October, the days are getting shorter & cooler and with the clock being set back at the end of the month, plus the ever increasing risk of frosts, towards the end of the month, but it is not all doom and gloom, just look at all those spectacular of Autumn colours to enjoy, unfortunately the down side, is annual job of sweeping up all those leaves, it is a mystery to me where they all come from! Now is a good time to get the Winter digging started, leaving the frost to break up the soil & the birds to eat any predators & exposed weed seeds. Clearing up & tidying the garden may not be much of an exciting job but it certainly makes your garden look more attractive & will help cut down the on the problems caused by pests & diseases. This month is the ideal time to collect up and clear up all garden rubbish, ranging from fallen leaves & branches to discarded labels & flower pots, these all make great hiding places for slug and snails to over-winter. Garden canes & stakes used for Summer flowers & vegetables should be tidied away soaking the ends that have been in the soil in a good preservative, to extend their usefulness, plus kills off any disease. Before it gets too cold wash off all your pots & seed trays in a garden disinfectant, so much easier to do now, on a sunny Autumn day, rather than on a freezing cold day in February! While you have the disinfectant handy, scrub down the greenhouse staging. Lawns will need mowing less regularly now, do not forget the raise the cutting blade height at this time of year. On the subject of cutting the lawn, after your final cut of the year, spare a little time to clean off the mower, oiling the blades to prevent corrosion before putting it away for the Winter.
Jobs that won’t wait: Harvest fruit & vegetables, apples & pears should be picked by the end of the month & main crop carrots & potatoes should be lifted and stored for the Winter. Sow hardy annuals, sweet peas and lettuces to over winter under glass. Sweet peas can also be sown direct into the ground and covered with cloches or horticultural fleece. Plant Spring flowering hardy annuals & biennials as soon as possible. Plant up containers and baskets for Winter colour and interest. Plant lilies for Summer flowering also plant garlic, Spring cabbages & Japanese onions. Lift dahlias and gladioli & store in a frost free place.