease

Bring inside any houseplants that have enjoyed summer in the garden. The sudden change in temperature and atmosphere may cause them to shed a few leaves.

October can bring strong winds so check your tree stakes are nice and firm. 

Improve the condition of your soil and add nutrients by sowing green manure winter mix. This has to be one of the least labour intensive, most environmentally friendly and easiest method of improving next year’s crops.

Autumn is bare root season so now is the perfect time to order your fruit trees. The roots will work away below ground to get established, so by the time spring comes the trees will be ready to burst into growth. 

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