Jobs In The Garden – October – before the inclement weather arrives, get these garden tasks completed!

Jobs In The Garden – October

I love jobs in the garden in October and find the timely reminders from http://www.crocus.co.uk/  a real help since there’s always something that slips the mind.  I also love dipping into books like Anna Pavord’s Gardening Companion which is an old collection of her Independent columns from the 1990s.   You can get endless advice from all over the place, so here are my own jobs in the garden top tips for this month.

Jobs In The Garden – October – Patio Tables And Chairs

Look after your outdoor furniture! (After all this is a garden furniture website so we would say that!).  Pack away the parasol, cover or store wooden tables and chairs and move any items that could be vulnerable to storm damage.  You’ll find plenty of blog entries on this site on how to look after the specifics, be it metal patio furniture or rattan garden table, so I won’t waste time here on that.

Raking up leaves. This is one of those jobs in the garden I absolutely dread, despite having a very efficient leaf blower.  HQ is in a heavily wooded area, so this is it’s an ongoing battle to keep ahead of the oak, beech, ash and horse chestnuts that surround us.  Bag the leaves in bin bags, add some water and prick to allow the air to circulate.  Come spring, there’s nothing like that lovely leaf mould.

Jobs In The Garden – October

Gather Autumn Fruits

Harvest apples and pears before they get damaged. I try to cook as much as possible for the freezer but it’s also at this time of year that a good fruit store comes into its own.   My old man picked up a lovely antique set of drawers something like the ones for sale at http://www.crocus.co.uk and I always use an ancient apple grabber and wicker basket with a hook, but Crocus seem to have the whole thing covered.  Who ever knew there was so much kit you could buy just to harvest your own crops?  Temperature is the most critical fact in storage.  Apparently, pears never ripen on a tree (this is a fact I’ve only just stumbled across!) and along with apples are best stored between 2-5 degrees C.  Somewhere dark and a bit damp is the best.

Jobs In The Garden – October

Late Planting

Good time to plant new climbers and perennials while the soil is still quite warm.

Good time to divide overgrown perennials. Get your hands in amongst those geraniums – I don’t think there’s anything more satisfying than looking a bed that’s almost entirely populated from one or two original small cuttings.  I’m particularly proud of how I’ve taken one small brunnera over the past two or three years, to cover the entire area shaded by a large goat’s beard tree.  It looks fabulous interspersed with a very dark maroon red cranesbill,  Geranium phaeum. Last chance to plant spring bedding and to get the daffodil bulbs in.

Get into the veg patch and lift and divide rhubarb plants, cut the dying tops of perennial vegetables. It’s a good time to go round and check you’ve remembered to dig everything up too – I harvested a lovely crop of pink fir apple potatoes at the weekend.  I’d simply forgotten about them.  We’ve been lucky too with the mild Autumn so far, so I’ve only just brought in the last of my outdoor tomatoes to ripen up on the windowsill.  Apparently, a banana can help them to ripen.  Once the veg patch is cleared, spread a thick layer of muck over it to be dug in in the spring.  Here we’re fortunate in that 2 guinea pigs, some hens and a pony all contribute to a compost heap that’s really good stuff.

Take hardwood cuttings from shrubs and fruit bushes such as blackcurrants, gooseberry and redcurrants.

Protect Garden Furniture

Move your patio furniture around. I always put a table and chairs in a sheltered sunny spot to suit the winter months.  It’s good to have somewhere to put the coffee after all.

Garden Pots Care

One of the many jobs in the garden is to remember to move any tender plants under cover before the frosts come. Have a look over your containers and move any that are not frost free or risk them cracking in extreme temperatures.  I overwinter my tubs in an unheated but frost free green house.  It’s a good time to move any herbs in containers closer to the back door since no one wants to go foraging in the dark wet nights to come.

Do You Have Strawberries, Tulips Or Dahlias In Your Garden?

Strawberries – one of the jobs in the garden is to clear up the strawberry patch removing weeds and unwanted runners. Mulch between the rows with well-rotted compost.

Tulips – my plant books say to plant tulips but it hasn’t been anywhere near cold enough yet, so I’m going to hold off until we’ve had some frosts.

Dahlias – to store or not to store? Actually, I find mine do better taking their chances in the earth, than fighting the pests in the shed.  Last year I forgot about some that were growing in the veg patch and they’ve all come up brilliantly.    Admittedly, we didn’t have a very cold winter but spring was horrendously wet and it was three different varieties which have all really benefitted from the head start they got from being in the ground.   If you are going to lift them to store, according to Anna Pavord you should leave them as long as possible since the tubers do most of their growing in the short autumn days.  Anyhow, mine are still all flowering with gusto.

Do You Have A Pool?

The final jobs to in the garden are to tidy your pond, if you have one, and remove the pump for winter.

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